Conflicts Arise Between Military Construction and Green Building

As federal agencies continue to push green building certification, some federal projects are running into conflicts when building green.  Take for example, a recent article I reviewed regarding military construction and LEED certification.  The basic premise of the article is that green building rating systems and military construction do not always work together

"'An office building and military building are very different,' said Katrina Rosa, principle and director of LEED services for The EcoLogic Studio LLC. 'The reviewers are trained to review an office building.'

She said efforts to better train reviewers should help in the future. Input from contractors working in military construction can encourage other changes as well." 

The article then provides examples of conflicts between military construction and the LEED rating system: 

  • "Energy efficiency is one of the key focus areas for certification. Robbins said he planned to implement energy-efficient air conditioning at a Navy building in Monterey to earn credits.  Instead, he ended up with the most energy-efficient option -- the Navy didn’t want any air conditioning.  'The other side is, we lose LEED points,' [James Robbins, principal at RJC Architects Inc.] said."
  • "On another project at a Marine Corps base, he said he ran into a different dilemma. An inexpensive option for gaining points would be adding a bike rack to the development, he said. But those Marines tended not to ride bicycles." 
  • "Robbins cited a boiler system at Camp Pendleton that repeatedly faced problems from the hard water. He said the military could not accommodate the necessary upkeep and preventative measures needed to use the new system."

I was surprised that another conflict between military construction and green building rating systems was not mentioned.  On Wednesday, we will look at that conflict and an interesting study on the topic.

Any idea what conflict I am talking about?

Related Links:

LEED standards not perfect fit for MILCON; change possible (San Diego Source)

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Comments (2) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Peter - March 30, 2010 12:01 AM

I looked at the San Diego SOurce article, but also just read an article online that the White House might be making some changes to aim for LEED certification. Some of these would include biodegradable cleaning products, more efficient water systems (toilets, etc), and more efficient lighting systems. If the White House can do it, can't Department of Defense buildings?

Robert - April 14, 2011 11:44 PM

Throughout the Federal Government and the Military you see construction solicitations for upgrades or constructing waste water treatment plants. The design standards used by those in A&E use the old fashion technology instead of Green or LEED. Whats up with that?

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