JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
It’s Mission Monday. Paula Shaw is the Department of the Air Force’s Sustainable Design and Development subject matter expert with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Facility Engineering Directorate.
In her role, Shaw supports the DAF’s program to lower the total ownership cost of facilities by designing and constructing buildings in a way that reduces resources consumed and waste generated; and maximizes benefits provided in support of the various missions.
We asked Shaw to tell us a little more about her and her work at the AFCEC.
What do you love about your job?
The breadth of the sustainability umbrella cuts across so many engineering disciplines that I have a near-daily opportunity to learn something new. That coupled with aggressive goals and emerging technologies ensures each day is unique and challenging. What could be better?
When it comes to your job, what keeps you motivated?
Each investment in the design and construction of new or existing buildings is an opportunity to make decisions that will reduce the resources needed to maintain DAF power projection platforms. I view each project as a chance to make informed choices that lower the impact our installations have on the environment. That is what motivates me.
Why are you and your team important to the Air Force enterprise and your customers?
I provide technical reach-back for projects managed and executed by AFCEC; and questions DAF-wide via CE DASH. Additionally, I am a member of the DAF SME team that develops the design and construction criteria documents utilized by all Department of Defense project delivery teams – Unified Facilities Criteria and Unified Facilities Guide Specifications.
Describe a project/event you and your team worked on recently that gave you a great sense of accomplishment:
I’ve supported the DAF sustainability program for over 17 years. In that period, I’ve been involved in many efforts that have increased awareness of the benefits of designing, building and maintaining sustainable buildings. Rather than look back at accomplishments, I am looking forward to the next challenge, which for federal agencies is Executive Order 14057, Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability. Using the scale associated with a whole of government, the federal agencies will lead by example to achieve the goals of the EO - a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050. The DAF will be working on pilot projects that will implement elements of the EO, including the incorporation of all-electric building systems, reduced energy and water use intensity, deep energy retrofits and selection of materials with low embodied emissions.
Tell us how what you do fits in with AFIMSC's strategic priorities.
The desired end state of the DAF Climate Action Plan is a department that is “resilient to the effects of climate change” and the preservation of “a combat-credible force that can compete, deter, and win against pacing adversaries in an environment shaped by climate change.” The DAF CAP goes on to link reliance on fossil fuels and the production of greenhouse gases to climate instability. The success of both the DAF CAP and EO 14057 is inextricably linked to energy efficiency and reduction in fossil fuel use. These priorities are cornerstones of the UFCs and UFGSs, which are maintained in the Whole Building Design Guide.
Is there anything else you’d like to add which might help people understand the importance of what you do for the Air Force?
Implementation of EO 14057 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help the DAF adapt and respond to extreme weather and environmental conditions which are already impacting the mission.