Gray Cyber Center sets gold building standard in Europe

The Lt. Gen. Robert E. Gray Cyber Center Europe was recognized as the Army’s newest green building at a LEED Gold plaque unveiling ceremony June 27 on Clay Kaserne.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. Gold is the second highest rating a project can receive after platinum. The U.S. Army 5th Signal Command’s Gray Center is the first Department of Defense building in Europe and the first within the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command to achieve a LEED Gold rating.

The Gray Cyber Center, officially opened in July 2014, makes use of several energy efficient features, including a state-of-the art electrical and thermal co-generation unit, which allows it to achieve about 42 percent in energy savings each year, or about $500,000.

“The building uses 47 percent less potable water and 78 percent of the construction waste has been diverted from landfills. These are big numbers that make a real difference to our environment,” said Kay Killmann, president of the German Green Building Association.

“This is remarkable, especially for an energy intensive building such as a data center,” Killmann said.

The Gray Cyber Center is named after Lt. Gen. Robert E. Gray, a former U.S. Army Europe deputy commander and chief of signal. The 52,000 square-foot facility manages and defends the U.S. Army’s communications network throughout Europe and Africa.

“It is only fitting to have some of the most technically proficient teams executing the Army’s cyber operations and initiatives in one of the most advanced and environmentally friendly facilities,” said Maj. Roberto Santiago, Gray Cyber Center director of operations.

Albin Toth, an architect who helped design the Gray Cyber Center, said his team looked for opportunities to maximize energy efficiency in every design decision.

“We didn’t spend more money to achieve gold, it was just the result of a very efficient design,” Toth said.

Col. Jimmy L. Hall Jr., commander of 5th Signal Command (Theater) and the U.S. Army Europe chief information officer/G6, described the project as a leading example of the Army’s Energy Security and Sustainability Strategy published last year.

“We also recognize this initiative as an important achievement in interoperability and partnership,” Hall said.