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LEED Gold Battalion Headquarters sets high standard

The Military Intelligence Battalion's new headquarters in Ft. Carson, CO isn't what you might initially picture when you hear "military headquarters."

This award-winning LEED Gold facility, completed in 2011, is a standout for functionality and sustainability — without overlooking the importance of a great appearance and user-friendly design.

Professional Engineering Consultants did the mechanical, electrical and civil engineering for the project, in partnership with Yeager Architecture, Overland Park, KS.

Lighting is designed for peak efficiency
The 62,000 square-foot building utilizes energy-efficient lighting. Daylight harvesting automatically dims interior lights when bright outdoor light can be used, and a light shelf is used to bounce sunlight deep into the building's interior.

Photo voltaic panels not only offset the facility's electrical usage, but also provide covered parking, which is welcome in Colorado winters. Outdoor lighting is dark-sky compliant to reduce light pollution.

Result is subtantial energy savings
With its significant energy-saving features, the building's electrical consumption is 42 percent more efficient (89 percent if the photo voltaic power is considered) and uses 58 percent less natural gas than a baseline building.

Sustainability was strategic
Mechanical systems are also designed with conservation in mind. Solar power heats the building's water, and the HVAC systems utilizes heat recovery.

PEC project engineer Marc Jones recalls, "It was rewarding to meet the requirements of the Corps of Engineers and the contractor's budget. It's a quality facility."


Landscape contributes to environment and aesthetics
Attention to sustainability extends to the site design. Bioswales planted with native grasses and wildflowers are incorporated into the landscape in order to slow and filter stormwater runoff.

Isaac Krumme, PEC landscape architect, says a balance of site security and aesthetics had to be found. "It's a secure military facility, but we incorporated several user-friendly elements to establish gathering spots and create an appealing environment for the people who work there."

Merit Award winner

The facility won the 2011 Design-Build Institute of America's Merit Award for a civic project. So if you think all military facilities are alike—think again. This one's a standout.