Sunday, October 18, 2009

Army Corps of Engineers’ Sustainability Conference Report

Sabot 6's Dan Nolan's out there and at it again. Looks like he was within 10 miles of my home territory in Boston and didn't even let me know ... he's definitely going to get it.  But for now, you're going to get it, straight from him and his recent experiences at an Army sustainability conference. Enjoy!
DN: I had the opportunity to deliver the keynote address at the US Army Corps of Engineers’ North Atlantic Division (NAD) Sustainability Conference hosted by the New England District in scenic Concord, MA on 7 Oct 09. Traveling through the back roads under the canopy of fall splendor, I could see why this was land for which one would fight.The conference was attended by about 80 military engineers and managers, including members of the NAD HQ, folks from all six Districts (even Europe!), as well as the USACE’s Engineer Research and Development Center (Construction Engineering Research Laboratory) and U.S. Navy’s Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC). The purpose of the conference was to inform and educate military engineers about federal and DoD policy mandates (e.g., EPAct 2005, EISA 2007, the DoD Energy Security Strategic Plan, E.O. 13423 and the new Executive Order), meeting LEED (especially changes with LEED 3.0), the technologies on the market that will enable the USACE to achieve the various requirements, and case studies and best practices using those technologies. The interest and excitement was palpable in every session, and the discussion was spirited as engineers and managers compared notes and case studies between districts and Services on what the impact of the policies has been and will continue to be (especially the new Executive Order). Most importantly, the discussion demonstrated how to continue positioning the Corps to meet the new challenges of sustainable design, energy efficiency and renewable technologies. Seeing the momentum from the grass roots level of the USACE, echoing the themes presented by the CG, LTG Van Antwerp the day before at the AUSA Convention was very heartening. The guys and gals who have to make it happen are ready and the leadership is committed. I look for great things to follow from the Corps!

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