LOUISVILLE, KY – The Maj. Gen. Salvador Padilla Armed Forces Reserve Center in Fort Allen, Puerto Rico is the Louisville District Reserve Support Team’s first project to be certified at the gold level under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design criteria.
“As a new and environmentally friendly facility, this building sets the standard for future construction here in Puerto Rico,” said Lt. Col. Carlos Caez, the Puerto Rico National Guard construction and facilities manager. “Thanks to the efforts of the Corps of Engineers and contractors we were able to accomplish all the requirements for LEED Gold certification. We look forward to more construction projects of this type that bring a real solution to the environmental concerns of our island.”
Under the LEED for new construction version 2.2 rating system, there are four levels of certification: certified, silver, gold and platinum. The project is rated based on five environmental categories that include sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environment. According to an Army Sustainable Design and Development policy update, beginning Oct. 1, 2013, most new military construction will be required to be certified LEED silver or higher by the Green Building Certification Institute.
“The Green Building Council told us March 31 we had achieved gold,” said the project’s manager, Veronica Rife of the Louisville District. The Louisville District oversees Army and Air-Force Reserve construction nationwide for the Corps of Engineers. “We were committed to getting at least silver, but knowing we actually hit the gold standard is very satisfying to the customer and contractor as well as the District.”
Korte Company was the prime contractor and its president and chief executive officer, Todd Korte, said this is his company’s fifth USGBC certified gold building. Korte characterized specific challenges of building this Reserve center as “areas of opportunity.” He said they dealt with the “opportunities” by buying Forest Stewardship Council certified wood from the continental United States and educating local subcontractors on the LEED process.
“The project was completed about five months early on an island where projects routinely complete late,” Korte said. “At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, key speakers from the Corps of Engineers and the governor’s office attributed much of the project’s success to the contractor team’s ability to collaborate with mainland and Puerto Rico subcontractors and vendors.”
The $15 million Reserve center will serve about 150 personnel on a rotating basis, said Rife, and it is required under the Base Realignment and Closure law. The two-story 55,000-square-foot facility resembles a community college and will be used for classroom training. The building surrounds a central palm-tree lined courtyard that permits abundant natural light to be used and enjoyed by occupants on both floors.
Initiatives for which the project received points, known as credits, included:
•Reducing potable water use by 54 percent from the baseline design;
•Achieving an energy cost savings of 26.5 percent using the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers methodology;
•Diverting 18,690 cubic yards (98.52 percent) of on-site generated construction waste from landfill;
•Using 34.54 percent of total building materials’ content, by value, manufactured using recycled materials;
•Using 23.6 percent of total building materials, by value, extracted, harvested or recovered and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site.
“The Puerto Rico National Guard takes pride in contributing to the preservation of our environment,” said Maj. Gen. Antonio J. Vicens, Adjutant General of Puerto Rico. “Thanks to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this new state-of-the art Armed Forces Reserve Center is an outstanding example of how we help to protect the environment for future generations.”