This 109,000 sf Reserve Center serves as an administration building and training facility for the Delaware Army National Guard, Navy Reserve, and Delaware Air National Guard, and is the main command and control center for the State of Delaware, with all of the systems and facilities necessary for handling a regional emergency. The owner is the Delaware National Guard, and our client-partner was Vigil Contracting, Inc., a Maryland 8(a) woman-owned and operated general construction company. Vigil was the general and electrical contractor, with Harkins subcontracting other trades on Vigil’s behalf. SAIC was the architect, and VOA Associates Incorporated handled the interior design.
The building is a two-story, steel frame structure with insulated exterior metal panels and a natural stone veneer for which each stone had to be chipped and shaped by hand on site. Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection is incorporated, including blast-resistant curtain wall construction, exterior blast walls between parking and the building, security lighting, concrete-paved parking for public owned and military owned vehicles, vehicle barriers, and security fencing.
Inside, a full-height lobby and three rotundas serve as the focal points of the building. Limestone blocks and veneers are featured, as well as wood ceiling designs, pendant lighting, and glass panel and aluminum railings. Terrazzo flooring is featured in these areas, including stairs, and throughout the rest of the building. Coordinating operations in these floor to ceiling areas with a 40-foot articulating boom was one of the many construction challenges. Other high-end finishes include extensive glass, metal, and wood panel finishes, eight-foot African Makore doors, high-STC-rated door assemblies, and recessed power-actuated projection screens.
Functional areas include a full-fledged medical clinic, classrooms, fitness center, locker room areas, food preparation, multipurpose room, and heated storage. There is a server room and an operations control room, both with recessed concrete foundations to allow for access panel flooring, and there is a large concrete arms vault. A massive amount of rebar was needed in the vault’s 10-inch-thick concrete walls and roof to meet strict security guidelines.
The project is registered for LEED Gold certification. Foamed-in-place R-28 insulation was used, which seals and provides added insulation to minimize heat loss. The heating system uses 168 wells for a geothermal loop to the water source heat pump to further reduce long term costs to the government. Roof-mounted photo voltaic arrays will contribute 7.5% of the building’s power. Three 15,000 gallon rainwater harvesting tanks will be used to irrigate the entire site, and there is a vegetated roof area. The roof assembly provides both energy insulation and protection against the high winds of that area, comprising ten inches of R-60 polyiso board insulation with a cover board fastened to the roof deck at very tight spacing, and a .080″ TPO membrane. The facade is capped with aluminum sunshade foils.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) was a major asset for coordinating and integrating the complex systems into the structure. Conflicts were resolved in advance, and entire systems could be pre-fabricated offsite, saving labor costs at the installation phase. There were virtually no conflict issues between trades during construction.
The fire protection system includes all iron-threaded sprinkler pipe, full generator backup, a commercial kitchen ANSUL system, Clean Agent FM-200 system in the server room, and a voice programmed fire alarm system with integrated PA and text notification. The extensive lighting system includes automated energy saving lighting controls that integrate occupancy sensors and lighting modules to automatically adjust the brightness of lights as daylight pours through the windows.
After all of these systems were installed and tested individually, they were rigorously tested for integration. A third-party commissioning agent then visited the site to review each component and ensure full compliance with the project drawings and specifications and ensure proper integration and telemetry between each of the complex systems. During this review the commissioning agent was able to review all systems on a Building Automation System Network. This showed real time data on the status of each system in the building, showing alarms and building energy usage. Virtually all switches, valves, buttons, and controls are adjustable from a laptop computer.
We are proud and honored to have delivered this state-of-the-art facility to our reservists and guards.