The Main Norfolk Hilton Hotel and Parking Deck
Norfolk, Va.
Best Project

Owner: Norfolk Hotel Associates LLC, the City of Norfolk and Gold Key/PHR
Lead Design Firm: Cooper Carry
Construction Manager: W. M. Jordan Co.
Civil Engineer: Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc.
Structural Engineer: Speight, Marshall & Francis PC
MEP Engineer: Jordan & Skala Engineers
Landscape Architect: WPL
Interior Design: Baskervill; Streetsense/5th Edition Design

Redeveloping an old, vacant bus terminal into what the project team says is one of the most technologically advanced conference facilities in the region required high levels of collaboration and technological savvy by all firms involved in the project.

The project, which covers more than 480,000 sq ft, includes a 22-story Hilton hotel, a 300-space garage, three restaurants and Norfolk’s only rooftop beer garden with sweeping views of the Elizabeth River.

The $109.7-million project has a high-tech conference center that was certified by the International Associate of Conference Centers. The center was also designed to meet standards for Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities to accommodate the security needs of government agencies and defense contractors. “No comparable facility in the MidAtlantic region holds both designations,” the project submission states.

The 42,000-sq-ft conference center with flexible meeting space also boasts what the submission says is Virginia’s largest ballroom, at 18,281 sq ft. A second ballroom spans 8,436 sq ft. The facility also has 12,000 sq ft of pre-function space, a 90-seat tiered meeting room with tech support at each station, a multimedia “think tank” collaboration room and a 24-hour coffee house.

The team used technology well to “ensure quality and save costs,” one Best Projects judge notes. The team shared an onsite collocated space devoted to virtual design and construction to develop the building information model during preconstruction.

The space was also used to perform clash detection. This early effort was crucial because the building has three separate, stacked kitchens with little overhead ceiling space. “It took a massive coordination effort to fit everything into the building properly,” the project submission says.

The contractor also purchased a Sokkia SX-105T robotic total station to lay out building control lines, piles, utilities, foundations, walls, embeds and custom ceilings. The total station—which features auto-tracking technology, Windows CE 6.0 with Topcon MAGNET Field software, RED-Tech reflector-less measurement and an advanced angle measurement system—identified several miscalculated concrete slabs and sleeves before they were poured. The total robotic station and Autodesk point layout system eliminated the need to cut slabs to install the curtain wall.

A web-based field management tool called Latista Field helped automate routine workflows, access and modify BIM files and manage punch lists. A bar code was assigned to each completed room to track the status of punch list items and their corrections.

Located on a busy urban intersection with no laydown space, the team used just-in-time deliveries to bring all materials to the site with no road closures. Completed in 900 days, the facility was finished in time for an arts fundraiser that raised nearly $1 million.

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