The Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) awarded the Absher-Tetra Tech team a National Award of Merit in Civic Buildings for designing and building a high-performance housing structure for the U.S. Army in Oahu, Hawaii.

Under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Schofield Barracks project is designed to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold designation (pending). DBIA’s award acknowledges a superb energy and security design, the confluence of its architectural design with existing facilities, the sustainable materials used, the procurement process, its clean construction, and the team’s management of a fast track schedule to complete the project one month early.

The new, six-story, $35.3-million Unaccompanied Enlisted Personnel Housing (UEHP) facility will house 228 soldiers in 114 two-bedroom, one-bath residences with ample parking. The design meets the Army’s Whole Barracks Renewal standards and reflects the Corps of Engineers’ commitment to build the highest quality facilities. The UEPH facility achieves the dual design objectives of providing high-quality housing comparable to local market rate apartments and complementing the FY09 UEPH building on the same block. The new barracks uses a similar compositional arrangement: a central, vertical core marking the main entry and symmetrical wings on both sides.

The fast-track construction used a stepped notice-to-proceed, enabling critical-path procurement work and physical on-site construction work to begin sooner. A well-executed long-lead procurement process, essential to fast-tracking in Hawaii, delivered materials well in advance of their need. The team integrated architecture-engineering design with procurement and construction to complete the project one month ahead of schedule.

The team coordinated the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system designs using a 3D model from BIM software to quickly identify and resolve conflicts and save time during installation. To facilitate future work, the team provided the Corps of Engineers a record model with information on the 3D-coordination process and as-built conditions. In addition to planned design tasks, the project team completed a requested upgrade to an existing mechanical plant that would serve both UEPH buildings, accomplishing all tasks with no disruptions to residents of the existing barracks.

The project’s high-performance features include:

  • Increased energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality through use of insulated concrete forms, which also produce less waste during construction
  • More than 50 percent of waste diverted from landfill and maximized recycled material use
  • Erosion and sediment control to minimize the impact of construction activities
  • A building envelope and energy systems that save more than 50 percent of energy use annually compared with ASHRAE 90.1 baseline
  • High-efficiency plumbing fixtures and water-efficient landscaping that reduce water use 50 percent, saving more than 250,000 gallons annually
  • Separate plumbing for reclaimed water use
  • A 100 percent solar hot water system
  • Low VOC adhesives, sealant, paints, and coating for improved indoor air quality
  • Daylight views for 97 percent of regularly-occupied spaces