The federal government has made a commitment to green building and this includes facilities on the nation's military bases. In October 2008, staff at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida broke ground on a new 75,000-square-foot fitness center that was being built to LEED specifications.

On Friday, the AFB will host a grand opening celebration for this new 'Fit to Fight' green fitness center. The LEED certification process is ongoing but it is expected that the facility will earn a LEED Platinum rating, which will make it the first building in the Defense Department to earn a Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.

When construction of the facility began less than two years ago, building designers expected the facility to earn a LEED Gold certification. If expectations for a LEED Platinum rating are correct, then kudos to the construction team for exceeding their original goal.

The new $18 million 'Fit to Fight' green fitness center at Tyndall AFB features an energy-efficient roof, a solar array, regionally-sourced products, and water saving features that will reduce the facility's water use by 40 percent.

The facility houses two basketball courts, racquetball courts, male and female locker rooms, a massage therapist room, a parent-child area, and a Health and Wellness Center. The building is also equipped to handle Category 3 hurricane winds, which is important for this hurricane-prone base.

The grand opening celebration begins at 9 a.m. on Aug. 20.

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