WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — October marks the President’s 2017 Energy Action Month (EAM) observance. Energy costs account for a significant portion of the Defense budget. In light of this, the Department of Defense (DOD) has established rigorous energy cost reduction objectives for subordinate agencies. Meeting these objectives requires the scrutiny of all elements of our operations to determine areas of potential improvement. Architectural design of energy-efficient facilities is one such area.
The Air Force policy is to reduce the life-cycle costs of facilities by maximizing sustainable development principles and strategies in the design and construction of facilities, consistent with mission, budget, and client requirements. The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force opened its new 224,000-square-foot fourth building last year. The display hangar, which houses more than 70 aircraft, missiles and space vehicles in four new galleries, is designed to comply with this policy and achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.
During the building design, an energy analysis was performed which compared the energy consumption of the NMUSAF new hangar to a baseline new building constructed complying with only minimum building code requirements. This energy analysis calculated an energy consumption reduction of 74 percent and an annual energy cost savings of over $130,000. This energy savings is accomplished by incorporating the following energy efficient features in the construction of this facility.
The building envelop includes 80,000 square feet of metal panel siding with R-26 insulation and 270,000 square feet of roof panel with R-30 insulation. The installed HVAC system includes a high efficiency gas-fired condensing boiler, a high efficiency water-cooled chiller with a variable speed compressor and a cooling tower variable speed fan. High efficiency motors drive the building fans. Low flow faucets reduce the domestic hot water demand for the building.
The fourth building also features 100 percent LED lighting. LED lighting has the potential to save up to 80 percent in electrical power use and the longer-life lamps reduce maintenance costs to the museum. Although the energy efficiency is a high priority, in a museum potential damage to artifacts and lighting quality are equally important. LED technology was identified as the best solution.
EAM is part of a national conservation campaign led by the Department of Energy. The AF takes it a step further by including energy resiliency as part of the campaign. Protecting the power involves every Airmen doing their part to conserve energy where possible and encourages everyone to share best practices and innovative ideas. The energy conservation features incorporated in the construction of the NMUSAF new hangar also helps build energy resiliency, because every kilowatt of electricity we save through efficiency is one less we need to reconstitute in the event of a disruption in supply.
To learn more about EAM, WPAFB energy initiatives, or to submit an energy related question contact the 88th CEG Energy Office at WPAFBEnergyOffice@us.af.mil.
Story courtesy of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.