The $42-million Mason Inn Conference Center and Hotel in Fairfax, Va., is an unsolicited Public Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 project, one of the first at George Mason University.

Photo Courtesy Balfour Beatty Construction
Photo Courtesy Balfour Beatty Construction

Balfour Beatty Construction of Fairfax, Va., teamed with development partner Concord Eastridge to secure this public-private contract to develop, design and build a 135,000-sq-ft conference center and hotel facility at George Mason University’s main campus.

The Mason Inn includes approximately 20,000 sq ft of convention space integrated with a 149-room hotel. The complex includes a restaurant, lounge, kitchen, ballroom, 11 meeting rooms and a laundry area. The project also includes 35,000 sq ft of underground parking and a new campus entrance road.

The project had four different structural systems in the hotel tower that tied into each other: structural steel, post-tensioned concrete, conventional concrete and Infinity coatings. There were three different subcontractors and two stand-alone suppliers for the four systems.

The project team coordinated with the five organizations to ensure seamless fit and function and proper scheduling.

Despite enduring one of the worst winter storms ever recorded in the area, the project was completed roughly eight weeks ahead of schedule. The design-build team included major subcontractors in the development of the schedule.

The project budget was a risk early on. Balfour Beatty, Gensler and the subcontractors kept a close eye on the budget, always looking into options and not accepting the easy alternatives. This conscious effort to keep costs down did not thwart the team’s desire to delivery a high-quality facility, and the team delivered a project that was under budget, eight weeks early and still met the high quality standards set by George Mason University.

The Mason Inn meets at a minimum LEED Silver certification, but is currently tracking for LEED Gold.

Key Players

Owner: George Mason University
Contractor: Balfour Beatty Construction
Construction Manager: JFW Consulting
Architect: Gensler
Civil Engineer: Christopher Consultants
Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
MEP Engineer: GHT Limited