Barnhart Balfour Beatty reports that it has completed the $63.8-million Weapons and Armament Technology Center, now known as the Dr. William B. McLean Laboratory, at the Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) in China Lake.

Barnhart Balfour Beatty Completes Tech Center in China Lake

KMA Architecture & Engineering provided structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing design and consulting services for the design-build project.

The 170,000-sq-ft, two-story technology center combines state-of-the-art engineering laboratories with supporting management offices and conference facilities. The building is described as the hub of the weapons and armament complex at China Lake and is the single largest construction project of the 11 mission-type facilities that were constructed as part of the Department of Defense’s 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program.

BRAC 2005 recommended the relocation and consolidation of weapons and armaments research, development, acquisition, test and evaluation programs from a number of other military bases across the country to NAWS China Lake. The center will be home to more than 550 engineers, scientists, and technical, logistics and management personnel.

Featuring a clean, contemporary look with inviting interior spaces, the technology center includes a dividable 335-seat conference room and fully equipped transient office workspaces. Two-story clerestory windows in the open office areas provide natural lighting and reduce energy consumption.  Exterior seating areas surrounded by desert-hardy plants and shade trees accent the building exterior and are connected by a pedestrian plaza to the existing base laboratory complex. There is above-ground parking for approximately 700 vehicles.

The grounds of the complex also showcase Navy exhibits, including an F/A-18 series fighter attack jet and various Navy missile armaments developed at NAWS China Lake.

The project is designed to exceed LEED silver certification standards and to deliver a high level of environmental and energy conservation.

Barnhart Balfour Beatty has received two safety awards from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest for performing more than 200,000 accident-free labor hours during construction of the Weapons and Armament Technology Center.

China Lake is located 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles on the western edge of California's Mojave Desert. The mission of the Naval Air Weapons Station is to provide research, development, acquisition, testing and evaluation of weapons and armaments for the U.S. Navy and its contractors.

Barnhart staff working on the China Lake project included Dave Roach, senior vice president; Shawn Fisher, vice president; Dave Purtee, senior project manager; Michael Lugo-Thompson, project manager; Ed Ridgway, superintendent; Pat Anderson, quality control manager; Tiger Clifton, site safety and health officer; and Ed Watte, field engineer.