Firm name: The RMH Group Inc.
Project building name and location: Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facility, Fort Bliss, Texas
Type of building and type of project: Military Facility, New Construction
Project completion date and project duration: January 2011
Engineering challenges and solutions:
For such a large-scale design-build project, one of the challenges was designing mechanical and electrical systems to meet very specific and technical needs while allowing the owner flexibility over time to grow and utilize the facilities as needed. The anticipated usage loads are unique to this type of facility and accommodating the requirements without over-designing is a challenge.
Solutions to Engineering Challenges:
The RMH Group provided mechanical and electrical engineering for 12 individual TEMF facilities at two adjacent infantry brigade combat team (IBCT) complexes in Fort Bliss, Texas. Three different types of TEMFs outlined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: small 10-ton, medium 10-ton, and medium 35-ton facilities. Each type has repair and maintenance bays, which are used to maintain and repair tactical equipment such as armored vehicles and tanks. The electrical design included site lighting, featuring multi-level lighting control and automatic occupancy sensors, interior power for general use, specialty equipment, electronics repair and mechanical systems equipment. The RMH Group also designed the fire alarm and mass notification, telecommunication, and infrastructure for security access control. The distribution system provides separation of the various loads to minimize nuisance tripping and single points of failure.
The design accommodated the wide variety of electrical loads and potential uses of equipment by a generous use of branch circuits to ensure available capacity and prevent overloads. The mechanical design included heat and air conditioning from packaged rooftop units on each TEMF. The repair and maintenance bays were ventilated with an indirect fired make-up air unit which included variable volume controls. This allowed for a 50% turndown on make-up air supplied to the service areas of each TEMF. The make-up and exhaust air system serving the service areas of each TEMF also included a heat recovery unit designed to recover heat during winter operations.
In addition to heat recovery, economizer exhaust air rejected by the air handling units serving to administration areas of each TEMF was directed to the make-up air units in order to recover waste heat generated within the administration areas of each TEMF. The combined TEMFs contain approximately 320,000-square-feet and are able to service 3,268 vehicles annually.
There are 48 ancillary storage buildings for additional gear and equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles, and fuel and other hazardous materials were also constructed on the TEMF sites. Both IBCT TEMF complexes are LEED-NC registered. This project utilized a design-build delivery.