The newest addition to Tuscaloosa, Ala.'s downtown district displays a traditional Greek Revival design.

Photo by Stanley Capps
The GSA Federal Building and Courthouse project in Montgomery, Ala., was named the "Best Public Building Project" in ENR Southeast's 'Best Projects' contest.
Photo by Stanley Capps
The project is pending LEED Gold certification.

KBR Building Group started construction of the 127,376-sq-ft federal building and courthouse for the General Services Administration in November 2009. The $48.6-million facility houses nearly 20 government tenants, including the U.S. District Court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshal Service and the Social Security Administration. It also includes offices for Alabama's senators and congressional representatives.

The building's limestone facade, which included 10,300 pieces—weighing between 400 and 12,000 lb each—represented one of the project's major challenges. Rigging and hoisting was a major challenge, says the contractor, especially for the elaborate cornice pieces, which each weighed more than 3,500 lb.

Additionally, the facade required more than 30 different specialized anchoring systems for installation.

Finish quality was paramount. Crews constructed 35 mock-ups in all, including those for the building's exterior and the cornice pieces.

Although the project was not designed using building information modeling, KBR converted the two-dimensional design into a BIM and used it to complete MEP systems coordination. At completion, the project team provided the GSA with an as-built model for building operations.

The courthouse is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council and is pending LEED-Gold certification. Complying with national GSA energy reduction goals, the facility is designed to reduce energy consumption by 28% and water use by 30%.

The project was completed on schedule in September 2011.


Key Players

Owner: General Services Administration, Atlanta

Contractor: KBR Building Group, Charlotte, N.C.

Designer: Hammond Beeby Rupert Ainge Architects, Chicago

Civil Engineer: LBYD Inc., Birmingham, Ala.

Structural Engineer: MBA Structural Engineers, Birmingham, Ala.

MEP Engineer: MW/Davis Dumas & Associates, Birmingham, Ala.

Submitted by KBR Building Group