MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
In September 2007, a late-night fire broke out, destroying Cherry Point’s World War II-era headquarters building. Marines, Sailors and Department of Defense civilians were moved to modular buildings and temporary work spaces throughout the air station to continue on with their duties, not knowing when construction on a new building would occur.
Nearly four years later, an 84,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art headquarters building now houses 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point personnel.
The structure was built to help the air station save money by using less energy, water and being environmental friendly.
“The contractors hired to build the new headquarters used recycled pieces of the old building as well as local products,” said Cmdr. Kevin K. Juntunen, a facilities engineer and resident officer in charge of construction for Cherry Point. “The finished building uses many environmental friendly products to help make the building more energy efficient.”
The new building uses windows that are ultraviolet protected, LED lighting in the parking lots and draws 2.5 percent of its energy from solar panels.
“We have maxed out the area we had available for solar panels without making the headquarters building look too gaudy,” said Juntunen. “We placed the panels on the flat part as well as a small section of incline on the roof.”
Other amenities added to help control the cost of energy used by the headquarters residents is the air-conditioning system, individual room control and accurate lighting.
“The lighting in some of the rooms are defused out of the top of the lights to help create a more even lighting for the rooms,” said Chester A. Conklin, the facilities director for Cherry Point. “If someone needs a little bit more light, there are desk lights that a person can use.”
Conklin said he enjoys the building’s new technology and feels it is important to help save money for the air station.
“There are a lot of common areas in the new building, and to help with the usage of the power, we installed the motion detector lighting system,” said Conklin. “If there is no one in a room for a while the lights will automatically shut off. This helps take away from having to have a person in charge of that room. Instead we can actually control a lot of what the building does in order to help save energy.”
Juntunen said the importance for all the new energy saving technology is because it is good for business.
“People just look a few years down the road and hope to see significant results,” said Juntunen. “The important thing is looking at what it will cost you over the life of the building. With the new technology being used in this building, it should help save money over time.”