Cost Estimator & Scheduler
Giuliani Associates Architects
Thomas L. Brown Associates
Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson
Ammann & Whitney
EYP Mission Critical Facilities
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Giuliani Associates was contracted by Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) to provide design services to relocate the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/ National Weather Service (NOAA/NWS) facilities, in order to accommodate the new fourth runway at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).
Project Description: The Dulles National Weather Service facilities were relocated to accommodate the construction of a fourth runway at IAD. The resulting 18,000 SF weather service complex is composed of multiple structures designed to house both new and relocated meteorological equipment as well as technical and administrative staff. The complex incorporates applicable NOAA design standards and has been certified LEED Silver by the US Green Building Council. Significant features of the complex include:
Site Work: The site was developed to take full advantage of the park-like setting of the property. Access roadways and storm water management facilities were designed to require minimal disturbance of the site which includes several wetlands. Existing trees were relocated from another location (scheduled to be razed) and the remainder of landscaping was accomplished utilizing native plantings.
Weather Forecast Office: As the central feature of the complex, the 14,000 SF Weather Forecast Office was designed as a “show-case” facility appropriate for high-level government VIP visits. The building is composed of a central volume of space accommodating the entry and weather operations center, with two smaller “wings” extending to the east and west. Recognized as the heart of the weather forecasting operation, the central weather operations center is located centrally in the building. All administrative areas are grouped to the west of the central weather operations center and all support functions are grouped to the east.
The linear east/west orientation of the Weather Forecast Office was established to take advantage of natural light. All large workspaces are located on the north side of the building to allow large areas of north facing glass to bring natural light deep into the spaces. Smaller workspaces are accommodated on the south side of the building where smaller areas of glass control the harsher south light. The roof is a single low sloped (1:12) plane which slopes up the north to take advantage of natural skylight in the weather operations center and slopes down to the south to shield the building from southern light. A five-feet deep roof overhangs the building provide shading on areas of glass. A series of skylights provides natural light into the interior circulation spine.
Since the weather station is located adjacent to active aircraft runways, acoustic isolation was a significant program requirement. Split-faced CMU was selected for the exterior facade to provide mass for sound attenuation and areas of required storefront glazing were double glazed for both thermal and acoustical insulation. The resulting building envelope provides an interior environment of approximately 31 dBA Ldn.
Upper Air Inflation & Storage Building: The 2,000 SF Upper Air Inflation Building, used to inflate weather balloons, occurs directly east of the Weather Forecast Office and is accessed through an enclosed breezeway. Based on a standard agency design, the building was adapted to site specific requirements to include access to the Weather Forecast Office and visual line of site from the Dulles Research and Development Center Laboratory. The building is oriented to be rectilinear with the Weather Forecast Office; balloon launching access doors face east and west. Masonry cladding on the building exterior was selected to match the adjacent Weather Forecast Office.
Radar & Observation Building: The 2,000 SF NEXRAD radar structure and support buildings required close coordination with the physical location, site work, foundations, and utilities supporting the site. Detailed design of the tower and radar enclosure structure was coordinated with the NOAA Radar Operations Center in Oklahoma City. The Observation Building was located approximately 200 feet east of the test beds that it observes to ensure that the experiments in the test beds will not be affected by wind shadows cast by the OBS Building.
Test Beds & Support Facilities: Existing test beds were relocated from another site. Working closely with NOAA the test beds were configured and located to avoid conflict with existing wetlands and low-lying areas that would interfere with the test equipment.
LEED Features: The facility utilizes a variety of sustainable building strategies, including:
- High-albedo roof to reduce heat absorption
- High-efficiency plumbing fixtures to reduce consumption of potable water
- Commissioning of building systems to ensure optimal performance and efficiency
- Views to outdoors for 90% of regularly occupied spaces to improve indoor environment for occupants
- Wood certified by Forest Stewardship Council to promote environmentally responsible construction
Professional Services: To ensure the needs of the weather station staff were met within the budget and schedule established by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Giuliani Associates coordinated the efforts of the design team with multiple review and oversight agencies across the country. As architect of record for the project, Giuliani’s responsibilities included:
- Prime consultant responsible for directing & coordinating sub-consultants
- Schematic design including alternate space plans
- Collaboration with NOAA design staff for the programming and conceptualization of the project
- Facilitating design charettes with NOAA design & operations staff & airport program director
- Consultation with Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority staff to ensure budget compliance
- Collaboration with NOAA operations personnel to ensure functionality of facilities
- Contract documents including incorporation of NOAA design standards
- Coordination of engineering distribution systems with architectural features and specialized equipment
- Interior design including specialized millwork detailing for laboratories and equipment rooms
- Construction phase services, both on-site and in-office support