When the city’s existing meeting pavilion became too small and outdated to meet guest needs, the City of Virginia Beach partnered with Clark Nexsen and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) to design a new convention center. The resulting facility stands as a signature symbol for the city and provides three times as much space as the former pavilion, increasing potential city revenue. Due to both striking visual appeal and efficient function, the Virginia Beach Convention Center has earned multiple design awards, including the 2008 American Public Works Association National Public Works Project of the Year.

Building on our long standing relationship with Virginia Beach, Clark Nexsen’s civil, electrical, fire protection, mechanical, and plumbing engineers collaborated closely with both SOM and PHA Lighting to deliver a well-coordinated solution. Leveraging the transparency of the building skin, the team created a dynamic, color-changing LED lighting scheme that is integrated with the architecture to create an inspirational and iconic space – both by day and night. Our electrical engineering team integrated these compelling design elements with the lighting controls, emergency lighting, and electrical power systems to ensure safe and efficient function.

Our multidiscipline engineering teams were instrumental in providing solutions throughout the facility and site. Our civil design team improved pedestrian safety with specialized crosswalks at signalized intersections and supported indoor-outdoor connectivity by weaving interior nautical themes into exterior design. Our mechanical and electrical teams focused on efficiency, controls, and standby power as they designed a 2,800 ton central chilled water plant to serve the center and an electrical system that supports more than 2.5 million watts dedicated to floor boxes, providing flexibility for various conventions.