SuperCLU: Coming to a Base Near You

Eco-friendly Containerized Living Units giving Camp Lemonnier residents more living space are slated to arrive here in Fall 2012 thanks to a $1 million grant provided by the U.S. Department of Defense's Super Energy Efficient Containerized Living Unit Design and Development program.

A program team will also renovate existing CLUs and develop new "SuperCLUs" to reduce energy use in renovated units by 54 to 82 percent while reducing fuel demand and associated costs at the camp. Their findings will provide valuable lessons for other expeditionary sites.

"It's essential that we continue to develop innovative energy solutions to advance our military missions and use our precious resources wisely," said U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta. "The Department is taking the lead on this because saving energy on the battlefield means saving lives and money."

Camp Lemonnier's SuperCLU program is one of six programs sharing $18 million from the DoD designed to reduce the energy demand of future expeditionary outposts. The funds will support development and rapidly transform energy technologies for the combat force, resulting in improved military capabilities, fewer energy-related casualties and lower costs for the taxpayer.

The SuperCLU program is led by Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Port Hueneme, Calif., in partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Experimentation - Western Area Research, Testing and Evaluation Center and Camp Lemonnier's public works department. The team will initially focus on Camp Lemonnier, where it seeks to implement the new CLU design.

Fuel can be a tactical and operational vulnerability on the battlefield, according to DoD officials. In the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, adversaries frequently targeted U.S. fuel supply convoys, putting troops' lives and missions at risk and diverting combat forces and dollars to force protection.

Currently at expeditionary bases around the world, many DoD personnel live in converted metal shipping containers called CLUs. These units do not incorporate energy efficient heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, highly rated R-value insulation, reflective insulated exterior coatings or well-balanced interior air distribution.

The program team will address these shortfalls into the redesign of existing CLUs to develop a new highly efficient SuperCLU. In addition, the team will also incorporate light-weight building materials, improve mobility and maximize interior space.

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