The 11-story, LEED Platinum-certified Rockville Metro Plaza II added 323,000 square feet of Class A space to Rockville, Md.'s commercial building inventory. The building accommodates open-bay column spacing via a post-tensioned concrete structural frame. It also features interior stone and wood accents; office, conference and training areas equipped with the latest audio-visual conferencing, projection, lighting and computer tablet controls; and an outdoor terrace. The owner's acquisition of Renewable Energy Credits helped the project achieve its Platinum rating.

While excavating the below-grade garage in the fall and winter of 2011, the project experienced record-breaking rainfall. Crews also encountered rock and groundwater during excavation. A traditional dewatering system couldn't be installed due to the striation of the rock.

The team worked with a waterproofing consultant to devise a site-specific dewatering system that included two large dry wells with continuously running pumps, and a constantly evolving network of temporary and permanent components. The solution allowed foundation installation to resume and ultimately improved beyond the original design the project's ability to alleviate groundwater pressure.

During that four-month period, the schedule was set back by six weeks. The team re-sequenced the erection of the precast concrete envelope, installing it floor by floor instead of elevation by elevation. That allowed successive trades' work to begin earlier.

The team also scheduled extensive amounts of overtime and weekend work. The project was able to recover the six weeks of lost time and start the tenant fit-out on the original contract milestone date.

One of the construction team's most daunting challenges came late in the project, when the owner sought to accelerate the project's completion by one month, compressing the final four months of work into just three.

By re-sequencing the schedule and working extended hours, the Foulger-Pratt Contracting-led team was able to complete the $34-million project on schedule.


Rockville Metro Plaza II, Rockville, Md.

Key Players

Owner Foulger-Pratt Development

Design Firm VOA Associates; WDG Architecture

General Contractor Foulger-Pratt Contracting; Rand Construction Corp.

Structural Engineer Cagley & Associates

Civil Engineer Joyce Engineering

MEP Engineer Allen & Shariff Engineering; WFT Engineering

Mechanical-Electrical Design GHT Limited

Landscape Architect Studio39

Subcontractors Belfast Valley Contractors; Benfield Electric; Datawatch Systems; Genco Masonry; Justin Company; Mallick Mechanical Contractors; Pleasant Construction; Ruppert Landscape; Steele Foundation