Building Statistics

Building Name: National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE)

Location and Site: National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

Building Occupant Name:  Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, then transferred to the Department of Defense upon completion

Occupancy or Function Types:  The building will provide advanced services through research, diagnosis, and treatment for military personnel and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury and psychological health issues.

Size:  72,000 sq. ft.

Number of Stories:  2 stories

Project Team Directory:
Owner:  Plaza Construction -
Construction Manager/General Contractor:  Turner Construction Company -
Soils Engineer:  Schnabel Engineering, Inc. -
Civil Engineer:  A. Morton Thomas & Associates, Inc. -
Landscape Architect:  JJR -
Architect:  SmithGroup -
Structural Engineer:  Cagley & Associates, Inc. -
MEP Engineer:  SmithGroup -
Medical Equipment Consultant:  Gene Burton & Associates -
Acoustical/Vibration Consultant:  Miller, Beam, & Paganelli -
Communication Consultant:  Vantage Technology Consulting Group -
Lighting Designer:  SmithGroup -
Blast:  Weidlinger Associates, Inc. -
Arts:  Aesthetics, Inc. -

Dates of Construction:  Start - June 2008 | Finish - October 2009

Construction Budget:  $65 million

Project Delivery Method:  Design-Bid-Build

Design and Functional Components:  The building will provide services to support the men and women of the United States Armed Forces and their families through state of the art research, diagnosis and treatment.  The structure is designed with two distinct zonal areas.  The "L" shape is located on the east and south sides of the building.  This area contains spaces dedicated to the clinical functions of the facility, such as exam rooms, research labs, offices, and simulation rooms.  The amorphous form positioned on the north and west areas of the site houses the healing and public areas of the building, including the open lobby, waiting rooms, lounge, auditorium, and rehabilitation rooms.  There are also indoor/outdoor spaces for patients and families to relax and interact. 

Building Construction:  International Building Code – 2006 Edition (IBC)
Egress and Life Safety:  NFPA 101 Life Safety Code (LSC) – 2006 Edition
Interior Finish:  NFPA 101 Life Safety Code (LSC) – 2006 Edition
Mechanical (General):  International Mechanical Code – 2006 Edition
Mechanical (Duct Penetrations):  NFPA 90A and 90B
Electrical:  National Electrical Code – 2005 Edition
Plumbing:  International Plumbing Code – 2006 Edition (IPC)
Energy:  International Energy Conservation Code – 2006 Edition (IECC)
Fire:  International Fire Code – 2006 Edition (IFC)
Other:  Accessibility Code ADAAG (Universal Accessibility Standards); ANSI/ASME A17.1 Safety Code   for Elevators and Escalators, as adopted by the Local State Department of Labor and Industry, Division of   Elevators; Boiler Code ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code (Local State Boiler Law and Regulations);   Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC); Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) NC 2.2

Zoning:  The site is classified as federal property so there are no zoning ordinances.

Historical Requirements:  In an historic zone controlled by NPCP (National Capital Planning Commission).

Building Envelope:  In an attempt to achieve a LEED silver rating, many sustainable design factors are implemented.  The exterior wall system consists of architectural precast concrete backed with recycled insulation.   Exterior wall panels are punched with two story windows at openings.  Two curtainwall systems are located on the north and west building facades and provide four sided structural glazing.  Clerestories are positioned on the east and south elevations where the high roof and low roof join.  All of the glass is low-e insulated and laminated with a visible light transmission of 63% and a U-value of 0.28.  Patterns in the spandrel glass are dot fritted with gradation.

The roofing system is comprised of both a high roof (amorphous section) and a low roof ("L" section).  Both sections consist of a single-ply thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membrane system that is mechanically or adhesively attached.  The TPO sheet has an initial solar reflectance of 0.76, an emissivity of at least 0.9, and is U.S. EPA Energy Star certified.  The insulation is composed of 4 inch, Type II polyisocyanurate board backed by modified bituminous vapor retarder.   This system is at a 1/4"/ft. slope with a concrete slab.  The high roof also contains a circular skylight positioned above the Central Park space.  

The construction of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence began in June 2008 and is scheduled for completion in October 2009.  The General Contractor/Construction Manager is Turner Construction using a design-bid-build delivery method.  The initial budget is $65 million under a GMP contract.

It is located in Bethesda, Maryland at the National Naval Medical Center.  It is adjacent to the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, with close access to the Uniformed Services University, the National Institute of Health, and the Veterans Health Administration.

The use of building information modeling (BIM) in the design provides for smooth and cost efficient construction process.

NICoE's overall electrical system is a radial system with one point of service entrance at the southwest corner.  It is tied to a campus system and receives this power through a 2500kVA utility transformer that steps down the voltage from 13.8kV to a 480Y/277V, 3P, 4W voltage system.  A 3000A switchboard provides power to all equipment loads.  Transformers feed a 208Y/120V, 3P, 4W main system to receptacles and some lighting devices.  All other loads are connected to the 480Y/277V voltage system. 

An exterior diesel standby emergency generator rated at 400kW, 480Y/277V, 3P, 4W provides backup power to both life safety and equipment branches.  A 225kVA UPS battery backup system is also connected to two PDUs that are utilized for Server Room emergency power.

In order to accommodate for the needs of patients with traumatic brain injuries, a lighting design with high brightness and contrast is minimized.  Fixtures are concealed through glare accessories and are focused on articulating surfaces for a calm and healing environment.

A majority of the lighting in the L-shaped "bar" area is generally functional with fluorescent downlights.  Other fixtures are used in spaces with specialized medical operations.  Corridors contain a mix of linear fluorescents, downlights, and LEDs to create visual interest in the long hallways.  Decorative and custom fixtures that provide indirect, wallwash, accent, and track lighting are placed in lobbies, waiting rooms, and other similar areas.  Exterior fixtures located at entrances, exits, pathways, recreation areas and service spaces provide lighting for nighttime use.   A large curtainwall system and clerestories provide a large amount of daylight in the space throughout the day.

Switches, timers, occupancy sensors, and photosensors are utilized and connected through control panels throughout the building.  Fluorescent and H.I.D. sources operate on 480Y/277 volts and incandescents run from 208Y/120 volt panels.

Illuminance levels are based on those from the IESNA recommendations and criteria from the Department of Defense.

The mechanical system is comprised of a combination of VAV and constant volume control boxes to maintain required space temperatures and minimum airflow rates.  The primary heating is from high pressure campus steam.  It will be distributed through the mechanical rooms and serve as a source for domestic hot water.  Gravity or a duplex electrical condensate pump will return condensate to a central location.  Constant volume unitary air conditioning units are utilized to cool the building.  All equipment is located on the first and second floor mechanical room, upon which the second floor contains a field-erected air handling unit.  Primary hot water and chilled water distribution pumps will be variable speed and located in the second floor Mechanical Equipment Room.

The NICoE's structural system consists of a cast-in-place concrete system with a 5" slab on grade for the ground floor.  The remaining levels contain 9" thick two way concrete slabs with flat slab drop panels at the columns.
Reinforced concrete columns create a mostly rectilinear grid throughout the building and are directly aligned between floors.  A majority of these elements are 24"x24", with others ranging from 12"x24" to 16"x30".  At the high roof, low roof, and around the curved north and west facade, 24"diameter circular concrete columns support the exterior wall system.
HSS steel provides support for the west curved wall between the second level and upper roof level.  This material also sustains the large circular skylight located above Central Park.  Structural steel is utilized to support the elevator slab.

Fire Protection
The fire suppression system consists of a wet sprinkler system to provide protection to the entire building.  The elevator machine room is provided with an automatic wet system with dedicated zone control assembly.  The fire department connection is located on the north side of the building.

The fire alarm system is voice activation type and consists of ADA compliant strobes and audible speakers.  It includes duct mounted smoke detectors, manual pull stations, photoelectric smoke detectors, sprinklers, annunciation panels, wall mounted panels, and radio frequency transmitter and associated equipment.  The main fire alarm control panel, along with other critical panels, is located in the Emergency Equipment Room 112A.  All other devices are spread throughout the building according to fire protection codes.

The building is serviced by two hydraulic elevators located in the center of the building.  They are positioned on the north to south division line between the amorphous and "bar" sections of the structure.   One is front opening only, connecting the first floor Interior Lobby to the second floor Waiting area.  The second is front and reverse opening, also servicing a corridor in the "bar" area.  They are machine room-less with a 5,000lb carrying capacity.

Two sets of stairs link the first and second levels.  One is centrally located next to the elevators in the Interior Lobby space, which is open to the second floor above.  It provides transportation to the Waiting Area on the second floor.  The second stairwell is positioned on the west side of the building across from the exit door.  It connects the first floor Recreational Therapy space to the upper Interior Lobby.

The telephone and data systems are connected to the interior Server Room with 4" conduit.  Almost every room contains voice/data and computer outlets for occupant usage.  Media and wireless outlets are also widespread.  Nurse call technologies are located in most of the spaces.  These enable maximum patient care at anytime and from anywhere.  The main telecommunications room is located on the ground floor adjacent to the main electrical room.  Each floor will also be provided with a local telecommunications closet.

Audiovisual System
Various spaces throughout the building contain speakers and flat panel displays for general patient viewing.  Audiovisual input and output panels are positioned for multimedia connections throughout different areas.  The Auditorium, Media Dive Room, Classroom, and Research/Tech Room contain projectors and projection screens for seminars and presentations.  Cameras are located on the second floor Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy spaces.  They are also present to monitor patient progress in the ADL Suite and Recreational Therapy area.

Security System
The security system consists of card readers in various locations of the building.  They are placed outside of select spaces for limited access.  A dedicated conduit system is provided. 



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This page was last updated on October 13, 2008, by Christine Clowes and is hosted by the AE Department © 2009
Note: While great efforts have been taken to provide accurate and complete information on the pages of CPEP, please be aware that the information contained herewith is considered a work‐in‐progress for this thesis project. Modifications and changes related to the original building designs and construction methodologies for this senior thesis project are solely the interpretation of Christine Clowes. Changes and discrepancies in no way imply that the original design contained errors or was flawed. Differing assumptions, code references, requirements, and methodologies have been incorporated into this thesis project; therefore, investigation results may vary from the original design.