The 774,195-sq-ft, five-building Central Campus at TA-5 at Fort Lee, Va., provides Army personnel state-of-the-art facilities for maintenance training on vehicles ranging from combat vehicles to battle tanks and houses the largest welding training lab in the U.S.

Photo Courtesy Balfour Beatty Construction
Photo Courtesy Balfour Beatty Construction

The campus buildings, ranging from three to four stories each, house a 250-seat auditorium; workshops; classrooms; laboratories; a long-span, column-free maintenance bay; multiple voice and data networks; and custom systems for high-voltage power, compressed gas and climate control.

Central Campus was designed and built to achieve LEED Silver certification.

The $199-million project was fast-tracked under the Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005. The design-build team worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to speed delivery.

The team held weekly design coordination and review meetings to drive delivery of each of the project’s three phases ahead of schedule. Overall, the project was completed three months ahead of a planned 26.5-month design and construction schedule.

The team used building information modeling for such tasks as design development, construction simulations and mock-ups to quickly accommodate program changes and improve the efficiency of the design and construction. Using BIM, the team eliminated and avoided costly rework.

The Balfour Beatty Construction team piloted Vela software and tablet PCs to improve and enhance the punch-list process with the client and end user. With building plans preloaded on each tablet, a first-phase team moved through the space, noting deficiencies and required improvements, which were later communicated to the entire construction team.

During the second phase, Balfour Beatty, along with the architect, client and end user, developed a final punch-list, and because there were a minimal number of issues to address, the client moved in ahead of schedule.

The project was executed with no lost-time accidents. Balfour Beatty Construction saw no recordable incidents among its employees, who recorded 81,000 work hours.

Key Players

Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division
Contractor: Balfour Beatty Construction
Architect: HNTB Federal Services Corp.
Engineer: H&A Architects and Engineers