Ahtna Environmental, Inc. (Ahtna) was awarded a $70M, 10-year, 8(a) competitive IDIQ construction contract to perform campus-wide construction in accordance with the masterplan for the Western Division Environmental Research Laboratory at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Research & Development, in Corvallis, Oregon. The project requires expertise in vertical construction, HVAC and energy systems, as well as phasing and swing space for an occupied technical campus. The program is divided into six phases valued at $10–15 million per phase.
On April 7, 2016, Ahtna kicked off the Lab Modernization Phase 1A project for the EPA, breaking ground for the campus-wide construction project. The EPA Corvallis campus is part of the Western Ecology Division and is one of four ecological research divisions of the National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory. The laboratory’s mission is to provide national scientific leadership in developing scientific tools and methodologies for assessing and predicting the condition of natural resources and their responses to natural and manmade stresses.
Work includes construction of a new one-story, 4,900-square-foot mechanical/electrical annex building with a loading dock.
Mechanical components in the main building have also been upgraded, and the mechanical penthouse was rebuilt to accommodate the new equipment. This work included structural steel upgrades and new insulated metal panel cladding. In addition, a geothermal system containing a ground source heat pump system with more than 300 wells was constructed to supplement the existing heating and cooling system.
The Phase 1A task order provided site work consisting of a permeable interlocking concrete paver roadway and loading dock area, concrete curb and gutter and sidewalks, and minor landscaping.
The future phases will consist of services to re-roof and renovate the existing building, which includes 44,000 square feet of laboratory space, offices, and the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. These upgrades will modernize the facility and bring it into compliance for federal ADA and energy standards.
Although Ahtna was not contracted as a design-build partner, there were several design assist efforts. Throughout the project, the owners have requested reprogramming and redesign. Ahtna worked closely with the design team to prioritize the design packages and piecemeal information required to best maintain project progress. Ahtna also worked closely with the fire protection and precast panel subcontractors and the engineer of record to design and implement these systems. The owner reprogrammed their facility after the project began, resulting in seven design package revisions. Ahtna worked in a design-assist function to keep pricing in check and remain on site performing work not affected by the change.