Article By Stephen Baack, IMCOM
ANSBACH, Germany (March 13, 2014) — It’s the type of problem that goes unnoticed every day: an air conditioning unit blasting cool air only feet away from a propped-open door, a bedroom window left open next to a maxed-out heater, and powerful halide lights illuminating an unused maintenance bay for the entire day.
Despite the millions of dollars of energy-saving enhancements rolled into the billions of dollars of Military Construction Program work the Army has completed in the last five to six years across its inventory, old habits have undermined these technological leaps.
“Hundreds of billions of dollars were spent and our energy performance has not improved,” said Lyman Parkhurst, a Sain Engineering Associates inspector who regularly visits Army installations as part of Installation Management Command’s annual Energy and Awareness Conservation Assessments. “We may be better heated in the winter and cooled in the summer, and have better lighting, but we’re using it all more than we need or the designers intended for it to be consumed.”
On Parkhurst’s list of garrison walkthroughs in January and February was U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach. As at other installations, Parkhurst found things USAG Ansbach is doing well and things it could be doing better. While some of the issues he brought up during his briefing here only apply to the Directorate of Public Works such as long-term lighting upgrades and control setting changes, a significant portion of the problems he addressed are correctable through changes community members can make.
Fortunately for the Soldiers, family members and civilians who live and work here, Parkhurst stressed that many solutions are low or no cost. Moreover, “the biggest low/no cost items are the simplest issues,” he said.
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