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U.S. Department of the Interior
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Mr. Trent Duncan

Sustainability Hero, Utah State Office, Bureau of Land Management, Utah

Point of Contact

Trent Duncan


Trent Duncan is a Mechanical Engineer and is nominated for Sustainability Hero for outstanding leadership and achievements in renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable design and implementation. Trent has assisted in the implementation of over 130 renewable energy projects ranging from small lighting systems to large off-grid and grid-connected system. Mr. Duncan managed the design and construction of three LEED projects. Through his leadership and tenacity, one project achieved a Gold Rating, one has a potential of Platinum, and the third facility anticipates Gold. He has also assisted in three leasing projects which have received LEED certification or are in the process. His efforts have been recognized numerous times by the Federal Energy Management Program, Department of Interior, the Bureau of Land Management and others.


Mr. Duncan has been involved throughout his career in numerous projects and played a significant role in the successful implementation of renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable design and implementation. One of his first projects was to figure out how to get a large photovoltaic system functioning. In the process, funding was obtained to bring utility power to the site. Trent saw the potential in the surplus equipment and was able to leverage funding and design assistance through Sandia National Labs. Three remote sites benefitted from the used equipment. Trent has continued to implement renewable energy projects which include small stock and wildlife pumping systems, off-grid systems at ranger stations and visitor centers, and grid-connected systems. The larger systems include the Kane Gulch Ranger Station, Sand Island Ranger Station, and the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry Visitor Center. Trent has supported over 130 projects throughout the BLM and is frequently sought out to provide technical input and guidance.

BLM’s first LEED Gold building is the Escalante Interagency Visitor and Science Center. Trent was the project manager during the design and construction. His enthusiasm and leadership resulted in a facility that utilized 45% less energy than a minimum code compliant building. Over 11% of the electrical energy is generated by a roof mounted photovoltaic system. The efficiencies will save almost $5000 per year in energy cost. Water use was reduced by over 70%. Over 29% of building materials were extracted locally. Day lighting and views were provided for the majority of the occupied spaces. In addition, many other sustainable measures were implemented.

Fillmore Field Office: A 10,000 square foot office building replacement in Fillmore, Utah. Replacement was required due to seismic deficiencies in the existing building. Trent assembled a design team that consisted of BLM Architect and Engineers who shared the goal of achieving goal of LEED Gold for the project. This team provided significant cost savings to the Bureau while being very attentive to the needs of the facility. The project began in 2007 and was completed in October, 2010 and is currently under review for a potential LEED Platinum rating. The building is estimated to use over 50% less energy than a base case building based on cost with over 30% of the energy based on cost being produced by an onsite photovoltaic system. These efficiencies will save over $4000 per year. Daylight and views were provided to the majority of the occupied spaces. Operable windows allow employees some control over their individual comfort. Individual occupancy sensors at each workstation turn off plug loads (monitor, task lights, chargers, etc.) when the occupant is not present. Trent worked closely with the construction contractor as COR to ensure that the LEED goals were met. Through his leadership, Trent has inspired the design team to take the lessons learned and apply them to other BLM projects.

Kanab Office Building: The Kanab building will provide office space for the Kanab Field Office and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Headquarters. This facility was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). To meet the funding deadlines, the design and construction procurement were required to move along quickly. Trent utilized all resources available to identify a design team currently under a bureau IDIQ contract. The team moved quickly through the design phase while meeting the requirements of LEED Gold. The building is estimated to use 37% less energy than a base building based on cost with 9% of the energy being produced by onsite photovoltaics. Trent s leadership ensured that the project was on track and focused on the energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability requirements. The project is currently under construction with completion anticipated in December 2011.

Results and Achievements

It is hard to quantify the total impact that Trent has had on many projects at all levels of the organization. Remote facilities are able to function with sufficient electricity generated from the sun, and the bureau is realizing significant savings in energy due to measures Trent has championed. Sustainable measures have been implemented that would not have been otherwise. Buildings utilizing low VOC paints, and adhesives improved indoor air quality for the occupants. In addition, daylighting provides a better work environment. Trent’s enthusiasm and commitment to sustainability demonstrates that he is the Sustainability Hero. Trent has been recognized with the 1997 and 2007 Federal Energy and Water Management award for exceptional accomplishments in the federal sector. These awards recognized his efforts in renewable energy and sustainable construction. Trent also received the 1999 Department of Interior Environmental Achievement Award for superior accomplishments in efforts supporting and preserving resources. As a member of the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry design team, Trent was recognized with a 2007 DOI Environmental Achievement Award. In 2009, Trent was recognized as an Energy Champion along with two BLM
colleagues in a Federal Energy Management Program Poster titled Pioneers.


Trent has replicated many of the sustainable measures on many different projects. He has also supported and trained others who have then implemented similar measures on other projects.