Autodesk case study: US Army Corp of Engineers


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White paper describes how Autodesk Consulting joined with the USACE in its first attempt to model and analyze an existing military installation for the purpose of achieving “net zero” at all U.S. military installations..

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Autodesk case study: US Army Corp of Engineers

  1. 1. AUTODESK® CONSULTINGCustomer Case StudyThe Customer: Army Corps of Engineers HIGHLIGHTSThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is composed of 39,000 Autodeskdedicated civilians and soldiers delivering engineering services in more than Consulting joined90 countries worldwide. The USACE is responsible for building and with the USACE inmaintaining America’s infrastructure and providing military facilities wherever its first attempt toU.S. service personnel train, work, and live. model and analyze an existing militaryIn recent years, terrorist attacks, actions by hostile political regimes, and installation for the purpose ofother factors have underscored the grave danger of leaving U.S. military achieving “netinstallations dependent on outside suppliers for water, oil, gasoline and other zero” at all U.S.resources a military unit requires to function. military installations..In 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13514, requiring that “all Ecotect Analysis,new Federal buildings, entering the design phase in 2020 or later, are Revit Architecture,designed to achieve zero net energy by 2030.” 3ds Max and Project VasariTo achieve “net zero” a building or installation must be able to generate the Implementationservices necessary to supply energy, water, and dispose of waste internally, were used towithout relying on outside resources or services. deconstruct, analyze, and model energyAs Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, usage andEnergy & Environment, explained: savings.“Addressing energy security and sustainability is operationally necessary, This process willfinancially prudent, and essential to mission accomplishment…We are be applied to other facilities as workcreating a culture that recognizes the value of sustainability measured not just continues to makein terms of financial benefits, but benefits to maintaining mission capability, all militaryquality of life, relationships with local communities, and the preservation of installations self-options for the Armys future.”* sustaining by 2030. .* Hammack, K. (2010). Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army. Retrieved 12 15, 2010, from Internal – Do Not Distribute 1/4
  2. 2. Case Study: United States Army Corps of Engineers AC AEC The Project In 2009, the USACE hired the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory to analyze the energy footprints of five standard designs currently used for U.S. military buildings and determine what changes could be made to reduce the buildings’ energy usage. The study focused specifically on passive design strategies, and reported that, while it was possible to reduce the energy consumption of these facilities by approximately 20-30%, achieving the mandated reductions of 65% and higher at existing facilities was not possible. In the autumn of 2010, the USACE began work to create a process for renovating, retrofitting, and designing military installations that would use only internally available resources and be completely self-sustaining or “net zero.” The decision was made to select one existing installation, analyze its specific site and climactic conditions, and develop an integrated design that could be applied to infrastructure, water, and waste treatment/disposal at all U.S. military installations. In January of 2011, 16 Army installations were asked to apply to become the first “net zero” site for energy, water, and waste by 2030. The installation selected was Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. Developing a plan to make Fort Leonard Wood self-sustaining was more than a challenge; it was an imperative. The cost of supplying Fort Leonard Wood with power had risen 55% in the previous year. Now, the supplier was about to disappear entirely. The Challenges The team was tasked with developing comprehensive, synergistic solutions for providing water to the base, handling its waste and reducing energy consumption. These solutions would also need to be transferable to other installations. Achieving this required creating a digital, simulated model baseline for a “net zero” installation. The first step involved deconstructing the installation’s master plan, design, and the orientation of its facilities. The base’s specific needs and problems were analyzed in light of the new self-sustaining imperative, which meant challenging deeply ingrained beliefs and conventions. The orientation of buildings, the placement of windows, building systems, and many other factors had to be studied simultaneously to assess the feasibility of the changes proposed. The 26-person project team was highly diverse, multidisciplinary, and located around the globe. The program sought to elicit conceptual thinking and 2/4
  3. 3. Case Study: United States Army Corps of Engineers AC AEC innovative solutions, and only employees who had been employed by USACE for two years of les were selected for the team. The budget for the entire project had been pared to the point where crucial analyses could be conducted on only a small sample of the installation’s buildings. The Solution The program employed an iterative design process, and was completed in a short time in a predominantly virtual environment. The programs used in this project were Autodesk® Ecotect® Analysis, Autodesk® Revit® Architecture, Autodesk® 3ds Max®, Autodesk ® Project Vasari Implementation. Ecotect was used to determine the best orientation for buildings, the amount of direct solar radiation available to the site, and whether available wind power was a viable source of renewable energy. It generated and critical performance data regarding shading, solar path, insulation, radiation, and glazing that was used to weigh and prioritize proposed options. Vasari & Revit Architecture’s Conceptual Energy Analysis (CEA) functionality, used in conjunction with the Green Building Studio (GBS) web service, allowed building information to be restacked and rearranged to produce simulated design alternatives, which were then compared to find the most energy-efficient results. 3DS Max produced qualitative and quantitative data about natural lighting. Throughout the four-month project, Autodesk Customer Success Manager, Mike Juros, an architect and Senior Technical Specialist, provided online “train the trainer” coaching and phone support to USACE Architect and Technical Designer, Jennifer Ramirez, USACE for Vasari, Revit , and GBS. AC provided the team with whitepapers, videos and guides to help facilitate learning before formal training was mobilized. Key Architects and Engineers from the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) received special training. ELA provided design and analysis software and ensured accessibility and consistent performance. The benefits of involving key stakeholders from the start became increasingly clear as the project progressed. Engineers, local contractors, and the construction manager were part of the team from the schematic design phase. During the process, many factors came to light. For example, it was discovered that when soldiers’ barracks are empty, the lack of body heat increases the disparity between the side of the building in the sun and the side in shadow which, in turn, creates a lop-sided cooling/heating demand that puts additional strain on the HVAC system. This knowledge led to a 3/4
  4. 4. Case Study: United States Army Corps of Engineers AC AEC reorientation of the building on the site, and reduced the energy demand without moving any interior walls. The Results The project was presented to the installation and was well received. The USACE intends to develop the processes used in the Fort Leonard Wood study, and apply the same strategies to other installations that have similar utilities issues. Based on the findings and success of this study, funding for the planning of two more area developments has been secured, and these projects are currently in progress. Following the Ft. Leonard Wood pilot project period, AC conducted three Sustainable Design sessions to train 36 people at locations in Omaha, NE, Norfolk, VA, and Vicksburg, MS. Autodesk AC and software played a key role in developing solutions that demonstrate how U.S. military installations can dramatically reduce their energy consumption. The data generated by the project provides good reason to believe that, with continued research and study, the “net zero” goal set by President Obama for 2030 may be achievable. The Contacts Xxxxxxxxxx Customer Success Manager Global Services, Autodesk Consulting Direct: Xxx-xxx-xxxx Email: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx White House press release for Executive Order 13514: Obama-signs-an-Executive-Order-Focused-on-Federal- Leadership-in-Environmental-Energy-and-Economic- Performance/ FedCenter site providing informational links, Building Information Modeling (BIM), Revit, 3ds max, are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in theUSA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product andservices offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.© 2010 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved. 4/4