Army Corps' Philadelphia District completes BRAC construction
September 16, 2011
- $877 million BRAC program to build C4ISR complex
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- After more than four years and hundreds of thousands of man hours of work, the $866 million, multi-phase program to build the massive complex for the Army's communication and electronics arm is complete.
Aberdeen Proving Ground held a ceremony to recognize the completion of the Base Realignment and Closure program, which included moving the C4ISR Materiel Enterprise -- named for its mission of Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, from Fort Monmouth, N.J. to Aberdeen Proving Ground. The complex also integrates Army research and development entities from other military installations.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Philadelphia District managed the project and will continue to execute minor improvements and roadway paving. But all of the complex's 15 buildings and 2.6 million square feet of office space are now occupied.
Project Manager Nate Barcomb said building the facilities has been a tremendous undertaking from start to finish.
"This has been a once in a lifetime experience for me and many of the individuals involved with this project. It's amazing how a handful of people, some from other Corps Districts and some from outside the Corps, came together quickly and accomplished a complicated mission," said Barcomb.
Philadelphia District Commander Lt. Col. Philip Secrist said the campus will make a difference for years to come.
"The technology developed here will save Soldiers' lives in the future," he said. "I'm so proud of our team for their hard work and coordination with C4ISR, APG, contractors and the numerous stakeholders involved."
Design & Construction
The Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005 mandated the integration of C4ISR elements at APG, a mission that required moving more than 7,000 personnel, 120 laboratories and 80,000 pieces of equipment from Fort Monmouth. To accomplish the monumental task of building the complex, the Philadelphia District assembled a Project Delivery Team and formulated a two-phase planning strategy.
For the first phase, the team awarded a design-build contract to the joint venture of Tompkins-Turner, Grunley and Kinsley. Construction consisted of approximately $541 million of work with nine buildings totaling 1.6-million square feet of office and laboratory space, a central courtyard and parking lots.
"At the height of construction, there were 1000 contractors on site each day and we trucked in hundreds of loads of suitable fill material for the phase one foundation," said Barcomb.
The second phase involved constructing five buildings and renovating an existing facility. One of the buildings, the Joint SATCOM Engineering Center, was designed in house by Philadelphia District personnel. The team executed phase two work for approximately $226 million, which represented a savings of approximately $99 million from the originally programmed cost.
"The project was essentially shovel-ready during a difficult economic time for the country so the construction industry benefitted and we received competitive bids on our contracts," said Charles Csoboth, one of the project managers.
The C4ISR complex is designed to some of the latest 'green' industry standards -- all buildings are silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifiable. Some of the sustainable elements include a garden roof atop the auditorium; "green screens" planted on the side of buildings for aesthetics; and horizontal window shadings to decrease cooling costs.
Three of the buildings use geothermal wells for energy efficiency, including C2/CNT East Facility which has a field of nearly 800 wells, each drilled to a depth of about 400 feet underneath its parking lot. Estimates indicate that the geothermal system will be nearly 50 percent more efficient in heating and cooling C2/CNT East than a conventional system.
USCAE recognized the team with the 2011 Project Delivery Team of the Year Award for Merit because of the project's complexity, significance and expedited construction schedule.
Senior Construction Manager Bob Strange reflected on the experience after the team received the honor.
"In my 30-plus-year career, this is the most diverse, highly skilled and multi-talented construction team I've ever had the honor to lead," he said. "It's been a real pleasure working with all of the talented professionals in industry and in government who helped execute and make C4ISR at Aberdeen Proving Ground a physical reality."