Central Records Complex
Winchester, Va.
Award of Merit

Owner: General Services Administration (GSA)
Lead Design Firm: HGA
Design Builder: Clark Construction Group
Civil Engineer: Christopher Consultants
Structural Engineer: Cagley and Associates
Architect: HGA
MEP Engineer: Southland Industries
Geotechnical Engineer: Geo Concepts Engineering
ATFP/Blast Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
Earthwork: Perry Engineering Co.
Subcontractors: Jensen Hughes (Fire Protection); M.C. Dean (Electrical); Swisslog Logistics (Automation); Southland Industries (HVAC/Plumbing/FP); Arban & Carosi (Precast); Glass and Metals (Glass); Strait Steel

The 256,000-sq-ft Central Records Complex was designed to centralize the FBI’s physical files and streamline the storage, retrieval and management of mission-critical assets by incorporating an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS).  The design-build team partnered with automation company Swisslog to incorporate a high-density automated storage array that would eliminate the need for high-bay steel shelving. One hundred and fourteen robots run on a grid 17 ft above the floor of the facility’s storage area collecting files in 361,000 custom-built crates that are stacked 16 ft high. More compact than traditional high-bay ASRSs, the system reduced the facility’s overall square footage.

The team had to meet strict National Archives and Records Administration certification standards. The sprinkler system ensures that no more than 300 cu ft of paper could be destroyed in a fire. No roof penetrations are permitted above the NARA storage spaces—which exceed 100,000 sq ft—so equipment, transformers and other system distribution components were located outside of the storage area and brought into the building through penetrations with radio frequency shielded perimeter partitions. The complex is the first NARA-certified facility that uses ASRS technology.

The complex has office space, a visitor screening center, operation support space and secure service areas. Phase one was successfully completed on budget and a week early.

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