Dallas The Army & Air Force Exchange Service has opened its first exchange designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The exchange, at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, is expected to receive LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council within the year.
“We take very seriously the impact our facilities have on the environment,” said Col. Virgil Williams, AAFES chief of staff. “Using excess energy and failing to recycle is not only wasteful and costly but also a burden on the Earth.”
Some of the key energy saving features of the location include:
- Light-emitting diodes (LED) in showcases that use less energy and generate brighter lighting;
- Food court restaurants with energy-efficient walk-in coolers that use 27% less energy;
- Energy-management system coordinates heating, ventilating, air conditioning and lighting systems in unison to improve energy efficiency and reduce overall costs;
- Low “gallons per flush” toilets and waterless urinals; and
- Roofing membranes reflect 78% of light/ultraviolet rays to keep buildings cooler and reduce energy costs.
In 2009, AAFES designed 30 construction projects to meet LEED standards. Projects range from BXs/Post Exchanges (PX), shoppettes (convenience stores), to mini-malls and restaurants. Not only does the environment benefit from the high “green” standards at which the facilities will operate, but thousands are saved in utility costs. LEED shopping centers, such as the Randolph AFB BX for example, save 25%-30% in annual energy costs.