Net-Zero Water Buildings & the Air Force

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Lambert, Jacob L.
Yang, Eunhwa
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The Department of Defense has tasked the uniformed services to make a percentage of their installations net-zero waste, water, and energy. The purpose of this study is to determine if United States Air Force can make 10% of their large sized installations net-zero water installations and what building types are best suited for net-zero water operations. To accomplish this, existing building floor plan data for 14 different building types on Air Force installations was collected and replicated in Building Information Modeling software. These models were then analyzed in software to determine estimated water usage and the amount of rainwater harvested per building. The models were tested for four different installations in the continental United States to account for different climate areas. The results of the 56 tests were then analyzed for trends to determine which installations and building types were most relevant for net-zero water operations. It was found that installations that experience higher average rainfalls each year are more likely to have successful net-zero water buildings. Installations in the Atlantic Ocean & Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are installations to target. Additionally, with the parameters selected for the procedure – it was found that 8 of 14 building types simulated at Eglin AFB, FL, are net-zero water positive as they harvest more rainwater than they are estimated to use. With additional floorplan data for all buildings on an installation, it would be possible to completely verify if an entire installation would be net-zero for water operations – however, the tests ran are a good indicator if net-zero water is possible or not.
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