Military on leading edge of efficiency

March 10, 2009 at 3:29 pm 1 comment

By Ann Wharton Army Hawaii Family Housing

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS – Military installations across the nation are fast becoming the leaders in energy efficiency and, in some instances, an incubator for sustainable technologies.

More than 60 people representing nearly 30 organizations shared technology solutions and ideas with leaders from the Department of Defense (DoD) and private sector at the “Sustainable Installations Information Exchange: Hawaii Military Initiatives” meeting, Feb. 27.

The occasion was hosted by the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment (NDCEE) and developer Actus Lend Lease.

Keynote speakers, Tad Davis, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health (DASA-ESH), and DoD executive agent for NDCEE, and Col. Howard Killian, deputy director, Installation Management Command-Pacific, helped set the agenda for the daylong seminar.

Davis emphasized the importance of sustainability initiatives across DoD operations and encouraged government and private sector organizations to continue their collaborative efforts in research and development.

To achieve energy efficiency goals in all areas of public and private sector business, Killian stated we need to realize the primary barriers to our successes.

Citing the book “Hot, Flat and Crowded” by Thomas L. Friedman, Killian said, Americans must take the lead in a global effort to replace wasteful energy practices and develop a strategy for clean energy, energy efficiency and conservation.

Another guest speaker at the event was Dr. Brian Nattrass, internationally acclaimed author and senior corporate advisor on the strategy and execution of sustainability initiatives and corporate responsibility.

His presentation, “Global Metatrends and the Sustainability Imperative,” demonstrated how sustainability is central to three major crises we are experiencing today: economic, energy (security) and climate.

Attendees didn’t have to look far to see how military installations are leading the way in energy efficiency. All branches of military service on the islands, in partnership with public and private sector organizations, are pursuing major renewable energy projects.

Locally, Army Hawaii Family Housing (AHFH) has partnered with Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) to lead a zero energy housing (ZEH) pilot designed to maximize a resident’s well-being while minimizing energy requirements and combining energy-efficient technologies and construction techniques with renewable energy systems (for example, photovoltaics and wind turbines).

Representatives from other installations in Hawaii also presented renewable energyand waste-to-energy projects they are pursuing. The Sustainable Installations Information Exchange served as a great example of how the DoD and the greater community can benefit from public-private partnerships.

Sherry Robinson
Supervisory Operations Specialist

Garrison rakes in awards

By Paul E. Major Jr. U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Plans, Analysis and Integration

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The Directorate of Public Works (DPW), Schofield Barracks, and Kilauea Military Camp (KMC), U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii (USAG-HI), were runners-up for the 2008 Secretary of the Army Sustainability Team Award, recently.

The staff and leadership of these organizations, faced with diminishing resources and growing budget restrictions, demonstrated a concerted shift toward sustainable planning and development that benefits our entire military family.

At Schofield Barracks
Schofield Barracks’ DPW, Utilities Division, working in partnership with Aqua Engineers, Inc., is recognized for the in-plant development of an R-1 Reuse Plant at the Schofield Barracks Wastewater Distribution Plant.

The R-1 Reuse Plant, which began operating six months ahead of schedule in September 2008, recycles approximately 100,000 gallons of wastewater per day. Recognized as R-1, the recycled water is being used for in-plant operations and various landscape watering systems instead of potable water.

If 100 percent of the recycled water is used, R-1 projects could reduce the Army’s demand for potable water by more one million gallons per day, and potentially eliminate wastewater discharge.

The wastewater treatment plant at Schofield Barracks became one of the first plants under the U.S. Department of Defense Privatization Program and is the largest privately owned R-1 facility in Hawaii.

The R-1 upgrade was an economically efficient way to improve the quality of wastewater treatment while simultaneously creating a sustainable benefit to our island home.

Kilauea Military Camp sits at the summit of Kilauea Volcano. At 4,000 feet in elevation, 20 miles from the nearest county resources, and overlooking some of Hawaii’s most unforgiving, yet environmentally sensitive lands, the KMC staff understands sustainability.

Providing daily support to more than 100 cottages, a 110-bed dormitory, food and beverage operations, two laundries and a fire station, KMC depends on renewable natural resources. The 2008 Sustainability Team Award recognized KMC for its success across multiple initiatives:

  • Water catchment. With a consumption of more than nine million gallons of water annually and a $738 thousand price tag for hauling water, KMC has transformed more than six acres of rooftops, and otherwise unused overhead space, into a water catchment system that pipes clean, purified water throughout KMC.

    The innovative, gravity-fed system saves an average of $162 thousand annually and greatly reduces the need to draw valuable drinking water from local communities.

  • Photovoltaic projects. KMC furthers its efforts in the three-E’s (energy, environment and the economy) with plans to develop rooftop catchment using thin-film photovoltaic panels in 2009.
  • Initial installation will save more than $35 thousand in annual energy costs. Future panels in 2010 will see a more robust initiative in photovoltaic projects while providing six acres of rain-shed catchment.

  • Indigenous plant restoration. Working with the National Park Services, KMC constructed a greenhouse committed to indigenous plant restoration. This direction not only addresses the annual need to replenish the park’s landscaping, but also puts the Army in good stead with the local population.

  • Hydrogen fuel. Working in cooperation with the State of Hawaii, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), the National Park Service and local industry, KMC is looking forward to the construction of facilities to produce hydrogen fuel as a renewable energy source.

Through a DoE grant, KMC will acquire five hydrogen-powered passenger vehicles. The use of these vehicles will reduce fossil fuel consumption on the island of Hawaii by 10,000 gallons per year and eliminate the toxic carbon emissions of current vehicles.

This effort demonstrates an awareness and direct action by USAG-HI to protect the Big Island’s sensitive ecosystem.

Entry filed under: Recycling/Conservation Links.

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