Case study: Collaborative delivery serves U.S. Coast Guard well

A U.S. Coast Guard multimission building and vessel-support facility project required a revised site plan, ultimately benefitting the project’s overall outcome.


Figure 3 The Cape May U.S. Coast Guard multimission building nears the midpoint of construction.Using a collaborative delivery process, CDM Smith was able to provide the fast-track design-build of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) multimission building and vessel-support facility to serve USCG operational needs in Cape May, N.J. The project included building a 2-story, 29,500-sq-ft U.S. Green Building Council LEED-certified multimission building and a 1-story 7,000-sq-ft vessel-support facility, including all sitework and utilities. Both buildings are pile-supported, pre-engineered steel-framed structures with masonry and metal architectural-panel exteriors and standing seam metal roofs. The 3.6-acre site is located adjacent to the cutter piers at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May.

As part of the collaborative delivery process, the project team executed this project by overlapping various design and construction activities to shorten the overall project delivery and completion schedule. Collaboration between the USCG and CDM Smith design and construction staff very early in the project was a key reason for the project's success. This collaboration led to the development of a revised site plan that allowed for the simultaneous construction of the multimission and vessel-support buildings, which reduced construction time, and consequently less disruption to the USCG's other missions.

Figure 4: An aerial view of the completed Cape May U.S. Coast Guard multimission and vessel-support buildings shows a Coast Guard cutter and pier in the foreground.Many of the future occupants of the multimission building were housed in buildings adjacent to or overlapping the project site. As a result, the request for proposal required the multimission building to be constructed first and turned over to the USCG before construction of the vessel-support facility could start. The consequence was a longer construction period and increased costs because contractors had to mobilize twice for the same project.

Early in the project, the CDM Smith team reviewed the site layout and brainstormed an approach of shifting the two buildings' locations within the project site and repurposing a road that divided the building site into onsite parking. With this revised layout, the buildings scheduled for demolition that overlapped the project site could be preserved during construction. This allowed both buildings to be constructed concurrently.

This approach was developed into a high-level site plan, with input from both the design and construction teams, and was then presented to the USCG. The plan required the relocation of some existing utilities, which were not in the original plans, but the USCG determined that this was a small trade-off for the simultaneous construction of the two buildings. The repurposed road was actually an unanticipated benefit to the USCG because trucks and boats were scheduled to travel frequently between the two buildings. Turning the road into part of the parking lot turned out to be a traffic-easing solution, which made transport between the two buildings easier.

Matthew Goss is vice president and technical strategy leader for infrastructure and energy with CDM Smith.

Mario Vecchiarello is senior vice president and senior electrical engineer with CDM Smith. He is a member of the Consulting-Specifying Engineer editorial advisory board.

Kurt van Heiningen is a project manager with more than a decade of experience at CDM Smith.

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