Desoto, Texas (PressExposure) February 25, 2011 -- The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification to one of the buildings in the Unaccompanied Enlisted Personnel Housing (UEPH) Complex (Task Order One) at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. Warrior Group, a provider of premier construction services for permanent modular and conventional construction, served as the primary subcontractor to deliver the buildings using a "hybrid" construction method, which combines permanent modular construction (PMC) with site-built components. The completed Fort Bliss project consists of 34 two-story permanent modular buildings encompassing 1.5 million square feet of space, and includes more than 2,000 apartments for single enlisted personnel. All of the structures were built to the same standards and are eligible to apply for LEED Silver certification.
Since its creation more than 10 years ago, The LEED certification program has encouraged sustainable green building and practices, while recognizing projects that use strategies for better environmental and health performance. A LEED Certification is the best measure for determining a truly "green" and environmentally-friendly structure.
According to Warrior Group, PMC was a key factor for the Fort Bliss UEPH complex meeting a number of LEED Certification prerequisites and earning a total of 34 points for LEED Silver Certification.
"Permanent modular construction not only promotes the building of LEED-certified structures, but also helps the building process stay as environmentally-friendly as possible, making it an ideal solution for any government facility," said Gail Warrior, president and chief executive officer, Warrior Group.
For example, PMC calls for shifting the bulk of the construction process from a traditional job site to an enclosed factory, thus reducing the congestion and the pollution levels from construction activities. PMC also decreases the amount of soil erosion and other harmful environmental effects when heavy machinery and building materials are left on-site for long periods of time.
"Our factory processes also address recycling and reuse of materials and allow us to build tightly sealed structures. This reduces air infiltration and makes the buildings more energy efficient," said Warrior. "As an added benefit, the factory process in permanent modular construction decreases the amount of time and the number of weather-related interruptions often associated with projects of this magnitude. This means that this type of construction method typically speeds up the building process by 20 to 30 percent and, in this instance, greatly contributed to the completion of the UEPH Complex site work in less than 12 months."
The sustainable attributes of PMC enabled the facilities to earn LEED points in the materials and resources category through the careful management of building materials and waste. The superior air tightness of the buildings optimizes energy performance as well enhancing the indoor air quality of the buildings, which also earns points.
The Fort Bliss UEPH housing complex performs particularly well regarding air filtration and related energy efficiency. "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has developed stringent air tightness standards for all new Army construction projects. These standards require that building envelopes must be designed and built with a continuous air barrier to control air leakage into or out of the space. Tests conducted at the Fort Bliss complex demonstrated that the structures exceeded these stringent requirements for indoor air infiltration," Warrior said. During testing, these structures reported an air leakage rate of only 0.122 CFM/sq. ft, half of the USACE requirement of 0.25 CFM/sq. ft.
"The UEPH complex at Fort Bliss demonstrates that permanent modular construction, in addition to providing a significantly shorter construction timeline, provides other benefits that can contribute to constructing a LEED-certifiable building," said Warrior. "We are especially pleased with the exceptional performance of these buildings in air infiltration and indoor air quality test, and hope this Complex will be an excellent example for all military or government facilities in the future."
In addition to its sustainable attributes and energy efficiency, the UEPH complex at Fort Bliss is designed to provide more personal and comfortable housing for military personnel. The apartments contain private sleeping rooms and shared kitchens and baths for two soldiers per unit. Fort Bliss is expected to grow by more than 60 percent and reach a population of more than 127,000 including Army personnel, National Guard and reserves, retirees and military families by 2012.
Warrior Group served as a subcontractor to Hensel Phelps on the project and provided design-assistance, manufacturing, quality control, installation and project management for construction of the buildings.