Center for American Progress

The Department of Defense and The Department of Energy Can Collaborate on a “Clean-Energy Task Force”
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The Department of Defense and The Department of Energy Can Collaborate on a “Clean-Energy Task Force”

Employing clean-energy experts from architects to engineers in all aspects of project development and implementation would result in an effective integrated design model

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Total costs for specific greening projects depend on several factors, and according to one assessment these include “building type, project location, local climate, site conditions, and the familiarity of the project team with sustainable design.” The last factor—the project team—is the easiest to control. The Air Force should create a specialized “clean-energy task force” to guarantee maximum effectiveness and efficiency in greening projects. Such a team would be responsible both for the research studies on specific sites and the planning and implementation of projects.

Collaboration between the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy would be appropriate for this initiative. A precedent for such a partnership already exists with the DoD’s Energy Security Task Force, whose stated purpose is “to define an actionable investment roadmap for lowering DoD’s fossil fuel requirements and developing alternate fuels for use by the Department.”

Employing clean-energy experts from architects to engineers in all aspects of project development and implementation would result in an effective integrated design model. This approach together with an integrated team process decreases the need for alterations during the construction process. Even in nongreen buildings, changes made in the course of a project necessitate change orders that “can increase the cost of designing a building by as much as 30 percent and total project cost by 10 percent.”

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