Corps builds sustainable distribution center for DLA in Europe

by Jennifer H. Aldridge

T

he Defense Logistics Agency’s 250,000-square-foot Logistics Distribution Center Europe in Germersheim, Germany, is nearing completion. The $25 million construction project, managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Europe District, will enable DLA Distribution to more effectively support warfighters throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. When completed in 2012, all DLA Distribution Europe offices and supply chain operations will be consolidated under one roof. Efficient The facility will enable DLA Distribution to combine operations such as receiving, storing, issuing, cross-docking and transportation from several outlying warehouses into on facility, explained Lt. Col. Andre J. Baldanza, DLA Distribution Europe commander. “We will be able to receive, store and transport all of the items that go through DLA Europe more efficiently,” said Baldanza. Not only will the new facility be a onestop shop for daily operations, it will also increase the capacity of the distribution center. “Right now, we have nine bays, and [in the new facility] we will have 26,” Baldanza said. “Storage will be right there where the docks are. We will pick, pack and ship right from our consolidated facility. Everything will be closer.” Providing items like repair parts, barrier and construction materials, and clothing and textiles to the warfighter in a timely manner is a key part of DLA’s mission. “We will be able to get items to the warfighter faster,” said Baldanza. “We worked with engineers and architects to design the building to meet our mission.
Acronyms and Abbreviations DLA Defense Logistics Agency LDCE USACE Logistics Distribution Center Europe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

We are building to industry standard as opposed to trying to fit our mission into an existing structure.” Sustainable USACE and DLA worked together to incorporate a variety of energy-efficient features into the facility. According to Baldanza, the distribution center will be almost entirely self-sustainable. One of the environmentally friendly solutions that USACE designed into the LDCE is a biomass heating system, which was selected over more traditional boilers. The two biomass-fed boilers will allow the distribution center to generate nearly 100 percent of its heating on site. This innovative green technology is relatively new to USACE, and the LDCE has one of the Army’s first biomass heating systems in Europe, according to David Scott, USACE project engineer. Biomass heating is only one of the features helping to make the new DLA distribution center sustainable. Solar panels will line the LDCE’s roof to capture sunlight and generate electricity. Eventually, DLA would like to add enough photovoltaic panels to satisfy all of the electrical needs of the building. The solar panels will provide up to 330,000 kilowatts of electricity annually, according to Daniela Heath, DLA Distribution Europe facility manager. The radiant heat flooring involves a grid of piping placed under the concrete floor. Hot water will be pumped through the pipes and heat the facility, keeping workers more comfortable during chilly winter months. The radiant heating will also save on energy expenditure and costs. Enormous skylights will provide the LDCE with copious amounts of natural light that will allow the facility to consume less electricity as compared to the current facilities, which have no natural light and use fluorescent fixtures.
A biomass heating system is among the energyefficient features in the new Logistics Distribution Center in Germersheim, Germany. Photo by Jennifer H. Aldridge

Well planned The sustainable environmental solutions incorporated into this building have been carefully planned by DLA Distribution and USACE. “We feel very blessed, because we were able to build to our specifications,” Baldanza said. “The Corps played a definite role in enabling us to do that. They took every suggestion we had and incorporated it into the design. From my experience I don’t think that happens often [with other construction agents].” DLA employees who will work in the completed facility provided input and suggestions to USACE during the design phase. “This building, when opened, will have a lot of ideas from folks who are actually working the floors of our warehouses,” said Baldanza. DLA Distribution Europe is very pleased with the construction’s progress and the team effort that is making the LDCE a reality, Heath said. “So far there are no delays, and we are on track,” she said.
POC is Jennifer H. Aldridge, +49 (0)611-97442084, DSN: 314-570-2084, jennifer.h.aldridge@ usace.army.mil. Jennifer H. Aldridge is a public affairs specialist, Europe District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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PUBLIC WORKS DIGEST • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011

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