DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Washington, D.C. 20314-1000
1 May 2001
EXPIRES 31 MARCH 2005
Engineering and Design
SUSTAINABLE DESIGN FOR MILITARY FACILITIES
1. Purpose. This letter provides basic criteria and information pertaining to the incorporation of
sustainable design concepts in the design and construction of Military facilities.
2. Applicability. This letter applies to all HQUSACE elements and USACE commands having
Army military construction and design responsibility.
3. Distribution. Approval for public release; distribution is unlimited
4. References. See Appendix A.
5. Objective. Sustainable Design is the design, construction, operation, and reuse/removal of the
built environment (infrastructure and buildings) in an environmentally and energy efficient
manner. The major tenet of sustainable design is to meet the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Synonymous with
Sustainable Design is "Green Building." Sustainable design includes efficient use of natural
resources, better performing, more desirable, and more affordable infrastructure and buildings.
Sustainable design incorporates the energy efficiency concerns of the 1970's with the concerns in
the 1990's related to damage to the natural environment; emissions of greenhouse gases and
ozone depleting chemicals; use of limited material resources; management of water as a limited
resource; reductions in construction, demolition and operational waste; indoor environmental
quality; and occupant/worker health, productivity and satisfaction. This ETL provides designers
with guidance on sustainable design for the design and construction of all new Army facilities,
and the rehabilitation/renovation of existing facilities.
6. Action. The guidance in Appendix B to this technical letter will be used for planning, design
and construction of Army facilities to incorporate Sustainable Design or Green Building
concepts. Effective immediately all of our deign for military facilities shall phase in SDD and
shall strive to achieve SPiRiT Bronze level AS DEFINED IN Appendix C.
This engineer technical letter supersedes ETL 110-3-491 dated 31 Jan 2000