Sustainable Planning; Sustainable Infrastructure Assessments, a United States Air Force Led Initiative

Sustainable Planning; Sustainable Infrastructure Assessments, a United States Air Force Led Initiative

David Dunne, Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton

Beginning in 2011, Sustainable Infrastructure Assessments (SIA’s) are being conducted across the United States Air Force Enterprise at installations in Colorado and worldwide. SIA’s consist of six types of assessments or audits for Air Force facilities: 1) Real Property Inventory, 2) Space Utilization to ensure facilities are optimized and properly configured for efficient operations, 3) Energy and Water conservation opportunities, 4) High Performance Sustainable Building (HPSB) audits identifying requirements to elevate the level of building performance 5) Facility Condition assessments (FCA’s) to determine sustainment, restoration, and modernization requirements, 6) Real Property Installed Equipment Inventory to determine maintenance and replacement requirements of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment.

RPI data collection includes verifying existence of all real property assets on real property records. The primary goal is to validate the Air Force’s real property inventory which provides baseline data for the other sustainable assessments as well as determination of overall funding requirements for federal sustainment restoration and modernization programs.

The goal of the Space Utilization program is to ensure facilities are optimized and properly configured for efficient operations, meet quality of life standards, while reducing an Air Force Installations operations and maintenance facilities “footprint”. A properly developed, comprehensive space optimization program is essential for developing accurate recommendations for each installation’s future space allocations and construction programs. The Space Utilization assessment provides the dataset necessary for informed decision making on space allocation and other facility occupancy issues for existing and proposed use of Air Force facilities.

The goal of the energy assessment is to focus on identifying Energy and Water Conservation Opportunities (ECOs/WCOs) and these energy and water audit evaluations are used to: 1) meet federally mandated requirements, 2) identify energy/water savings processes, procedures and opportunities for subsequent programming, prioritization, execution, and implementation, 3) to identify economical energy and water conservation projects for strategic decision making and capital investments, and 4) provide the Air Force professional high quality projects to meet and exceed its federal mandated goals.

HPSB is an EISA 2007 and Executive Orders requirement that mandates at least 15% of each agency's existing facilities and building leases must meet the HPSB Guiding Principles by 2015. Consistent with and in addition to Federal policy, statutes, executive orders and supplemental agency policies and guidance, HPSB collaboratively seeks to establish and follow a common set of sustainable Guiding Principles for integrated design, energy performance, water conservation, indoor environmental quality, and materials aimed at helping Federal agencies and organizations; reduce facility operating cost, improve energy efficiency and water conservation, provide safe, healthy, and productive built environments and promote sustainable environmental stewardship. HPSB audits determine the existing HPSB facility status, energy, and water consumption baseline, energy and water intensities, and list facility shortcomings to elevate the facility to the HPSB threshold.

Facility Condition Assessments are performed on six building systems in accordance with a Sustainable Management System “Direct Rating” method developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The six systems include exterior enclosure, roofing, interior construction, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical components. The FCA assessments establish the requirements to maintain or restore facilities at a condition equivalent to their intended capacity, efficiency, or capability. The goal of the FCA’s is to use the system assessments to maximize facility service life by programming facility maintenance, restoration, and modernization projects at optimal intervals. This includes work required to correct existing facility deficiencies and identify recapitalization of new construction.

The primary goal of the RPIE assessment is to validate and barcode the inventory of key electrical mechanical, and plumbing components to be evaluated both separately and combined with the FCA assessment utilizing specialized software developed by the Army Corps of Engineers. This RPIE data will provide a comprehensive inventory, maintenance, and replacement schedule for Real Property Installed Equipment (RPIE) which maximizes the life cycles of key components.

These SIA’s are mandated by federal executive orders, and EISA (Energy Independence Security Act) 2007. This SIA process, while currently conducted at the Federal Department of Defense level could have broader appeal and application where government owned facilities at the State and Local levels in Colorado are in need of comprehensive assessments to determine real property inventory, facility and equipment condition, Space Utilization/Optimization, and Energy conservation opportunities. When these assessments are done in combination a comprehensive footprint of a facilities maintenance and restoration needs, space utilization, and energy use and conservation opportunities emerge and can become the cornerstone of a sustainable facilities mater plan for states and local municipalities with the goal of maximizing the return on taxpayer investment of government owned facilities by getting the maximum usable service life from these real property assets, which is a win for the taxpayers, government entities, and the built and natural environment.



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