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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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BEQ energy-saving improvements planned

By Art Powell | | March 18, 2010

Energy-saving changes to the new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, now under construction at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, have been announced by Navy Facilities Command, Southeast.

The changes will provide energy enhancements through equipment upgrades and the use of solar energy systems which will be funded by savings from other projects.

“Overall military construction spending for fiscal year 2009 in the Marine Corps and Navy came in under budget, so there was surplus funding,” said Elaine Gallant, project manager, NAVFAC-SE. “An analysis was done for the projects currently underway to determine which of them would be suitable for changes or modifications to make them more energy efficient.”

When ground was broken Oct. 28, 2009, for the $13 million facility, energy savings were on the mind of base officials.

“This facility will use the latest environmental-friendly materials and processes so that we can save energy every day,” said Col. Terry V. Williams, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, at the ceremony.

The new barracks will replace structures which were built in the 1950s, and is designed to attain certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design status. To attain that, the contractor is awarded credits for using methods and materials which provide energy efficiency. The more credit earned, the higher the LEED rating. Twenty-six credits are needed for LEED Silver, the Gold level is higher still. When completed, facilities are inspected to determine if they meet the requirements necessary for LEED status.

The Marine Corps has mandated that all new construction be LEEDS Silver compliant.

Investing money into additional energy-saving features at the BEQ made sense, according to Gallant.

“We’ve requested changes to the contract to add features such as solar hot water and increased energy-efficient equipment such as chillers, coil units, boilers and low-flow fixtures to reduce the cost of operating the building over its lifetime,” Gallant said.

Even though site preparation work is underway at the BEQ, the project is still in the design phase.

“You’ll see ongoing construction. There’s been a partial design acceptance on the site work, but the final design hasn’t yet been completed on the mechanical systems for the facility,” Gallant explained.

The rooftop solar hot water system will augment the traditional hot water system in the BEQ, with a goal of providing 30 percent of the building’s hot water needs from solar energy.

The solar hot water system pumps water to pipes on the roof where it is then heated to a temperature of approximately 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition to the rooftop hot water system, a solar-powered photovoltaic energy generating system on the roof is designed to produce 50 kilowatts of electric power.

For the installation energy manager, energy savings are always good news.

“Completion of the energy-savings changes on this project will add to the amount of renewable energy this base utilizes, and will move the base that much closer to being what we call the premier green base in the Marine Corps,” said Eddie Hunt, installation energy manager, MCLB Albany.

In addition to the energy savings aspects of the BEQ, other needs are addressed as well.

For instance, one room will be Americans With Disabilities Act compliant, meaning if an injured Marine needs accommodations for recovery or living, it will be available.

Also, the common area lounge will have three sections: a theater room with big screen television; a center section offering living room style furniture for lounging and a game room with a pool table foosball and air hockey. The common area also features a kitchen with an ice machine, plus a common laundry facility.

Sustainable design is another goal of the design and construction of the project. It focuses on the need to integrate sustainable principles into the design, development and construction of the BEQ to reduce the total cost of ownership of the facility using a whole building, life-cycle approach.

The design for the changes is currently under review.