Dyess Air Force Base Temporary Lodging Facility Earns LEED for Home Silver Rating

Abilene, Texas is regularly listed as one of America’s most livable small towns. Sitting about 180 miles from the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area and with a population of 125,182, Abilene is considered the economic center of 22 counties in West Texas. According to their official tourism website, Abilene is “big on what matters” including history, culture, and hospitality.

The United States Air Force also calls Abilene home with the Dyess Air Force Base on the southern edge of town. Dyess is home to the Air Force’s B-1B, C-130, and T-38 planes. The 7th Bomb Wing on the base maintains operations of the B-1B aircraft and conducts training for personnel to fly those planes. In all, over 4,500 military personnel are assigned to Dyess with 491 civilian employees also employed there.

Dyess is also known as being one of the greenest bases in the United States Air Force. It has the distinction of being the first Department of Defense operation to use renewable energy and now uses both wind and biomass energy as power sources.

The Project

Known as one of the greenest Air Force bases, it only makes sense that Green Insight was brought in to consult on one of their building projects: A temporary lodging facility. This project consisted of 16 units in 2 different buildings. This facility would serve as temporary lodging for service members seeking permanent housing on or off base, on a special trip to secure housing, or for those awaiting the shipment of their household goods.

As part of the project, we worked with the United States Air Force and Tejas Premier Building Contractor to help Dyess keep its reputation as a green Air Force base. This included working with all parties on

  • LEED for Homes credit verification
  • Testing during construction
  • QAD review
  • Energy efficient recommendations
  • Building material assessments
  • Review of construction documents
  • Specifications
  • Review of project submissions

Project Challenges

One of the biggest challenges this project faced was the passage of time between plans being made and actual construction. Plans had been made 3 years before any work commenced and were no longer compliant with the updated LEED for Homes certification requirements.

Like most projects, the Dyess Temporary Lodging Facility also had a fixed budget. But unlike other projects, it would literally take an act of Congress to expand the budget, a long and arduous process.

Finally, the contractor chosen for the job by the United States Air Force didn’t have LEED for Homes project experience. They were also hampered by the requirements of highly specialized equipment including blast-proof windows.


Because of our longstanding relationship with the United States Green Building Council, we were able to work with them when it came to the outdated plans for the project. We were able to negotiate that the project would be registered under the LEED for Homes requirements for which it was designed.

We then worked closely with the contractor in all aspects of this project, especially in getting them caught up on the LEED requirements they were not familiar with. While most of these requirements are right in the plans, many are not, and rely on a contractor’s knowledge of the LEED for Homes certification process.

During the construction process, we ran into several periods where deficiencies were found and needed to be corrected. This, of course, came down to budget. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the contract, anything that ran over budget would come out of the contractor’s pocket. We were able to work with the contractor on finding cost-effective solutions.


At the end of the project, the Dyess Temporary Lodging Facility was able to certify under the old LEED for Homes requirements, and the contractor maintained its profit due to cost-effective solutions.

In all, the project was awarded LEED for Homes Silver certification, and the Dyess Air Force Base was able to maintain its reputation as being committed to green initiatives.

Learn how Green Insight can find a cost-effective and stress-free path for your green building project.

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Completely Renovated Corry Village for Graduate Students and Families Earns LEED Platinum Certification

The third largest university in the state, the University of Florida, makes up much of the population of Gainesville, Florida. With nearly 57,000 students, the University of Florida was ranked by U.S. News and World Reports as the fifth best public university in the United States.

Among its students, U of F also hosts nearly 16,000 postgraduate students in one of their 123 master’s programs or 73 doctoral programs. Postgraduate students not only have different needs academically, but they also have different needs when it comes to student housing. Postgraduate students are older than the average college student, and many are married with families as they pursue an advanced degree.

Project Details

Corry Village is graduate student housing located in the heart of the University of Florida’s campus. These buildings needed rehabilitation, and the University of Florida worked with contractor Gray Construction to create student housing that was not only functional and comfortable but environmentally responsible as well.

Green Insight was brought in to consult with all parties on how to achieve the goal of becoming LEED for Homes Platinum certified. The entire project consisted of an entire gut rehab of 128 units in 8 buildings.

Project Challenges

Since this project was an entire gut rehab of the existing building, it goes without saying that it posed a few major challenges along the way.

The brick structure of the units combined with the hot and humid climate in Gainesville presented challenges when it came to thermal bypass and ventilation. Corry Village is also centrally located on the sprawling U of F campus meaning there were also challenges for onsite water management that aren’t usually dealt with in projects like this.

Finally, the project needed to be phased with a multiple-year gap between building certifications. Therefore, the team that was present during the first phase wasn’t the same team that was there for the second phase.


Luckily, the heat and humidity are something we are used to working with. With many years of experience working in Florida and the Caribbean, we could offer sensible solutions for air sealing and insulation that would meet and exceed the needs of the building in this type of climate. These solutions included moving from an exhaust-only ventilation system to more balanced ventilation with an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) System, and guiding the construction team on various air sealing and insulation systems. This approach ensured that the project would be long-lasting and durable through the years.

To combat the issue of changing teams throughout the course of the project, onboarding new team members to the project was made more thorough and intentional to ensure continuity no matter who was at the helm. We also utilized a Green Rater/HERS Rater who was familiar with the location of the project to assist with a smooth transition between teams before the completion of the project.


Despite the challenges of this project including the unique challenge of keeping two separate teams up to speed on the same project, Green Insight was able to leverage their expertise in environmentally responsible building even in a climate that can pose its own challenges.

The new housing project now boasts state-of-the-art renovated housing units as well as communal study rooms, a playground for families, and recreational space with basketball and volleyball courts and barbeque areas.

Due to our collaboration, Corry Village at the University of Florida achieved LEED Platinum Certification.

Do you want to learn how Green Insight can find the perfect solution for your green building project?

Get in touch today. We would love to discuss your project and your goals while showing you how Green Insight can help you achieve green building success. Let’s start the process

Border Patrol’s Presidio Housing Development Earns LEED for Homes Gold Certification

Presidio, Texas is a town steeped in history. Established in the 17th century but settled as early as 1500 B.C. Presidio is now home to just under 4,000 people.

This colorful and historic section of Texas lies right on the Rio Grande River, just across the border from Ojinaga, Mexico, and boasts some of the darkest skies in Texas making it a dream for stargazers. While along the river, it is considered desert land as part of the Chihuahuan Desert in West Texas.

The Project

Because of its proximity to the Mexican border, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a large employer in the area. However, due to the smallness of the town of Presidio, housing those border protection officers and their families is a challenge.

Green Insight was brought in to consult on ways to keep design and construction both green and functional on a solution to the housing shortage: a housing project funded by the federal government consisting of 26 single-family attached homes and one single-family detached home for U.S. Border Patrol employees.

Working with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol design team and W.H. Pacific contractors, we were able to come up with unique solutions to their housing issues while keeping the project green and sustainable.

Project Challenges

The biggest challenge facing the project was a logistical one. While it can boast the darkest skies and best star watching in West Texas, its remote location doesn’t help when it comes to coordinating all the moving parts of a building project.

Located 8 hours by car from our offices, coordinating the construction team with our consulting duties required substantial planning to keep the project on schedule and within budget.

Additionally, the arid desert climate posed its fair share of challenges. Part of our work together was ensuring interior comfort and adequate yet responsible water usage.


To properly coordinate schedules with all parties, strong communication was an absolute must. That meant clear communication prior to our site visits to give crews ample time to make sure everything was ready for all inspections along the way and that all-important final inspection. We also needed to coordinate efforts to ensure all units were complete and ready for final testing.

Our meticulous attention to coordinating all parties paid off. Green Insight was able to successfully certify all 27 homes with a higher status than their original goal of Silver certification.

To combat the environmental challenges, the project utilized a stout building envelope with roof assembly insulation over R40 and walls of R22. These factors help ensure both occupant comfort in the units as well as energy efficiency.

Contractors were also able to strategically plan their planting choices to create landscaping that was both suited for the dry desert heat and didn’t require a lot of water usage.


Through Green Insight’s collaboration with both U.S. Border and Customs Patrol and W.H. Pacific contractors, the Presidio Border Patrol housing development earned:

After completion, the Presidio housing development became a model in sustainability as a piece of the 27 acre site that features both housing and landscaped common spaces.

Looking for a stress-free path to your green building project? The Green Insight team will help you find the best solution.

Get in touch with us todayWe’ll discuss your project and goals while showing you how we can help you achieve green building success!