FORT LEE, Va., 2014-7-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Defense Commissary Agency’s use of value engineering has garnered a prestigious Department of Defense award.
On June 20, DOD selected the design and construction division of DeCA’s Logistics and Engineering Directorate, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, as a winner in the program/project category of its fiscal 2013 Value Engineering awards.
“Value engineering is a great tool to get more value for our customers, and our engineers’ efficient use of it is part of our role as good stewards of our patrons’ surcharge dollars,” said DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu.
John Stuit, chief of design and construction, agreed, adding that value engineering is part of DeCA’s DNA. “Our mission is to efficiently build new facilities and maintain and upgrade our existing stores to create a great shopping experience,” he said. “It is a team effort that starts with DeCA senior leadership and involves all of our team members and industry partners.”
A tenet of value engineering is: While anything less than essential functional capability is unacceptable, anything more is wasteful and should be eliminated. Value engineering analyzes and redesigns a product or service so its function can be achieved at the lowest possible overall cost. It may involve using different materials, applying new technology, using a more efficient production or delivery process, or eliminating unnecessary components, Stuit explained.
A renovation of the Lackland Commissary served as the pilot project for DeCA’s award-winning program. It developed heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and lighting and refrigeration systems that were at least 30 percent more efficient than established standards.
Stuit explained that new refrigeration system and display case fixtures use nearly 35 percent less energy than the existing system, generating annual energy savings of nearly $52,000.
“Results of this program have been applied to updates to our design criteria so that similar energy savings can be applied to all future new stores and store renovations,” he said.
The enhanced energy modeling tool lets DeCA improve systems while still in the design process. Stuit said this results in more accurate energy usage calculations and better decisions on systems and equipment to reduce energy usage.
The Value Engineering awards, established in fiscal 1982, reflect DOD’s effort to continually streamline operations, improve quality, and reduce or avoid costs. During fiscal 2013, the department’s value engineering projects produced a combined actual savings and cost avoidance of $5.5 billion.
DOD selected award winners in five categories: program/project, individual, team, organization, and contractor. In addition, the department awarded “Joint Service and Special” awards to recognize innovative applications or approaches that expand the traditional scope of value engineering.
NOTE: For photos of some commissary interiors with aspects of value engineering, go to our Flickr site.
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5–percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773