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Fort Carson Mountaineer

Facilities earn USACE awards

Photo courtesy of Harry Weddington.  The 4th Inf. Div. Headquarters building, completed in 2008, is the Merit Award in the 2010 Chief of Engineers Design and Environmental Awards Program.

Photo courtesy of Harry Weddington. The 4th Inf. Div. Headquarters building, completed in 2008, is the Merit Award in the 2010 Chief of Engineers Design and Environmental Awards Program.

Story and photo by Susan C. Galentine

Directorate of Public Works Public Relations

Two 4th Infantry Division facilities garnered top spots in the

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2010 Chief of Engineers Design and Environmental Awards Program announced in early June.

The Brigade and Battalion Headquarters, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, which includes six battalion headquarters, earned the Honor Award and the

4th Inf. Div. Headquarters building received the program’s Merit Award.

The 1st BCT headquarters, completed in August 2008, is the first facility on an Army installation to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold rating for new construction. This groundbreaking facility earned the Honor Award category, which is given to “an entry that demonstrates or stimulates excellence in each of the design disciplines.”

The 1st BCT facility excelled in all areas of design, including architecture, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, interior design, landscape architecture and structural engineering, said Brian Nohr, USACE’s Omaha District LEED coordinator, who submitted both facilities for consideration.

The 140,000 square-foot headquarters building, designed for approximately 600 occupants, was constructed with an orientation to maximize the use of day lighting from the sun. The building’s design provides greater exterior window exposure so that all interior spaces can benefit from natural daylight, ventilation and beneficial views. Environmentally-friendly carpeting, paints and adhesives were used in the building to make it safer for occupants.

During construction of the $35.6 million facility, approximately

32 percent of the construction materials came from recycled constituents, according to the Corps of Engineers. Through waste management efforts during the project, 400 tons of construction waste were recycled and/or salvaged.

Sustainable features of the facility are estimated to achieve a decrease of 33 percent in energy use. Low-flow water fixtures are anticipated to reduce water use by 56 percent.

Merit Awards, such as the one earned by the 4th Inf. Div. Headquarters, are given to projects that “embody excellence in individual disciplines such as landscape architecture, interior design, planning, historic preservation, adaptive reuse or sustainable design.” The Corps of Engineers achieved Silver LEED certification upon completion of the facility in 2008.

The 4th Inf. Div. Headquarters sustainable features include:

  • White roofing material, versus black, which has a higher solar reflective value and reduces the solar heat gain in the building and thereby lowers cooling costs.
  • Large common office spaces fitted with half-height cubicle furniture to allow daylight further into the open space, reducing the amount of lighting energy required during daytime.
  • Bioretention ponds (vegetated areas) in the interior landscaped islands of new and revamped parking lots to reduce the size of the required on-site stormwater detention facility and to improve the water quality of runoff discharge.
  • Operable windows to allow for greater individual natural ventilation needs.
  • Landscaping that includes rock and mulch to reduce irrigation and maintenance requirements.
  • Installation of waterless urinals and water-conserving fixtures in compliance with Army and Fort Carson conservation mandates.

Through design efforts, the 4th Inf. Div. Headquarters building uses 14 percent less energy and 53 percent less water, compared to similarly-sized, standard facilities.

“The USACE design team was recognized for their innovation in working early on with the construction contractor and developing a design that, while staying within the Army standards, provides a very distinguished and strong look for a headquarters building” said Shauna Smith, Corps of Engineers project engineer for the 4th Inf. Div. Headquarters construction.

“The installation leadership understands and supports the need for sustainable construction on Fort Carson. “Constructing sustainable facilities that are much more energy efficient means that we at Fort Carson are being good stewards of taxpayer dollars while providing great facilities for our Soldiers. We can all benefit from ‘going green,'” said director of Public Works, Hal Alguire.

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