Region's Best, Best Renovation/Restoration

A massive undercover operation that reached nearly all levels of the Pentagon, the nation's seat of military power, is the winner of ENR Southeast's Region's Best award, the top prize given in the magazine's Best Projects competition.

The $1.6-billion Pentagon Wedges 2-5 Renovation project, submitted by Hensel Phelps Construction Co., Chantilly, Va., was a 4.5-million-sq-ft undertaking that took nearly 10 years to complete.

And even though approximately 1 million sq ft of space was under renovation at any one time during that decade, the ongoing renovations were always invisible to the 23,000-plus military and civilian personnel working there.

Judges for ENR Southeast's Best Projects competition deemed the operation worthy of the contest's top award. Mark Wylie, president and CEO of the Central Florida chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Orlando, saluted the project's singular nature.

“The scope and magnitude of this project was without comparison,” he said. “As the home of our country's military operations, the renovations occurred during the height of two major conflicts, and construction succeeded with no minor or major disruptions of the thousands of Pentagon employees.

“The fee for the design/build prime contractor and others was awarded nearly 100% of the time over nine-plus years, indicating owner satisfaction and contractor/designer attention to detail,” Wylie adds. Moreover, the work ended on schedule, and under budget.

Restore, Rebuild, Renovate

Three days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. Dept. of Defense and Washington Headquarters Services awarded Hensel Phelps Construction a design-build contract to restore and rebuild the Pentagon's damaged Wedge 2. Shortly thereafter, the scope of work was revised and expanded to 4.5 million sq ft for the renovation of wedges two through five.

The new contract included complete demolition and abatement down to the concrete structure; hardening of the exterior envelope; upgrading of all MEP and life safety systems; building flexible office and command center space; restoring numerous historic building features; and relocating the secretary of defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Military Command Center. Originally scheduled for a 14-year duration, Congress cut that down by four years, to just 10.