New “Green” Military Barracks Opens at Fort Riley: Design-Build Team of GLMV Architecture, LST Consulting Engineers, and MW Builders of Texas Striving for LEED Silver
The newest military housing complex to open at Fort Riley boasts a vast amount of sustainable features, putting it in the running to achieve the acclaimed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver design status. The Design-Build team of GLMV Architecture, LST Consulting Engineers, and MW Builders of Texas incorporated “green” details throughout the entire Warrior in Transition Battalion Barracks (WTB Barracks) at Fort Riley, Kansas.
The Barracks, adjacent to the base medical facilities, provides temporary housing for soldiers recovering from disability caused by war. With a higher level of indoor air quality and other therapeutic factors, the Barracks provides a healing environment that yields quicker recovery. One of these additional remedial factors is day-lighting, a concept that increases a soldier’s exposure to vitamin D from the sun, which has been proven to contribute to the soldier’s recovery. To aid in this healing endeavor, views to the outdoors were incorporated in all regularly-occupied spaces.
In addition to day-lighting, the Design-Build team worked together to ensure “green” practices all along the way. That team includes GLMV Architecture, Inc. (formerly Gossen Livingston Associates) based in Wichita, Kansas; LST Consulting Engineers based in Manhattan, Kansas; and MW Builders of Texas from Temple, Texas. From the start, GLMV and LST had a goal that environmental consciousness would be the driving force behind the design. The team started with looking at the building system and incorporated elements such as water-efficient plumbing fixtures and an HVAC system that reduces Ozone depletion through minimal refrigerant impact. Looking inside, the team made every effort to use recycled interior construction and finish materials. On the exterior, the design incorporated bike racks to promote an alternative method of transportation, as well as providing preferred parking for low-emitting/fuel efficient cars.
Even the construction process was “green.” Not only did MW Builders of Texas divert more than 600 tons of construction waste materials away from the landfill, but they also used local building materials that made up more than 30% of the project’s material value. In addition, stringent air filters covered duct work so that clean air would be feasible upon project completion. Interior finish materials were applied with adhesives containing little to no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), another cause of poor indoor air quality.
By incorporating all of these design features, the project team can now seek a LEED certification for the Barracks facility from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC employs a point system to determine whether a facility’s design and construction can be recognized with one of four certification levels at the completion of the project. The levels recognize the extent to which the design build team has assumed their leadership role of environmentally-friendly construction. Achieving LEED Certification alone is a challenge for designers and contractors. The desire to achieve Silver designation takes that challenge a step further and was the ultimate goal of the Barracks’ design-build team from the start of the project.
President, MW Builders of Texas