Tyndall officials unveil 'green' fitness center
Officials are set to open a new fitness center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Aug. 20. The fitness ceneter will be the Air Force's first building to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum level. (U.S. Air Force photo/Sarah English)
by Senior Airman Kirsten Wicker
325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
8/20/2010 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- Tyndall Air Force Base officials opened the first building in the Air Force expected to reach the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum level here Aug. 20. The platinum level is the highest rating possible under the group's green building rating system.
The construction team consisted of contractors, members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the 325th Civil Engineer Squadron, the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment and the 325th Force Support Squadron. The design of the structure was recognized by the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment with a Merit Award for Concept Design.
In addition, a July 2007 Air Force Sustainable Design and Development policy memorandum from Maj. Gen. Del Eulberg, the Air Force Civil Engineer, declared all Air Force construction projects should use the U.S. GBC's LEED rating system as a self-assessment metric with the goal of having all Air Force vertical construction projects that began by fiscal 2009 capable of achieving LEED Silver certification, the second highest rating on the LEED scale.
Brian Allen, a 325th Civil Engineer Squadron mechanical engineer and project manager, said the facility would account for $45,000 in annual energy cost savings, compared to a similar sized building without the same energy saving features.
"Tyndall (AFB) is committed to being a leader within the Air Force and the community for sustainability and environmental stewardship," Mr. Allen said. "This will be the first Platinum facility in Bay County and Air Force-wide."
Energy consumption will be more than 40 percent less than a typical building of the same size, Air Force officials said. Water consumption will also be more than 40 percent less by utilizing low and ultra-low fixtures. The facility will boast native, drought tolerant landscaping that allows for no permanent irrigation system, and 9 percent of the facility's energy costs will be provided by renewable energy generated on the roof via solar panels and solar-generated hot water.
To meet additional LEED standards, engineers used construction materials that could be found within a 500-mile radius of the base, a move that reduces the energy costs and usage associated with long-distance transportation.
"Over 40 percent of the materials purchased for the project have recycled content and over 35 percent of the materials purchased for the project were extracted, processed, and manufactured within 500 miles of Tyndall (AFB)," Mr. Allen said.
Furthermore, it is constructed to withstand a category 3 hurricane with 130 mile-per-hour winds.
"Throughout construction, close teamwork and coordination ensured that the project stayed on track and in compliance with LEED standards," said Brig. Gen. James Browne, the 325th Fighter Wing commander. "These facilities will, without a doubt, improve the quality of life for members of team Tyndall and their families."
The new fitness center is situated on 8.7 acres near 19 neighborhood services within a half-mile radius. Bike racks will provide secure storage and premium parking has been established for low-emitting, fuel-efficient or alternative-fuel vehicles.
It is within walking distance of Tyndall AFB's current fitness center, a 23,175-square-foot facility built in 1975, which is scheduled for demolition. In the new building, construction officials minimized volatile organic compounds to help maintain a healthy indoor environment.
"The LEED Platinum facility provides a healthy environment to maintain the 'Fit to Fight' slogan," Mr. Allen said.