Firm name: Ross + Baruzzini Inc.
Project building name and location: New Joint Armed Forces Reserve Center, Jefferson Barracks, Mo.
Type of building and type of project: Reserve Center, New Constuction
Project completion date and project duration: November 2011
Engineering challenges and solutions:
The new Reserve Center was planned and built on the oldest United States military installation west of the Mississippi River. The challenge was to design a new facility that blended in with the surrounding Civil War era buildings and complied with the strict State Historic Preservation Guidelines while supporting the mission of the Missouri National Guard and US Army Reserve with a modern facility that integrated LEED, Anti-Terrorism Force Protection and ASHRAE 90.1 Efficiency Requirements as well as future expansion provisions. Essentially the building had to look like an old historic building, yet operate and function as a modern-day DoD (Department of Defense) facility. The result was a project that has been awarded First Place in the National Guard Bureau’s Cultural Resources Team Competition of military construction (MILCON) projects and is now competing at the Department of Army Level.
Solutions to the Above Challenges:
LEED concepts for sustainable building design were incorporated into the project to achieve the equivalency of a LEED “Silver” rating level. Sustainable project features incorporated include:
- Green building products with low VOC levels to improve interior air quality for the end users
- Natural day lighting and views to 75% of all regularly occupied building spaces to reduce lighting costs and to enhance the interior environment
- Fossil fuel conservation by encouraging the use of low emitting and fuel efficient vehicles with preferred parking spaces
- Reduced soil erosion and sedimentation levels into local waterways with underground water detention and filtration systems
- Conservation of energy through highly efficient mechanical systems and improved building envelope insulation strategies
- Water conservation techniques through the use of low flow plumbing fixtures and the cultivation of native drought resistant plant species
- Construction waste management strategies that diverted 95% of construction waste into recycling industries in lieu of landfills
- Recycled building materials to reduce the impact on our limited natural resources
Incorporating these sustainability features into the project clearly reduced the overall environmental impact of the facility as an example to future projects to highlight a more environmentally responsible approach to building design. UFC 4-010-01 DoD Minimum Anti-Terrorism Standards for Buildings were adhered to addressing each of the twenty-two required standards.
Standoff distances were established and integrated into the overall design of the buildings, landscaping, parking and roadways, as well as an unobstructed space of 33ft. The three-story structure was designed to avoid progressive collapse using the Alternate Path Method. The building’s exterior envelope utilizes reinforced masonry walls and laminated, blast resistant windows per ASTM 2248. The ASHRAE 90.1 Energy Requirement was fulfilled by application of three (3) roof-mounted packaged direct-expansion (DX) air-conditioners equipped with gas furnaces. Because the building is designed for heavy usage on Active Reserve weekends, but much lighter administrative use during the week, there are a large number of hours of reduced cooling load.
While DX rooftop units are considered to be of no better than average energy efficiency at full load, these are quite efficient at reduced load – and there are a very large number of operating days of reduced load at this facility. Each rooftop unit was arranged for variable-air volume (VAV) air delivery to significantly reduce airflow (and energy consumption) when the building is operating in its reduced capacity. Each unit features four (4) scroll compressors, and during reduced load only one or two compressors may be operating for sufficient cooling. The refrigerant used was environmentally friendly R-410A. All units feature an air-side economizer cycle to provide as much as 100% outdoor air, with no mechanical heating or cooling, when the outdoor air conditions are suitable.
Furthermore, one of the rooftop units includes an enthalpic energy-recovery wheel to capture energy from exhaust air to preheat or pre-cool incoming outdoor air. Finally, to take advantage of large number of mild days during St. Louis winters, the gas furnaces were designed with a 20:1 turndown ratio for very efficient part-load heating. Provisions for future expansion were incorporated that will allow the east and west building facades to be removed and the east and west wings expanded. Milestone design submittals were submitted and reviewed with the State Historic Preservation Office for compliance.