Army sustainability goals are to enhances mission effectiveness, reduce the Army’s environmental impact, comply with federal sustainable mandates, build green sustainable facilities and achieve levels of energy independence that enhance continuity of mission-essential operations. Army’s sustainability program builds on Army’s long standing energy efficiency, water efficiency and sustainable design practices with the goal of increasing resilience at our installations. Facilities will be modernized to sustainable 21st century building standards inclusive of automation, sensors, and the use of big data to improve efficiency and to protect against cyber, physical and natural threats. Sustainable operations across the Army enterprise are a critical enabler resulting in decreased future mission constraints and conservation of energy, water, material and land resources for future generations.

A 2018 Executive Order (E.O.), 13834 - Efficient Federal Operations, focuses federal sustainability policy and on existing statutory requirements, continuous improvement, and cost effectiveness. The Executive Order identifies sustainability goals in the following categories; energy, water, renewable energy, performance contracting, sustainable design principles, waste management, federal procurement, and performance tracking and reporting (Office of Management and Budget’s Federal Agency Scorecard). Specific descriptions of the goals and links to guidance and statutory requirements in each of the above categories can be found at the Office of Federal Sustainability’s E.O. 13834 web page.

Per E.O. 13834, a sustainable Federal building has the same meaning as a high-performance green building (42 U.S.C. §17092), which, when compared to similar buildings, reduces energy, water, and material use, improves occupant health and productivity; minimizes air and water pollution and waste generation; acquires sustainable products and services; increases reuse and recycling activities; and is located near multiple transportation modes. The Army Sustainable Design and Development policy outlines specific requirements in these aforementioned areas and uses the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification system to validate compliance with the Army policy and federal mandates. Army uses Total Building commissioning as the Quality Management process that ensure the owner project requirements carry through the life of the project from pre-design, design, construction and through to post occupancy and that the building has been tested to meet its intended performance prior to owner acceptance (ER 1110-345-723).

Limited fiscal resources require Army facilities to remain relevant for the many decades of its life. First costs are often only a fraction of the total cost of ownership for new construction and cannot be the sole source of design selection. Alternative designs shall be evaluated to optimize its sustainable features with the most life cycle cost effective solutions. The purpose of a Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) is to estimate the overall costs of project alternatives and to select the design that ensures the facility will provide the lowest overall cost of ownership consistent with its quality and function.

The Army will plan, design, and construct high performance buildings. Buildings will conform to the Guiding Principles for Federal Sustainable Buildings as detailed in the UFC 1-200-02 and the Army’s Sustainable Design and Development Policy. Projects shall validate compliance by achieving minimum Silver level rating through the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification system.

LEED Gold Army Health Clinic
Fort Knox, Kentucky

Army Clinic achieves LEED gold certification for no extra cost. The Construction manager accumulated 62 of 100 points available for LEED gold certification by focusing on energy, water, construction waste management and regional procurement. The project achieve this certification with the same budget provided for a lower lever silver certification (50 points).

The Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) should be performed early in the design process while there is still a chance to refine the design to ensure a reduction in life-cycle costs (LCC). Designers shall present alternatives so that Army can make the best investment decision that aligns with the installations plans goals and objectives. More resources on LCC are available in the NIST Handbook 135 Life-Cycle Costing Manual For The Federal Energy Management Program. Chapter 7 provides guidance on optimal section of systems and select optimal combination of interdependent building systems.

Design goals include maximizing passive strategies by considering buildings’ locations, orientation, and massing. Installation planners should prioritize projects constructed on previously-developed lands and located near existing supporting infrastructure and transportation networks if possible. One of many tools available is the University of California at Los Angeles’ Climate Consultant Passive Strategy tool, which organizes and represents Energy Plus weather tools to help users identify passive strategies early in the design process by tailoring building orientation to their particular geography and assessing and optimizing various wall assemblies (insulation, windows, materials, etc.).

Energy resilience and energy efficiency enhance Army readiness. Energy efficiency is a federal mandate and shall compete equally with other mission requirements in design of new construction projects. All projects will meet, at a minimum, the requirements of CFR title 10 part 433. Specifically, new buildings and major renovation shall be designed to comply with ASHRAE standard 90.1 and shall exceed energy consumption level that is at least 30% below the level achieved under that standard, if life­cycle cost-effective.

Weed Army Community Hospital Fort Irwin, California

The $211 million, 216,000-square-foot Weed Army Community Hospital at Fort Irwin, CA is carbon-neutral, net-zero, and certified LEED Platinum at no extra cost. All onsite electricity is generated from renewable energy systems.

Our installations must be resilient to attack and capable of supporting the Army mission. Renewable energy provides energy from readily available resources (sun, wind and geothermal resources) which make it a good choice for providing on-site power generation during grid outages, when combined with storage and controls. Infrastructure for distribution and onsite energy and water generation should be designed to sustain critical facilities/missions during utility disruptions.

Statute requires that:

  • Total amount of electric energy consumed shall not be less than 7.5% renewable energy in Fiscal Year 2013 and each fiscal year thereafter (EPACT05 S 203).
  • DoD statute to Produce or procure not less than 25 percent of the total quantity of facility energy it consumes within its facilities during Fiscal Year 2025 and each fiscal year thereafter from renewable energy sources; and (10 USC 2911). This differs from EPACT goal which is only electric energy. Achieved 17% with inclusion of thermal and electric renewable energy.
  • For domestic water heating, all projects will meet the EISA Section 523 requirement to provide a minimum of 30% of the facility's hot water demand by solar water heating when life-cycle cost effective, and shall achieve higher percentages to the maximum amount that is life-cycle cost-effective. A thermal mass balance evaluation is required to determine the optimum volume of hot water that is Life Cycle Cost Effective (LCCE).

Water is a critical resource. In order to protect water sources, the Army’s policies promote the sustainable use of water and the resilience of installation water systems. The Army is also working to secure alternative water sources through rainwater harvesting systems and reuse of treated wastewater. In FY19, the Army reduced potable water use, measured by water use intensity (gallons per square foot), by 28.8% from the FY07 baseline, exceeding the Office of Management and Budget’s targeted 20% reduction. DOE FEMP has been performing research and has recommended approaches to improving water efficiency

The Army is working to reduce overall waste generation while pursuing strategies to divert non-hazardous solid waste from landfill disposal, as shown in the Waste Reduction Hierarchy.

Green procurement is the purchase of environmentally friendly, or “green”, products and services. It enhances and sustains mission readiness through cost-effective acquisition that not only meets regulatory requirements, but also reduces resource consumption and waste generation. The Army’s procurement of green products and services contributes to sound management of our financial resources, natural resources, and energy.

The objectives of the Army’s Green Procurement Program are to:

  • Educate all appropriate Army employees on the requirements of the Federal “green” procurement preference programs.
  • Reduce the amount of solid waste generated.
  • Reduce consumption of energy and natural resources.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Sustainable Acquisition Requirements is a guide to compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

Qualified Recycling Programs (QRPs)

QRPs are installation-managed recycling programs that collect, segregate and sell recyclable materials. In Fiscal Year 2018, the Army achieved a 45% solid waste diversion rate from landfills, which exceeds the national average (34%).

Updated as of September 2021