NAVFAC Washington Awarded Top Honor for Dental Clinic Design

02 December 2021
WASHINGTON - Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington has earned top honors from the 2021 Air Force Design Award program for the dental clinic replacement completed on Joint Base Andrews, Md.
WASHINGTON - Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Washington has earned top honors from the 2021 Air Force Design Award program for the dental clinic replacement completed on Joint Base Andrews, Md.

The dental clinic replacement project was a $22.8 million military construction designed by Florida based firm Rogers, Lovelock & Fritz, Inc., with architectural and engineering work managed by NAVFAC Washington. The project was completed January of 2019, consolidating dental services at Joint Base Andrews into a single facility, while incorporating a robust and expanding Advanced Education General Dentistry (AEGD) residency program. The design earned the Honor Award for 2021 from the Air Force Civil Engineer Center.

The Air Force Design Awards program, in its 46th year, honors the Air Force’s top projects. Since 1976, the program and the Air Force’s private-sector partners have recognized those projects that achieve design excellence related to the natural and built environment. The program gives three levels of awards: the Honor Award, which is the top prize, followed by the Merit and Citation Awards.

The dental clinic replacement design was recognized with the top prize for producing a facility efficient in space planning that harmoniously exists next to an active stream and wildlife habitat, while meeting the setback limitations imposed by the anti-terrorism/force-protection standards.

“The solution was to stack the program into a two-story mass,” said David Wolfel, NAVFAC Washington Design & Engineering Director. “This approach reduced the building footprint, allowing for the necessary clearances to meet safety criteria and protection of the adjacent stream.”

Organized around a welcoming, full-building-height public lobby, this two-story “T-shaped” building provides a world-class home for the installation’s dental services. The head of the “T” houses all patient destinations, with higher volume general dentistry located on the ground floor and lesser volume specialty dentistry and residency program located on the upper floor. The leg of the “T” provides clinic and staff support spaces, as well as engineering components, thus providing a full separation between the front of house and back of house areas.

The project was also recognized for its juxtaposition of rectilinear and curved design elements, as well as circulation patterns which provide intuitive wayfinding for visiting patients. The significant challenge of externally providing a strong identity for this smaller facility on a larger medical campus, while internally reconciling multiple patient destinations in a simple, direct, and intuitive wayfinding system was resolved by focusing the facility around the two-story entry lobby.

The curved, two-story punched window exterior stucco entry wall contrasts with the rectilinear masonry backdrop of the primary wing, focusing attention on the building and its primary entry. Passing through the entry to the open lobby, patients immediately sense the flood of natural light, recognize reception, the open second floor and its open stairway, as well as the obvious direct paths right and left to the operatory areas on each level.

“This simple approach of contrasting basic rectilinear solids with an open curvilinear form on the exterior and focusing the interior space on the two-story lobby establishes building identity and provides a user-friendly layout, while simultaneously reassuring and comforting the patient,” said Wolfel.

The facility incorporates elements of the Base Architectural Design Guide, sloped metal roofs, masonry, and stucco, while developing a unique Medical Campus vernacular consistent with the adjacent Ambulatory Care Center and Campus Master Plan. This is a one-of-a-kind design, builds on DHA and Air Force Surgeon General standard component room templates and combines custom-designed areas where no standards had been developed.

When it comes to energy efficiency, the facility succeeds by demonstrating an energy use reduction of over 35% and an energy cost savings of over 27% against the benchmark levels of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Life-cycle cost analyses were performed on multiple systems and material selections to identify best value solutions. Enhanced commissioning was employed, and the facility was designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standards. The compact building footprint, the introduction of natural lighting, selection of low maintenance building components, and life cycle cost-effective engineering systems all contributed to the project coming in under budget as it operationally outperformed comparable facilities.

This award represents the proven technical capability and competence of the men and women of NAVFAC Washington, who enable the mission readiness of our many Department of Defense partners across the National Capital Region, Maryland, and northern Virginia.
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