2012 was another huge year for the military construction program at the Charleston District. Overall, the District completed construction on five projects for $157.8 million, got underway on two projects for $45.2 million, and awarded contracts on nine additional projects for $97.4 million. This was a great year for the Charleston District by providing first-class facilities for the 50,000 incoming Soldiers to Basic Training at Fort Jackson this year.
One of the most unique facilities completed on the base this year was the Quad Dining Facility (Quad DFAC). Construction on the Quad DFAC actually began at the end of FY11 and culminated with a ribbon cutting event on September 14th, 2012.
The Quad DFAC is only the second of its kind in the country and will serve as the centerpiece of a mini-campus with four battalions of Soldiers being housed, trained and educated in nearby “starship” barracks. These Soldiers have an extremely tight schedule they must live by every day, so increasing the efficiency of their meal routine was a top priority for the leadership at Fort Jackson. The adjoined two two-story dual DFACs have the capability of feeding three meals per day to 5,200 Soldiers in just 90 minutes. This efficiency allows for the Soldiers to get back to work quicker and prepare for the missions that lay ahead.
A truly unique aspect of the Quad DFAC is the installation of two sets of vacuum tube array-type solar panels, which provide a 30 percent savings in energy costs compared to standard equipment. This system has easy maintenance, simple design, and positive life-cycle cost characteristics. The system, known as the Sun Equinox, will mainly be used to produce energy associated with hot water usage within the Quad DFAC. The solar panels are a great stride forward in the push for making all of our construction projects Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifiable. Following the guidelines of LEED certifiable buildings puts the Charleston District on the forefront of design and construction of “green” facilities.
Prior to the ribbon cutting, a test meal was held in which the staff of the Quad DFAC hosted a lunch to practice procedures before opening the facility to Soldiers. Several members of the Charleston District team attended the test meal which worked out all the kinks in the system and allowed the staff to figure out and solve any issues with their procedures. Due to a successful test meal, the ribbon cutting, hosted by Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Bryan T. Roberts, was held a week later to showcase the new facility.
The Charleston District looks at the Quad DFAC as a milestone in constructing all of our projects in the most energy-efficient manner possible. The Quad DFAC was a perfect example of the amazing work completed by the Charleston District’s military construction program in FY12.