FORT HOOD — For the second year in a row, Fort Hood was recognized with a Secretary of the Army Environmental Award.
Fort Hood was recently announced the winner of the fiscal 2012 Sustainability Award within its installation category, recognizing environmental restoration, natural resource conservation and overall environmental quality initiatives.
“The award highlights all our environmental accomplishments of the last two fiscal years,” said Steve Burrow, chief of environmental programs under the Directorate of Public Works. “They take a step back and look at the entire installation.”
Some of those highlights include the Net Zero Waste by 2020 program, the Centex Sustainable Communities Partnership, the utility monitoring system and green building efforts.
Many of these programs, Burrow said, aren’t required. Fort Hood has taken the initiative to reach higher environmental standards.
“It’s local initiative, and that’s what got their attention and that’s why we compete so well for these programs,” Burrow said.
The utility management control system has generated more than $1.06 million in annual energy cost savings, according to the award summary. Energy savings were also generated through installing solar thermal technology in five dining facilities and Abrams Physical Fitness Center to reduce the use of fossil fuels for hot water heating systems in the kitchens and the fitness center’s indoor pool.
Under the green building initiative, Fort Hood opened the Army’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certified chapel structure in 2011. The 40,000-square-foot Spirit of Fort Hood Warrior and Family Chapel Campus, seats 600 people in the sanctuary, but also has efficient lighting, ventilation and air conditioning systems that cut its energy costs by 31 percent, as well as low-flow toilets, low-flow sinks and waterless urinals that reduce potable water use by 53 percent.
“Over the years this installation and its environmental programs have been considered some of the best in the Army,” Burrow said. “A lot of people are playing catch-up to meet the expectations we have.”
Col. Matt Elledge, Fort Hood’s garrison commander, said in a release he is proud of the work Fort Hood’s team is doing.
“The award shows that Fort Hood is heading in the right direction in the things we are doing and placing,” he said.
In the spring, Fort Hood will compete against winners from other military service branches for the Defense Department’s environmental awards. Fort Hood took home two last year.