The Pentagon has announced that by the year 2030, all military housing should be “net-zero” in terms of energy, waste, and water usage. Fort Campbell on the Tennessee-Kentucky line is taking the initiative early, partnering with Actus Lend Lease to begin working on the first ever zero-energy homes to be built on a military base. Actus has been successful in creating a solar-powered community on an Air Force base near Tucson, AZ, but the homes on Fort Campbell will create, or keep from using, as much energy as they take from the grid.
Creating a net-zero energy community is easier on a military base than it might be for private individuals. This is because the scale of the project and the proximity of the houses is such that the huge up-front setup costs for creating energy efficiency can be spread among such a large number of homes that the cost to each user is much smaller than it would be for an individual.
Two homes in the Fort Campbell project are already complete. These net-zero energy homes have the bells and whistles one would expect from such a project, such as solar panels and geothermal energy, as well as special construction features such as an extra-long roof to provide more shade and keep homes cooler in the heat of the summer. These improvements provide two major bonuses: first, they decrease energy costs in the long run (despite the initial setup costs). Second, they improve safety – if the main power grid is attacked, the base will essentially be unaffected.
Actus will continue its partnership with the Department of Defense to create net-zero communities in the future on other military bases if Fort Campbell is successful.
Source: The Nashville Post