Clark Nexsen received a 2018 Grand Award for Engineering Excellence from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia for the Davis Barracks at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The six-story $183 million building is currently the largest granite project in the United States. Designed in a military gothic-style, the project honors the Central Post’s designation as a National Historic Landmark while providing a modern, state-of-the-art building for Academy cadets.
Clark Nexsen is the Architectural and Engineering (A/E) Designer of Record (DOR) for the project. Continuously involved in the project, they advanced the design from bridging documents to construction documents, and were active during the construction phase. The 287,000 square-foot Davis Barracks stands out for its innovation in two primary engineering areas: the sitework and the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection (MEPF) systems.
Site: Slotted between two roads on a steep hillside, the site is highly constrained and complex, requiring blasting and drilling to remove more than 60 vertical feet of rock, and with 132 feet of grade change that significantly informs the design. Site operations were tightly controlled due not only to the limited space, but also to assure no damage to the adjacent Cadet Chapel, an historical landmark at West Point.
MEPF: The primary intent of the MEP systems design is to encourage energy conservation and permit ready visualization of energy usage; each system is integrated, metered, and monitored. Radiant floor heating and cooling used for Davis Barracks is a first at West Point. Mechanical systems accommodate a centralized (future) steam plant that will provide heating for other barracks at West Point. Photovoltaic solar collectors provide 100 percent of the domestic water heating.
Fire Protection was particularly challenging for the six-story central light shaft and skylight, and the solution required in-depth knowledge of life safety and codes. The design and construction teams utilized Building Information Modeling (BIM) to fully integrate their work and set up the facilities management team for streamlined maintenance operations for the life of the building.
Davis Barracks received the Grand Award in the Building/Technology Systems category. Awards were presented at the annual Engineering Excellence Award Gala on Feb. 1 at the historic Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. The ACEC Virginia Engineering Excellence Awards are presented to honor member firms for design achievements of superior skill and ingenuity. Projects are judged on rigorous criteria, including complexity, innovation, and value to society. The ACEC VA Grand Award gives the project and Clark Nexsen ACEC National recognition and qualifies the project for the ACEC National awards.
About ACEC Virginia
The American Council of Engineering Companies of Virginia is the state’s largest engineering firm association in the state, comprised of more than 85 engineering firms representing every discipline of engineering related to the built environment—civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, environmental, geotechnical—and affiliated companies. ACEC’s shared goals are to further the business interests of the membership, enhance the quality and safety of the environment in which we live and work, and help ensure the vitality of our communities.
Davis Barracks photograph © Ty Cole