The ERDC Center for the Advancement of Sustainability Innovations (CASI) was established as a new capability in 2006, hosted at the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) in Champaign, Ill.
ERDC established CASI with the goal of focusing the value of ERDC expertise, technologies and partnerships toward helping the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the US Army and the Department of Defense (DoD) achieve more sustainable facilities and operations.
The US military needs technologies and approaches that reduce consumption of fuel and water and other valuable resources while protecting soldiers, civilians and the environment. CASI focuses on helping the military address these challenges across all operations, in locations around the world, on permanent bases and across the full spectrum of military activities.
CASI Technology Focus Areas
To help organize ERDC and its partner capabilities, CASI has created “technology focus areas” for domains in which it can provide capabilities and expertise relevant to USACE, US Army and DoD sustainability requirements.
Anticipating Future Issues and Opportunities
The purpose of this focus area is to engage stakeholders through forums, white papers, publications and other means about emerging issues and technologies, to interpret how emerging issues and technologies might impact them, and to identify alternative courses of actions to consider.
Sustainability Approaches, Measures, and Knowledge Management
This focus area seeks and supports improvements in sustainability metrics and reporting, integration of Executive Order and agency requirements into reporting mechanisms, advancements in sustainability education and learning resources, and effective management and sharing of sustainability approaches and knowledge.
Sustainable Regional Planning
This focus area relates to the advancement of arrangements, approaches, resources, tools and procedures to provide capabilities for coordinated and collaborative regional planning.
Sustainable Energy Solutions
Power and energy are key considerations in all facets of military operations. The purpose of this focus area is to identify the sustainability needs associated with integration of power and energy into military missions. CASI draws upon the energy and power expertise across ERDC and its partners to provide a full suite of power and energy-related services and resources in support of the Army Energy Strategy and other DoD strategies. This focus area also supports emissions inventories and provides capabilities to help with emissions reductions as required by the 2009 Executive Order 13514.
Sustainable Facilities and Infrastructure
The purpose of this focus area is to help USACE, the US Army and DoD work toward achieving sustainable planning, design and development goals. The focus area team leaders are part of the Sustainable Design and Development Directory of Expertise (SDD DX) that USACE has established to provide support in developing criteria, research and development, design and construction support services, and training and advisory assistance. In this technology area, CASI also provides support and collaboration with US Green Building Council (USGBC) and other organizations involved in SDD.
Sustainable Water & Waste Resources
This focus area addresses access to, and the sustainable use of, water resources. Activities include understanding water resources status, quantities and qualities; conservation approaches and technologies; water reuse technologies and approaches; and other capabilities to improve and enhance the availability and quality of water as a sustainable resource.
Sustainable Natural Infrastructure
The purpose of this focus area is to identify, investigate and develop capabilities for emerging challenges in military-related ecosystems. Military -“related” ecosystems include those that are directly or indirectly used and impacted by the military, those that are protected by the military to buffer mission activities, and those that provide valuable ecosystem services to the military and to the communities that co-exist with the US military in areas across the nation and around the world.
Sustainable Forward Military Operations
This focus area seeks to identify the US Army’s required capabilities for full spectrum contingency operations. To meet the objectives of this focus area, a multidisciplined approach is necessary to develop doctrine, organizations, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facility solutions that ensure sustainability and efficiency while eliminating redundancy. CASI is working with partners in developing approaches that support the mission, reduce logistics burdens, and enhance relations with host populations in the full spectrum of forward military operations.
This focus area relates to the impacts of climate change on public resources and how managers adapt to them. This aspect of CASI is broadly “inter-agency” focused, as these impacts and adaptations are relevant to all public resource managers, not just US military activities and missions. CASI supports DoD and other stakeholders in understanding and adapting to the impacts of climate change on military facilities, ecosystems, and missions.
Green Remediation and Reuse
The purpose of this focus area is to increase awareness and activity across USACE for incorporating sustainable practices into Corps and Army environmental remediation and reuse.
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center / Construction Engineering Research Laboratory