Building Statistics 1

General Building Information:

Building Name Fort Pickett Regional Training Institute
Location and Site Blackstone, Virginia
Building Occupant Virginia Army National Guard
Occupancy Type Sleeping Barracks
Size 116,400 SF Total (3 Buildings around 40,000 SF)
Number of Floors Two Levels Above Grade
Dates of Construction 10/25/10-12/31/11
Overall Project Cost $28 Million
Project Delivery Method Design-Build
Contract Type Guaranteed Maximum Price


Primary Project Team:

Owner Virginia Army National Guard
Project Administrator U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Design/Builder Barton Malow Company
Structural Desai/Nasar Consulting
Civil Mindel, Scott, & Associates
Electrical ETS Engineering
Mechanical/Plumbing Sellinger Associates



The Regional Training Institute is located at Fort Pickett Military Base, an area of land that is isolated from any nearby environments. The swampy land was once found to be undesirable for construction, making the plot an ideal location to establish a Military Post. The project consists of classrooms, auditoriums, simulation rooms, offices, and living quarters, but for Phase II and the purpose of my building analysis, only the living quarters will be addressed.

The architectural design of the buildings follows the practical, simplistic ideology of the United States Military. Form follows function as the buildings were designed to maximize living capacity, while minimizing cost. The design features a classic axial layout to reinforce the architectural line of the buildings and draw focus to the educational buildings. The three billeting buildings are placed around the perimeter of a square to create the ceremonial quadrangle. The open space will function as a parade ground, as well as reinforce the overall campus design.

The two story billeting buildings utilize identical floor plans and a corridor that stretches from one end of the building to the other.  Corridors are oversized in anticipation of heavy traffic with exits located at each end of the buildings. Living suites are equipped with an operable window, sink, open closet, and a bathroom to be shared between two suites. This design is consistent throughout, with the exception of a few private rooms for higher ranking personnel. Centrally located on each floor is a laundry, lounge, communication, and mechanical room.

The interior materials used are consistent to modern-day office buildings. The colors are light and airy to accentuate the volume and operational experience. To build on the simplistic approach taken in the design, the buildings are consumed by standard military colors, such as tan, navy green, black, gray, white, and red. Various colors are used throughout the buildings to emphasize areas of importance and develop a hierarchy of space. Ceiling heights also vary to add importance to selected areas.

National Code Models:

  1. - IBC 2006
  2. - NFPA2009
  3. - NEC 2008
  4. - Life Safety Code 2009


Historical Significance:

There are no historical requirements for this building.


Building Facades:

A rusticated masonry exterior skin was integrated using a variety of masonry units. The various colors meet the requirements identified by the Virginia National Guard. Multiple textures accented by detailed banding in the masonry are used to reinforce human scale and add a visual aesthetic to the facility. Vertical elements were implemented to break ups its linear nature, moreover drawing attention to the entrances and reinforcing the overall axial plan of the campus. The façade is composed of a variety of CMU textures and colors, including split-faced and smooth. The only break from the use of CMU’s on the exterior came from the precast concrete window sills. Windows are typical aluminum framed with glass panes. Further information regarding the façade is restricted, due to possible threats.



The roofing system is a prefinished military green colored 24 gauge standing seam metal roofing with slip joints at the walls. Beneath the metal roofing is a Blue Skin, which acts as an air, water, and vapor barrier. The roofing is anchored to 6 5/8” Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) that are composed of 7/16" thick OSB panels on both faces and filled with R-40 foam insulation. The metal roofing also uses snow guards to prevent injuries from winter hazards to nearby bystanders.



The LEED Silver design utilizes a combination of advanced HVAC and lighting systems throughout the buildings. The buildings are equipped with several heat pumps throughout the buildings, so that the inside environment can be controlled more effectively to the desired conditions. The campus utilizes a centralized glycol system to cool the glycol in the heat pumps throughout the buildings. The mechanical system is enhanced with an ERV to retain energy from the exhaust air. The ERV wheel recovers air exiting the building and conductively transfers the energy to the incoming air. In addition, each room is equipped with occupancy sensors to ensure that energy is not wasted. Many of the materials on site were also tracked, guaranteeing proper disposal and recycling of material leaving the site.

Building Statistics 2

Construction Information:

Upon successful completion of Phase I of the Regional Training Institute for the Virginia Army National Guard, the Phase II 120,000SF billeting buildings were awarded to Barton Malow for design and construction services. The base contract is for $28M with an $850K fee. Due to the unique layout of the campus, the three billeting buildings were constructed in a phased approach consisting of six areas. The lead floor was the ground floor of the east most building, followed by the ground floor of the next building, and so on, until it reached the second floor of the most west building. The lag maintained an approximate one week separation on the schedule, in order to fluidly move workers from one building to the next. This was believed to be an ideal strategy to eliminate any potential hindrance from an often detrimental learning curve. The project broke ground in October of 2010 and is set to be completed in December of 2011.



The primary electrical distribution is supplied by the Southside Electrical Utility, where primary power will run to transformers located on pads 33 ft. behind each building. The transformers feeding the service are 5000KVA. The electrical rooms are accessible from the exterior of each building and feature an 800A switchboard at 277/480V/3PH/4W that services a 277/480V lighting panel, and power distribution panels for mechanical loads located in the first and second floor electrical rooms. The electrical rooms have transformers serving 120/208V panelboards servicing the receptacles, washers, dryers, 208V heat pumps, and all 120V mechanical equipment throughout the buildings.



The general lighting throughout the buildings utilizes high efficiency T8 3500K fluorescent lighting. The lighting system was designed to exceed the requirements of ASHRAE 90.1. In addition, each individual space uses an occupancy sensor in conjunction with a local switch to automatically turn off the lights after the space has been unoccupied for a specified amount of time. Each switch is also equipped with an override switch on the sensor for further convenience. Emergency lighting is provided using emergency battery ballasts within the light fixtures, and they are connected ahead of the local controls to ensure an activation of the emergency lighting system upon power loss from the panelboard. The exterior lighting features building mounted 175W metal halides placed every 75 ft. on center around the perimeter of the buildings. The exterior lighting is controlled using a programmable lighting control panel and time clock.



The mechanical system is composed of a central closed water loop heat pump system, which is incorporated into the rest of the campus. To handle the additional load, a 240 KW electrical boiler, associated pumps, and a 200 ton closed cell fluid cooler were added to the mechanical room of a neighboring building. Underground HDPE piping routes the ethylene glycol fluid to the campus, where each building will be provided with base mounted VFD pumps. One of the pumps will be on 100% standby at all times, but will be coordinated by a lead/lag cycle to equalize wear. The pumps are controlled through VFD’s to maintain a preset pressure differential across the piping system and will reduce flow at times when building occupancies are low to save energy. The corridor ceiling space is occupied by high efficiency horizontally placed heat pumps. The heat pumps are supplied with environmentally friendly refrigerant R 410a. The fans are driven by high efficiency ECM motors. The compressors are two stage to match the capacity to the load. They have supply and return ductwork with outdoor ventilation air ducted directly to the return air side. The heat pumps are provided with two way control valves to work in conjunction with the VFD pumps to reduce energy using during part load conditions. In general, three to five rooms will be supplied from one heat pump, which reduces maintenance work load, allows for closer match between actual heating/cooling load and heat pump capacity, and greatly reduces congestion in the ceiling plenum. Energy recovery ventilators are used to pre-treat outdoor air with toilet room exhaust through an enthalpy heat wheel, which allows negligible amounts of air crossover. This saves substantial energy and reduces the design heating and cooling loads.



The project consists of three, two level stand-alone structures. All of the buildings are supported on spread footings bearing on existing soil. All buildings have a minimum 4” slab on grade reinforced with welded wire fabric or fiber mesh over a vapor barrier bearing on minimum 4” compacted granular fill. The supported floors for all buildings consist of 8” thick precast hollow-core plank that is topped with 2” of concrete that is reinforced with welded wire fabric. The hollow-core planks are supported on cold formed steel bearing wall panels, which use 14 and 16 gage studs 16” on center, and W12x26 structural steel wide flange beams. The structural steel wide flange beams are supported by hollow core structural steel columns. The roofs for all buildings are supported by pre-engineered cold formed steel roof trusses, which are supported on cold formed bearing wall panels and W10 x22 structural steel wide flange beams. In addition, a cold-formed steel load bearing shear wall system is used to resist wind and earthquake loads, directing lateral forces from the roof level, through the rigid level floor supports, and into the foundations. The exterior wall enclosure is composed of cold formed steel framing, serving as a back-up to brick veneer or other wall finish materials supported from the building frame.


Fire Protection:

The buildings use a wet pipe fire protection system with sprinklers placed throughout the building. The system is pressurized from a neighboring building constructed in Phase I. Each building features indicating post valves for further convenience. The buildings utilize a fire riser assembly that is equipped with isolation valves and tamper switches, which can be found in each first floor mechanical room. Each floor is supplied with zone sprinkler valves, which will be equipped with isolation valves with tamper switches, flow switches, and test and drain connections. The sprinkler system will be concealed using semi-recessed heads with thermo bulbs throughout the buildings. In areas without ceilings, upright heads will be incorporated. The fire protection system also uses strobe lights and fire alarm pull stations that are strategically placed throughout the building to ensure a safe environment. Proper installation will adhere to NFPA and Fire Marshall Requirements.



The system features voice and data locations throughout the buildings with data outlets located next to each desk in the billeting rooms. A main telecommunication hub will service the system next to the electrical rooms on each floor. In addition, wireless internet is available throughout the buildings in each billeting room.



Since the campus is located on a Military base, the buildings feature a few unique security requirements that are built into the RFP. Entrances located at the ends of the building, as well as all windows, are required to meet specified blast requirements. Perimeter doors feature card swipes to allow access to restricted individuals. In addition, each billeting room possesses its own card swipe that is to be limited to the current room occupant and authorized parties. The buildings also feature an emergency shut-down system that is incorporated into the ventilation system that shuts down all outside air into the facility for security purposes.