By Regina Adams, NAVFAC Washington Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Washington completed repairs and restoration to the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Headquarters Building at the Washington Navy Yard Jan. 30, one day ahead of schedule and just one year after the contract was awarded.
"The enhanced facility that we've turned over to NAVSEA represents an impressive accomplishment by a diverse, highly-focused Navy-contractor team that shared a common goal, which was to complete the facility in the short time allotted while effectively changing the sense of place to support the return of the NAVSEA workforce," stated Capt. Jay Mitchell, NAVFAC Washington's operations officer.
NAVSEA Headquarters, Building 197, suffered extensive and widespread damage during the tragic shooting that occurred on the Washington Navy Yard Sept. 16, 2013. Two weeks later NAVFAC awarded an initial contract to conduct critical repairs and develop concept designs for the complete restoration. Those concepts led to the overall restoration project that was just completed.
"Throughout this entire time, a strong spirit of partnership among the stakeholders, Navy and contractor alike, enabled our shared success," said Capt. Tony Edmonds, NAVFAC Washington commanding officer, while reflecting on the efforts that took place during the past 16 months.
The restoration project applied distinct design features to achieve the overall objective of changing the building's "sense of place" to mitigate the emotional impacts for the returning workforce. The historic atriums were upgraded with enhanced architectural elements, providing a warmer feel as well as a substantial reduction in noise carrying over into adjacent work areas.
The historic entrance was re-opened on the South side of the building with an architectural portal to enhance the building's character, along with a visitor processing area. The East employee entrance received a matching exterior portal, and other changes to increase capacity and throughput.
The restoration project included an improved way finding system and associated color scheme as well as new office cubicles with ergonomically adjustable work surfaces and small coat closet lockers. A Remembrance Area was built in the atrium where the main entry previously existed. The area provides a peaceful, private area to commemorate the fallen and accommodate personal reflection.
In addition to increasing overall building capacity from 2873 to 3194 seats, the project also achieved an 18 percent reduction in energy consumption and associated utility costs.
"A project of this magnitude typically takes three to four years to run through the entire process, said Michelle Connor, NAVFAC Washington's on-site project manager. "This project was condensed into one year."
The speed of execution reflected the strong partnership between NAVFAC, NAVSEA and the contractors, CH2M Hill and Whiting-Turner. Their combined, collaborative efforts resulted in the delivery of a world-class facility in an extremely condensed period of time. Despite the tremendous pressure to get the job done, safety was never compromised. More than 175 contractors put in more than 320,000 work hours with zero lost time mishaps. The project was completed just ahead of schedule and within budget.