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Fitness center at Tyndall receives LEED Platinum award

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Christopher Reel
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The fitness center here was awarded the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum level, the highest rating possible as of Aug. 20, 2010, under the group's green building rating system.

The fitness center opened Aug. 20, 2010, and is the first building in the Defense Department to earn this rating.

The fitness center saves water by using low-flow and ultra-low-flow fixtures.

The facility also has drought-tolerant landscaping that allows for no permanent irrigation system, and nine percent of the facility's energy costs are 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 containing 39-percent-recycled content 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.

"The facility would account for 48 percent in annual energy cost savings, compared to a similar sized building without the same energy saving features," said Brian Allen, a 325th Civil Engineer Squadron mechanical engineer and project manager.

Furthermore, it is constructed to withstand a category 3 hurricane with 130-mile-per-hour winds.

The fitness center sits on 8.7 acres near 19 neighborhood services within a half-mile radius. Bike racks provide secure storage and premium parking is established for low-emitting, fuel-efficient or alternative-fuel vehicles.

In the building, construction officials minimized volatile organic compounds to help maintain a healthy indoor environment.

"Energy efficiency, water conservation and sustainability were key factors in the design and construction of this 75,000-square-foot facility," Mr. Allen added. "A few key features such as the building's orientation for daylight harvesting, efficient windows, sunshades and motion sensors help conserve energy and resources."

A July 2007 Air Force Sustainable Design and Development policy memorandum from Maj. Gen. Del Eulberg, the Air Force Civil Engineer, declared that all Air Force construction projects should use the 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.

Workers broke ground on the $19-million facility in October 2008.