KCI provided multidisciplinary engineering services as part of a fast-track design-build construction project to develop a new mission critical building for Prince George’s County. The three-story, 46,000-square-foot building had to accommodate emergency operations activities, 911 call takers, and other County services. Working alongside Motorola Solutions, Widewaters Construction and Smolen-Emr-Ilkovich Architects, KCI served as the engineer of record.
Together, architects and engineers incorporated a host of unique site and building features to support emergency operation, while also working to meet the aggressive schedule that would take the building from concept to ribbon cutting in one year, and complete operation an occupancy in less than 15 months. Our team provided full service MEP, fire protection, structural, telecommunications, geotechnical and site/civil engineering design and construction administration services.
We worked nights and weekend to push the design from 65 to 100 percent in just 20 days. That’s an astonishing amount of work in a very small time frame.
Matthew E. Hulcher, PEPractice Leader, Fire Protection Engineer
On top of the schedule constraints, the team also faced a number of technical challenges related to the building’s operation requirements. First, several of the departments to be housed in the building do not interact with one another, and necessitated separate entrances and stairwells, while other share common rooms required for 24/7 operations including a small kitchen, showers and a quiet room. Additionally, this mixed-used facility will ordinarily be only half full, the building systems required careful consideration to support high occupancy rates and equipment loads during an active public emergency. HVAC, power, telecommunications, and other systemic needs were calculated under both scenarios in order to balance equipment size, redundancy and the ability to quickly increase service.
Every aspect of this state-of-the-art emergency operations center will enhance operations in the face of an emergency or disaster, and help to save lives in the community.