Fort Bragg incorporates green technology into its building projects

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Fort Bragg is working to set itself apart from other installations by incorporating green technology into everyday military life. The Fayetteville Observer reports Fort Bragg has incorprated “sustainability” into its building projects.

DPW LEADING THE WAY

The Directorate of Public Works, which heads sustainability efforts on Fort Bragg, tends to try out green technologies on its buildings first. Rain barrels made of recycled plastic are positioned below water spouts on the sides of buildings. In some instances, rainwater is channeled into planters, where employees have grown tomatoes, herbs and flowers. A rooftop “bubble atrium” allows sunlight in, reducing the need for turning on lights.

A BUILDING OF CONTAINERS

Fort Bragg houses the first multistory commercial building in the U.S. made from steel shipping containers. It took 110 days to complete, and the cost was less than $750,000. The facility, which serves as the 249th Engineers Company operations building, was built from 12 used containers, and each module weighs about 8,500 pounds.

SOLAR ENERGY

Fort Bragg has been experimenting with different types of solar energy, and future projects may include car ports made of solar panels. An example of construction that successfully integrates solar energy is the new Community Emergency Services Station.  It is a designated LEED Platinum building that uses geothermal energy, or the temperature underground, to heat and cool the interior.

Another project nearing completion is the thermal energy storage tank in the 82nd Airborne district. The tank cools water at night to be used during the day, when electricity costs are higher.

GREEN CONSTRUCTION

According to a Department of the Army executive order to installations, all new construction since 2008 has to be LEED Silver certifiable. However, Fort Bragg is making existing buildings LEED Silver certifiable, one renovation at a time. Starting in fiscal 2013, all new buildings on military installations must be LEED Silver certified, which means a third party will verify if the building meets green goals.

The debris at Fort Bragg construction sites also has been pinpointed and recycled: Contractors have recycled as much as 95 percent of debris on individual construction sites, said Rob Harris, chief of the Fort Bragg Engineering Division.

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