Fort Hood is developing and implementing long-term sustainable planning into future projects and its day-to-day operations.
Over the course of three days, military and civilian stakeholders took part in interactive, hands-on learning sessions to create sustainability strategies for Phantom East, Phantom Warrior and North Fort Hood districts.
“Stakeholders went district by district with the Fort Hood maps and developed strategies that could be implemented in various projects,” said Jennifer Rawlings, Net Zero Waste project officer, Environmental Division, Fort Hood Directorate of Public Works. “We want to ensure that, as we are growing and developing new facilities for the installation, it is done in a sustainable way to help us reach our reduction requirements set by Department of Defense and the net zero initiative.”
The Urban Collaborative hosted the planning, training and data collection sessions during the site visit for the net zero and sustainability component plan.
“The intent is to fit strategies to the districts and see what kind of reduction in energy, water, waste and storm water can happen,” said Tricia Kessler, chief strategic officer and planner, The Urban Collaborative. “We worked with stakeholders who know the districts, buildings and what will work.”
Stakeholders looked at the Army’s sustainability goals and then developed Fort Hood’s visioning goals.
With a clear vision for each net zero initiative, groups collaborated to develop innovative strategies to reduce waste; work on new approaches to minimize storm water runoff and reduce energy and water use; and implement sustainability approaches aligned with the installation’s master plan.
“The workshop encouraged unit and stakeholder participation and engagement on multiple levels from the leadership to the unit,” said Amy Seaman, community planner, Master Planning Division, Fort Hood DPW. “The way ahead, in both the short term and long term efforts, is a comprehensive master plan focused on sustainability and net zero initiatives.”
Drawings of districts were made to scale to show the relationships between buildings, roads, parking areas and natural systems.
Energy, water, waste and storm water workgroups developed strategies for each district and briefed their recommendations for the installation’s sustainability component plan.
“We’re the customer using these facilities,” said Maj. Tony Costello, a design engineer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 36th Engineer Brigade. “It’s our responsibility to look out for the environment and get involved.”
Maj. Costello briefed several options his storm water group identified to help minimize runoff by flooding and offset water demand by using recovered storm water.
“One recommendation is to plant 9,600 trees along Old Ironsides and Hell on Wheels and Battalion and Central, creating a nice tree line for jogging and walking,” said Costello. “Another is to take advantage of ballfields and create an EPIC system for underground water storage.”
Kessler was impressed with the proactive collaboration of stakeholders.
“It is so amazing and important that there are stakeholders from the different districts, who really have nothing to do with master planning and sustainability, but want to support Fort Hood and the place that they work,” said Kessler.
Subject matter experts like Africa Welch-Castle, mechanical utility engineer for the Fort Hood DPW Energy Management Branch, helped the energy workgroup to understand what the installation’s energy program has done, and identify opportunities to implement renewable energy sources and change energy consumption behavior.
“The workshop is a way of bringing innovation, positive collaboration between stakeholders and industry professionals and ensure Fort Hood is be ahead of the game when it comes to renewable and sustainable net zero strategies,” said Welch-Castle.
Some of the energy strategies included district heating and cooling, micro-grids, waste to energy and solar panels on rooftops and carports.
“If we can get everyone across the installation to be more conscious about saving energy and how much they’re consuming, and help curtail the energy usage, then we can save dollars on Fort Hood’s utility bill,” said Welch-Castle. “Saving energy helps us to meet an executive order requirement to reduce our energy intensity by 2.5 percent each year and the dollars saved can be used for other projects and initiatives across DPW.”
Workgroups also developed waste and water strategies that included accountability programs, compositing food waste, single stream recycling, no potable water irrigation policy, xeriscaping and recycled water car washes.
“Getting our customers’ feedback and input about what sustainable strategies they would like to see in their footprint will help set each district up for success,” said Rawlings.
At the end of the workshop, stakeholders presented their sustainability plans to the director of public works and provided a visual display of what Fort Hood could look like.
“This is a vision and master plan for the future that we are going to try work and build towards into 2040 and beyond,” said Brian Dosa, director, Fort Hood DPW. “We are making progress and have a set a path to make Fort Hood competitive, sustainable and a better place.”