Blessing the barracks
Directorate of Public Works Director Bob Eastwood and Honolulu District Commander Lt. Col. Douglas Guttormsen participate in a traditional maile lei untying and blessing ceremony held Dec. 15, 2011, for the new Unaccompanied Enlisted Personnel Housin... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Dec. 20, 2011) -- A traditional maile lei untying and blessing ceremony was held Thursday for the new Unaccompanied Enlisted Personnel Housing at Schofield Barracks.

The blessing was presided over by Kahu La`akea Arista.

"As a former Army Engineer, it is an honor to be asked to bless such an amazing facility," said Arista, a former captain with the 227th Combat Engineers.

The $29.18 million contract was awarded Sept. 24, 2009, to Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, Inc. by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District.

"We appreciate very much the opportunity to do what we have done here," said Hawaiian Dredging President Bill Wilson.

The project consisted of designing and constructing a six-story barracks to house 192 personnel in a standard one-plus-one configuration. It was completed on time and on budget without a single lost-time accident.

"This is about much more than just the facility," said Honolulu District Engineer Lt. Col. Douglas Guttormsen. "It is about the Soldiers who will be using this facility. It is about the quality of life we can give these Soldiers between deployments."

A typical barracks module includes two fully-furnished bedrooms, a full bath and a full kitchen.

The barracks are designed and constructed to meet current Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection requirements. Amenities on site include laundry facilities on each floor, motorcycle shelters and covered bicycle racks.

"We hope that we have succeeded in creating a welcoming, relaxing place for the Soldiers who

will occupy it," said Carol Sakata of CDS International, the architect of record.

During his remarks, Guttormsen emphasized the importance of teamwork in the construction business and how that teamwork contributes to the overall quality of a project. Those remarks were echoed by Hawaiian Dredging Vice President Eric Hashizume and Garrison Directorate of Public Works Director Bob Eastwood.

"It's always better to have a team atmosphere," said Hashizume. "It takes a lot of people to put something like this together, and we strived to work as a team to create the best product for the Soldiers."

"This was a great partnership among all of us," said Eastwood.

In addition to fine craftsmanship and quality workmanship, the barracks construction included several significant innovations, green building practices, and energy-saving elements.

An Exterior Insulation Finishing System with DensGlass was used for wall construction to increase durability and sustainability. The special, texturized finish system is resistant to wear and tear, moisture and mold -- a hardened, attractive finish that is meant to last.

Hawaiian Dredging has sufficient points to attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Silver certification for the project through the U.S. Green Building Council, but is pursuing a LEED Gold certification. With this in mind, the company used Fly Ash in concrete mix design, utilized recycled concrete for the sub-base, and used insulated concrete forms for interior walls.

Occupancy sensors and door/window cutoff switches were installed to automatically regulate air conditioning in the rooms, LED lighting was used in the parking lot, and a chemical-free water treatment system was installed, among many other energy-saving features.

The Honolulu District is committed to building and managing the construction of high-quality projects that improve the quality of life for service members and their families and that provide jobs and money which stimulate the local economy, officials said.

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