Roofing projects save big bucks

You may have noticed roofing construction around your KMC installation within the last year or heard that your own office building is getting a new roof in the near future.

Though these projects are not glamorous, buildings are significantly affected by the characteristics of their “envelope.”

A building envelope is the physical separation between the interior and exterior, basically the foundation, roof, walls, doors and windows. An effective envelope provides protection from weather and climate, ensures indoor air quality, is durable, protects against moisture, insulates, and is energy efficient.
Two ways a roof can affect energy efficiency are through reflectivity and insulation. The new roofs in the KMC address these energy efficiency opportunities while also replacing roofs that are near the end of their useful life. A roof with the right reflectivity will help to keep a building cool in the summer, and proper insulation holds in heat in the winter.

Six new roofs were constructed last year on Ramstein. Fourteen new roofing projects will begin this fall and are expected to be completed before next summer.
Together, these projects are expected to save more than $500,000 and 12,400 MBtu per year in utility costs. An additional 19 roofs are planned through 2014 within the KMC.

The potential future savings add up to approximately $835,000 and 19,000 MBtu. The dollar savings for these projects cover the cost of the new roof within the first five to 10 years depending on the building.

Over the remaining lifetime of the roofs, pure dollar savings are realized. Additionally, these upgrades result in reduction of greenhouse gasses through the cutback in heat (MBtu) used to regulate temperature in the buildings.
Upgrading to the latest energy efficiency technologies and ensuring modern materials and construction methods are used can make a big difference. But, technology can only go so far.

Human behavior is the most important factor in resource saving efforts. A study was completed in the fall of 2008 on Fort Belvoir, Va., where four homes with varying energy conservation measures were erected and monitored.
It turns out that the military families living in the homes had an even greater effect on the energy efficiency than the technology.

So, that means putting into action all of the energy saving tips out there can make a huge difference.

Besides things like turning off lights and conserving water, there are even ways people can help to optimize their home or office envelope during the summer and winter.

When you are trying to stay cool in the summer, close the curtains, blinds or rollladen to block the sun. Adjust throughout the day to follow the sun’s path, and take advantage of lower nighttime temperatures to ventilate.

In the winter season, do the opposite. Allow the sunlight in during daytime hours, and then close window coverings in the evenings to trap the warmth.

Close off rarely used rooms in order to keep the heat where it is needed most.
Keep an eye out for continued energy efficiency projects from your civil engineer squadron. If we make wise decisions about energy usage, we will have a warm winter and avoid unnecessary waste as well.

(Courtesy of the 86th Civil Engineer Squadron)