GREEN, Ohio (NNS) -- Navy Reservists in eastern Ohio officially brought their new headquarters to life with the help of the Secretary of the Navy's senior advisor for Navy and Marine Corps Reserve issues Oct. 23.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Reserve Affairs) Dennis Biddick praised the global contributions of Navy Reservists and thanked the construction team as he welcomed nearly 500 selected reserve and active-duty Sailors and Marines to their new, energy-efficient Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC).
"I can't say enough about how much I appreciate what [Reservists] do for this country," said Biddick. "Though sometimes it might seem over-said, our most important asset really is our people--you."
The center's Sailors and Marines deploy to conduct operational and humanitarian assistance missions worldwide, including Operation Tomodachi, which came in response to the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan in March.
"You support operations around the world, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those of you here this morning directly supported Operation Tomodachi in Japan," said Biddick. "I'm constantly amazed at how you handle two careers--your full-time civilian careers, and, as Reservists, your Navy and Marine Corps commitments as citizen-Sailors and citizen-Marines. Thank you so much for your service."
NOSC Akron Commanding Officer Cmdr. Eric Johnson echoed Biddick's recognition of the service of the assembled Reservists.
"As a Reservist, you wear the uniform part-time, but every day in every community across the country, you are the face of the Navy, sharing our core values with your families, in your churches, places of employment, and with everyone you meet," said Johnson.
"Here at NOSC Akron, we are committed to supporting the fleet and our Reservists by preparing them for mobilization, supporting their families--especially while their Sailors and Marines are deployed--and assisting demobilized Sailors and Marines in reintegrating with their families, employers and community," added Johnson. "We are committed to maintaining the 'equilateral triangle' of balance between family, career and Navy."
The new NOSC replaces the units' previous home in nearby Akron, a 1950s-era building that had exceeded its design lifespan and could no longer adequately support the unit's operational requirements. The new facility improves the unit's ability to conduct training and administration activities for Reservists, most of whom live in the local area.
"I always like to see progress, and, especially compared to your previous 1950s home, this is definitely a great facility," said Biddick. "Its design is in line with the Secretary of the Navy's desire to 'go green.'"
The 50,000-square-foot building is designed to be energy efficient and sustainable, meeting at least the "silver" standard under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Now that the building has been completed, the independent council will evaluate the LEED features incorporated into the design and determine a rating, which can range from "certified" through "platinum."
The building's LEED features maximize durability and sustainability over the building's planned 20-to-30-year lifecycle. Examples include the one-story design itself, which reduces expenses such as those associated with an elevator, egress stair towers, upper-story window cleaning, and suspended flooring. Steel-reinforced concrete masonry bearing walls are durable and require little maintenance, and they reduce the structure required to support the durable, standing seam metal roof.
Energy efficiency measures include a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system that recovers heat from restroom and locker exhaust air to be reused before venting. The system will also allow maximum use of outside air for "free cooling" when outside temperatures allow. The masonry walls will also support energy efficiency by slowing the release of heat from the sun to the interior. In addition, the building's windows are placed to maximize natural lighting without allowing excessive heat gain.
The construction contractor's plans promoted resource conservation and environmental responsibility by recycling half of the project's non-hazardous construction debris and choosing at least 10 percent construction materials that contained recycled material. In addition, at least 10 percent of the construction materials were produced from within 500 miles of the site, in order to reduce fuel consumption and emissions during shipment.
The site was also planned to manage storm water runoff, using catch basins and grass pavers to reduce impact to the local drainage system.
"The men and women of NAVFAC Midwest, and our partners at Better Built Construction and Clark Construction are proud to have completed this project," said Lt. Cmdr. Leticia Soto, public works officer for Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Midwest's Public Works Department Central, which supports Navy and Marine Corps reserve centers throughout the Midwest. "This ceremony not only gives us a chance to take satisfaction in a completed project, but more importantly, it allows us to stand with the men and women of the Navy and Marine Corps Reserves and say, 'Welcome to your new home. We've done our best for you, and we're confident it will serve you well.'"
Established in 1946, the current NOSC Akron organization includes former members of NOSC Cleveland, which was disestablished in 2007 and consolidated with nearby NOSC Akron. The move was mandated as part of the military's 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process to consolidate facilities and improve operational efficiency across the Department of Defense.
Middletown, Ohio,-based small business Better Built Construction was awarded the $11.4-million project in February 2010 along with its Lansing, Mich.-based partner Clark Construction.
NAVFAC Midwest provides civil engineering, public works, and environmental support to Navy, Marine Corps and other Department of Defense activities across the 16 states that comprise Navy Region Midwest. The command's 900 professionals include civilian architects, engineers, acquisition specialists, environmental specialists, public works trades people, and administrative personnel, as well as active-duty Civil Engineer Corps officers, Seabees, and Reservists.
For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navfachq/.