Energy saving paint cuts heating, cooling costs on Okinawa

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan —The Facilities Engineer Environmental Branch is testing…

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan —The Facilities Engineer Environmental Branch is testing a new experimental paint on several buildings in an effort to reduce energy costs.

The idea for the project was conceived by Leslie B. Smith, support section supervisor at the environmental branch, in response to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which mandates all government buildings become more energy efficient.

The paint, manufactured by Specialty Concrete Design Incorporated, is designed to better insulate and reduce heat transfer.

The painting began Jan. 12 after about a year of planning and funding requests.

The test subjects are buildings 470, 472 and 473. Building 473’s roof was coated with the paint, while building 470’s external sides were painted from the ground up. Building 472 was not painted and will serve as the constant to help analyze the effectiveness of the paint on the other two buildings.

According to Smith, each building’s electrical consumption data will be recorded monthly, and the buildings will be monitored with thermal photography.

In addition, temperature and humidity readings will be continuously recorded and monitored.

The monitoring period is a one-year cycle that started this month.

“If its going to save the Marine Corps a lot of money and keep us cool in the summer, then that’s good for us,” said Cpl. Janel A. Regalado, military police with the Central Provost Marshal’s Office here.

The paint can reduce the amount of energy required to maintain desired temperature levels in the summer and winter by reducing the amount of heat absorbed and transferred

through the walls.

According to Smith, a coating of this paint is equal to approximately 20 inches of ceiling insulation. He went on to say the new paint is safe for humans and the environment.

“This stuff is almost too good to be true,” Smith said. “If it works, then we will apply it to all buildings on all camps.”

Plans to coat buildings on Camps Hansen and Courtney with the paint are scheduled to begin within the next two months, Smith said.

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