Science and Technology News

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Demolition highlights Schriever's green side

by Scott Prater
Schriever Sentinel

11/8/2012 - SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  -- Contractor crews smashed Bldg. T-609 to bits Monday morning.

Giant backhoes toppled walls and pulverized large chunks of concrete, steel and sheetrock into a mangled mess. But, first impressions might have been deceiving in this case. What may have looked like a pile of loose debris actually turned out to be a controlled recycling site.

Based on 50th Civil Engineer Squadron guidance, the contractor demolished the temporary building, and former home of the 310th Space Wing headquarters, in such a fashion as to save valuable copper, steel and other recyclable material.

The demolition culminated more than a year of planning by members of 50 CES and the 50th Contracting Squadron.

"There are several reasons why we conducted this project the way we did," said Robert Blevins, 50 CES chief of programs. "We have regulations to satisfy, energy and efficiency standards to meet, and operations and maintenance cost concerns."

First constructed for use by the Space Innovation and Development Center in 2004, Bldg. T-609 eventually found its way into the hands of the 310 SW, which used it until construction on its permanent structure concluded last year.

Air Force Instruction 32-101 states organizations are only authorized to use a temporary facility while they are waiting for a new military construction project to be completed.

"Temporary structures, by their nature, are also very costly to maintain, own and operate," Blevins said. "Their energy characteristics underperform compared to permanent facilities and they don't incorporate LEED [Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design] construction standards for energy efficiency."

As soon as Bldg. 26 opened, 50 CES put word out on base that office furniture and other useful materials from Bldg. T-609 were available. The squadron also offered the building's modular furniture to any units who could use them. The remaining furniture was disassembled and sent to Peterson Air Force Base for use in future projects.

Squadron engineers removed the building's heating ventilation and air conditioning units and electrical transformers for future use as well.

"We've been leveraging the value of that building for quite a while now," Blevins said. "Gone are the days when a contractor would arrive, demolish, scoop and haul everything away to the local landfill."

During the past few months, Bldg. T-609 delivered even more lasting results as the Schriever Fire Department recognized an opportunity to conduct fire training exercises on the roof and interior of the building. Fire fighters were able to cut through floors, ceilings, floors and walls, as well as break down doors and windows.

Thanks in part to the fire department's previous work inside, the demolition contractor will level the building in the span of a week, but it could take a few weeks to clear the site, which Blevins said will be returned to its natural state.

In the meantime, Bldg. T-609 might just be remembered as the building that kept on giving.

"The overall demo of Bldg. T-609 will help Schriever AFB reach the Air Force's mandated energy reduction goals," said Lt. Col. Trent Tuthill, 50th Mission Support Group deputy commander. "In the fiscally constrained environment we operate in today, every dollar counts and the demolition will directly reduce the overall Schriever utility bill. Additionally, the recycled material will help the wing reach the AF mandated goal of diverting 55 percent of non-hazardous solid waste by 2015."

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