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US Army Adopts ASHRAE Standard 189.1

U.S. Army officials issued their new sustainable design and development initiative that incorporates requirements of the green building Standard 189.1.

The policy applies to all construction and renovation of new buildings and structures in the U.S. territories, permanent overseas Active Army installations, Army Reserve Centers, Army National Guard facilities and Armed Forces Reserve Centers. The footprint of the existing Army buildings and structures worldwide covers more than 954 million square feet.

Standard 189.1, published early in 2010 by ASHRAE in conjunction with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) and USGBC, provides a green building plan for those who choose to design, build and operate green buildings. The policy addresses site sustainability, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources.

The Army’s policy sets a new approach to the design and construction of efficient military construction projects and major renovations by using Standard 189.1 as the baseline. The policy requires that facility construction projects follow specified requirements and guidance in the standard.  “After nearly four years of peer review and collaboration with various members of industry, we are extremely pleased that the Army has taken up the initiative to incorporate the standard into its day-to-day practices,” said Lynn G. Bellenger, ASHRAE president.

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3 thoughts on “US Army Adopts ASHRAE Standard 189.1

  1. I salute the Army’s adoption of Standard 189.1 requiring sustainable design and development for (all?) new construction projects. But I question where Standard 189.1 is being applied to new construction projects in Iraq and Afghanistan where the American taxpayer is footing approximately 20 billion in new construction projects. In many of the newly released RFP’s for construction of barracks, police headquarters, and training facilities, Concrete Masonry Unit (CMU) walls are being specified in the bid documents. My question is what happened to the life cycle design criteria? I question what’s going to happen in 5-10 years to CMU built structures (when the American taxpayer refuses to pay the enormous fuel bill) and the Afghan government cannot afford to keep the generators running. You cannot occupy CMU structures if the air conditioning quits and the temperature is >120 degrees nor if the heater quits in winter when temps drop below zero. Insurgents will quickly learn that all it takes is to knock out the generators or air conditioning units and the base will have to be abandoned. This is neither sustainable nor economically feasible construction. In my opinion, our military should be utilizing passive solar designs and building with local earthen materials. We have several earthen construction techniques that are far superior to CMU construction. This includes compressed earth block, rammed earth, cast earth, and giant compressed earth block technologies. Earthen technologies can be produced on site from local earthen material at half the cost of CMU construction. All are capable of producing walls that are bulletproof and if properly designed utilizing passive solar design and earth berming or underground construction methods, the structures will require little if any air conditioning in summer or supplemental heating in winter. Considering the (4-10)billion to be saved I urge our Military and Congressional leaders to take a long hard look at the latest earthen construction technologies.

  2. It’s important for the US military to adopt net zero construction in order to commercialize our best technologies. Eneref Institute just completed are report on the use of solar hot water by DoD.

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