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Weather agency facility wins White House award

  • Published
  • By Miles Brown
  • Air Force Weather Agency Public Affairs
Officials with the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive announced April 30 that the Air Force Weather Agency's headquarters building here was selected as the winning entry in the "Sustainable Design/Green Buildings - Military" category for the 2009 White House Closing the Circle Award.

"The entire team worked hard from the start to ensure our facility employed leading-edge green building 'best' practices," said Col. John Murphy, AFWA commander. "The project's design and construction are truly an example for the rest of the Department of Defense and this White House award is a testament to everyone involved with the project." 

The $30-million headquarters building was built in 2008 and members of the agency officially dedicated it during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 22.  The new building was was named in honor of Lt. Gen. Thomas S. Moorman.  General Moorman served 20 years of his 37-year military career in weather operations and was the Air Weather Service commander from 1954 to 1958.

The White House administration, through this award program, recognizes outstanding achievements of federal employees and their facilities for efforts that resulted in significant contributions to, or have made a significant impact on, promoting environmental stewardship. 

The program has several categories including waste prevention, recycling, green purchasing activities, environmental management systems, sustainable design/green buildings, electronics stewardship, and alternative fuel use and reduced fuel usage. 

Since 1996, more than 200 awards have been given for innovative, cost-effective contributions in environmental stewardship. All federal agencies may submit packages for consideration and DOD agencies are judged separately from the rest of the federal agencies. There were six DOD entries in the sustainable design/green buildings category.

Brig. Gen. Timothy Byers, Air Combat Command's director of installations and mission support at Langley Air Force Base, Va., commended the team's effort which produced a facility that met mission needs and embodies high performance green building principles.

"Carrying forward the practices embodied here will show tremendous payback in reducing total ownership cost, improved energy efficiency and water conservation measures as the Air Force looks for ways to reduce energy usage and find ways to redirect funds for the missions ahead," General Byers said.

The facility clearly demonstrates what is possible when high performance green building principles become driving factors in the design and construction process, General Byers added.

"The facility, and the design processes used, can be effectively implemented not only in new construction projects but also when working on existing buildings and looking at installation-wide issues," he said. 

The building was designed by Kenneth Hahn Architects of Omaha, Neb., and built as a military construction project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, by the Kiewit Building Group, Omaha, Neb.

The AFWA facility won both an ACC and Air Force design award in addition to earning the Air Force's first "Gold" rating for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design from the U.S. Green Building Council.

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