The 111,500-sq-ft U.S. Coast Guard Houston-Galveston Sector Building was completed in October 2013 at Ellington Field. Planning for the project began after Hurricane Ike caused significant damage to the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Field Office in Galveston in 2008. The contractor-led design-build project created office and training spaces, command centers, a data center, medical and dental facilities and support spaces.

Photo by G. Russ Images
U.S. Coast Guard Houston-Galveston Sector Building

The facility, expected to earn LEED Silver certification, meets the requirements of Anti-Terrorism Force Protection, U.S. Dept. of Defense design standards to resist progressive collapse and can withstand a Category 3 hurricane.

Before the project first broke ground in January 2012, the commercial construction market in the Houston-Galveston area was very active, and local subcontractors had little interest in doing government work. The project team made an effort to identify and engage qualified local subs, but some specialty firms were brought in from outside the area.

Early collaboration during preconstruction, continuing into the construction phase, enabled the team to accommodate the frequent end-user changes throughout the project. The flexibility and contractual advantages of design-build delivery also allowed the Mortenson-STV team to respond quickly to those changes while minimizing impacts to the schedule.

The project's sustainable design elements included a treated rainwater harvesting system and low-maintenance landscaping that requires no irrigation. The team utilized a deep foundation system consisting of 55-ft-deep, 18-in.-dia auger-cast-in-place piles and a reinforced concrete structural slab on the ground floor as well as void forms to span across the expansive soils present at the site.

U.S. Coast Guard Houston-Galveston Sector Building


Key Players

General Contractor Mortenson Construction, Minneapolis

Owner U.S. Coast Guard, Houston

Lead Design STV, Douglassville, Pa.