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News > Commentary - Cannon conservation: Energy conservation through improved design
Conscious efforts toward conservation
As the largest energy user in the federal government, the Air Force is constantly looking for ways to reduce energy consumption. October will give Airmen stationed at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., the chance to promote awareness for conservation efforts and showcase how Air Commandos “think green, build green and fly blue”. (U.S. Air Force graphic/Airman 1st Class Alexxis Pons Abascal)
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Cannon conservation: Energy conservation through improved design

Posted 10/7/2013   Updated 10/7/2013 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Shaughn Gorman
27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron

10/7/2013 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- October is Energy Action Month. This month Cannon Air Force Base, N.M, highlights successes in the areas of conservation and energy security.
By 2015 the Air Force as a whole is required to reduce energy use by 30 percent. In addition, the Air Force's utility bills, including electricity and natural gas, are considered 'must pay'. This means that every extra dollar spent on energy is a dollar that is not spent on the mission. Therefore, when constructing new facilities it is important to give consideration to how much energy the facility will use over its lifetime.

The recently constructed dormitory, B1265, is a good example of energy conservation. The building is designed to be 30 percent more energy efficient than a similarly sized building using standard practices, and is designed to qualify for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Certification. Qualifying for the certification requires that the building possess multiple sustainability and health features, including water efficiency, energy efficiency, construction material efficiency, and improved indoor air quality.

Energy efficiency measures that were included are high-efficiency domestic hot water boilers and an innovative energy recovery wheel, which lets the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system reuse the energy in the air that would have otherwise been exhausted out of the building. It also has built-in water conservation measures in the form of low flow fixtures and low irrigation use for the landscaped area around the dorm. These improvements lead to a more efficient use of resources without sacrificing comfort.

You can aid in these efforts to reduce consumption and cost by shutting off the lights at the end of the work day, keeping outside doors closed to prevent air transfer, and unplugging extra appliances like refrigerators, coffee makers, microwaves and space heaters.

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