Going green at the home of the Big Red One
By Matthew Roe
Corvias Military Living
Fort Riley, Kan. (July 18, 2014) – On Fort Riley, family housing residents living in new or renovated homes participate in the Live Army Green conservation program which provides monetary incentives to residents who conserve energy.
The Live Army Green program is Department of Defense mandated to reduce overall energy consumption at military installations.
Since partnering with the Army at Fort Riley in 2006, Corvias Military Living has built more than 1,800 new homes and renovated more than 1,300 homes. These projects were developed in line with the Live Army Green program’s goal to reduce energy consumption.
“We want residents to be set up for success in the program,” said Gary Rust, program manager, Corvias Military Living. “We follow energy-saving construction practices and use efficient building materials.”
Some of the energy-efficient materials include Low-E windows, which reduce radiant heat coming into homes as well as upgraded insulation, dual recovery hot water heaters and high efficiency furnaces.
“There is a comprehensive list of steps we take making the homes more efficient, but the best thing to look at are the HERS scores,” said Rust. HERS stands for Home Energy Rating System and is a number rating for the energy efficiency of a home.
To obtain a HERS rating, a certified Home Energy Rater assesses the energy efficiency of a home, and the lower the score the more efficient the home is. A standard new home has a rating of 100, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
“All of our new construction or renovated homes are HERS scored in the high 60s or low 70s, meaning our homes are about 30 percent more efficient than a typical new home,” Rust said. “This is one way we differ from traditional construction.”
Since Corvias Military Living is responsible for maintaining a home when it is complete the company focuses on quality rather than cost.
“We have a 50 year partnership with Fort Riley, so taking the time and doing things right the first time will provide Soldiers and their families great homes now and save our company money in the long run. Everyone benefits.”
Energy efficient construction practices set a foundation for success in the Live Army Green program, but personal use and habits are also a factor.
Under the program, homes that are the same, or similar, are grouped together and the utilities are averaged to determine a baseline. The baseline is averaged monthly so current conditions are automatically factored in.
When the monthly baseline is established a buffer zone is added above and below creating a usage range. Residents whose use falls within this range receive “no action required” notices. Those who consume above the range are responsible for the difference and those who use below receive a rebate. Small changes can add up to savings for residents who consume less energy than their neighbors.
Below are some tips to reduce energy consumption:
- Use natural light whenever possible.
- Try to keep you fridge and freezer full, they will use less electricity.
- Unplug phone, lap top and other device chargers when not in use.
- Increase your air conditioner temperature by one degree. Believe it or not, it could mean significant savings over the long run.
- Air dry dishes, do not use the dishwasher’s heat dry setting.
- Replace the air filter in your home every 30 days. Air filters are available to Corvias Military Living residents at no additional cost.
- Set your thermostat fan to “auto” instead of “on.” This ensures your home heats or cools only when necessary.
- Use a power strip to keep electronic devices from using standby power.
- 80 to 90 percent of energy used to wash clothes is used to heat the water. To save energy, consider washing your clothes in cold water.
“If you use cold water for one load of laundry you will save enough energy to recharge a laptop computer 17 times,” Rust said. “If 1,000 families joined in it could power one home for 30 days.”
Construction practices and small changes around the house add up to energy conservation and help the Big Red One be a little green.
If a resident is consistently using energy above the buffer zone, Corvias Military Living conducts energy audits by request. Residents can also call their Community Office if they have any questions about billing or the Live Army Green program.
For more information about the program, visit the Live Army Green page on the Corvias website.
Corvias Military Living brings more than 85 years of experience in building and managing residential communities to the military families living on Fort Riley. The company has also partnered with Forts Meade, Bragg, Polk, Rucker, Sill and Aberdeen Proving Ground under the Army’s Residential Communities Initiative program and Air Force Bases Edwards, Eglin, Eielson, Hurlburt Field, McConnell and Seymour Johnson.
About Corvias Group
Corvias is a privately-owned, vertically-integrated real estate solutions group dedicated to building strong communities through partnerships that deliver the highest quality development, construction and management solutions to a range of clients, including the military and higher education. Applying our success as pioneers of real estate development and management for the military, the company’s two divisions, Corvias Military Living and Corvias Campus Living, deliver customer service that exceeds client expectations and an innovative, comprehensive approach to facility financing, management and construction. We have the ability to forge partnerships that consistently put the interests of our clients first and the flexibility to pursue creative, sustainable long-term solutions to their most difficult challenges. www.corvias.com
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