REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Aug. 17, 2016) -- Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center's Building 5400 B wing is undergoing its first restoration since its original construction in 1964. Demolition began July 1 and the project is expected to last 16 months. B Wing was selected as the first project because it was one of the oldest parts of the building and it housed four out of five AMRDEC directorates.AMRDEC was built during the Cold War era and was originally called McMorrow Laboratories. Werner Von Braun walked the hallways and worked on the Saturn V in the high bay. It has since been recognized as a historically significant facility.In the planning phase, AMRDEC structural engineers met with each directorate to determine their wants and needs. The new construction focuses on reflecting the following qualities: modern, sustainable, high tech, and cost effective/energy saving."With the new modern look the workforce will experience a big culture change," Facilities Branch Chief John Minton said. The previous closed off floorplan will be replaced with an open concept feel including large windows to let in more light, and brand new furniture.Because these changes may need to last another 40 years all of the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC will also be replaced. Minton said, "We are exceeding space requirements and increasing seating capacity by 20 percent". The number of conference rooms will increase from two to six, and a breakroom will be added for the whole hallway.To be more cost effective and save energy planners follow Leadership Energy Environmental Design. The bathrooms will have low flow toilets. "We are saving 70 percent of our energy with new lights," said Brad Stewart, AMRDEC project manager.This work is the first of many phases as part of a master modernization plan spanning three years. Completion is scheduled for December 2017 and is estimated to cost $3 million. This is the largest renovation AMRDEC has ever done in terms of square footage and dollar value.---The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center leads the nation in advancement and sustainment of aviation systems, missile systems and related technologies.AMRDEC's mission is to deliver technical capabilities for responsive and cost effective research, product development and life-cycle systems engineering solutions that equip the warfighter with the best technology today and tomorrow.