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Collaborative Intelligence

All buildings are physically connected and aesthetically unified in integrated campus

Iccb Top Honors Aug18
Photo courtesy of LEO A DALY

Located in the heart of the intelligence community, the new Intelligence Community Campus (ICC-B) in Bethesda, Md., is made up of more than 800,000 square feet of reused existing government facilities and new construction. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers redeveloped the vacated National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency facility with the aid of LEO A DALY, Omaha, Neb., as the design architect, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., Baltimore, as the design-build contractor, URS Corp. (now AECOM), Washington, D.C., as the coordinating architect and engineer of record, and DBI Architects, Reston, Va., as the interior designer.

Situated on 40 acres, the building consolidates several administration and intelligence functions, and is home to more than 3,000 employees from Office of the Director of National Intelligence National Counterintelligence and Security Center, the National Intelligence University, and Defense Intelligence Agency.

The new ICC-B campus efficiently reuses the existing government facilities by removing one building and combining three others. The South Campus includes a central data center, modernization of the existing building, building core and shell, Central Utility Plant (CUP), and internal and collaborative amenity functions.

Phase 1 of the South Campus included the construction of a new, 221,000-square-foot, Z-shaped central hub, known as the Centrum building, designed to connect the existing buildings. The buildings were reclad to create an integrated campus with the buildings both physically connected and aesthetically unified.

“The design of buildings and campus involved a lot of community outreach and involvement,” explains Timothy J. Duffy, AIA, CSI, LEED AP, vice president, director of technical services at LEO A DALY. “The buildings were designed to harmonize and be in scale with their surroundings, and the community was very happy with the result.”

Duffy says making connections was important. These included between the new and reimagined existing buildings, between the buildings and the site, and between the campus and both the natural and community contexts, for the benefit of both the community and the intelligence professionals who work there.

“Public areas of the Centrum building have large glass areas and the majority of offices are daylit,” Duffy adds. “Employees were given a variety of pleasant spaces outside the secure office areas, and a variety of amenities. Intelligence work can be stressful, and secure workspaces have traditionally not focused on quality of life.”

Gerald Briggs, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, vice president, director of architecture at AECOM, notes that sustainable design elements included restoring the natural landscape and controlling stormwater runoff, limiting the window-to-wall ratio and providing a high-performance enclosure, collection and reuse of rainwater for irrigation, solar hot water and high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, and consolidation of services in an energy-efficient central plant.

The buildings are clad primarily in Reynobond aluminum composite material (ACM) wall panels from Arconic Architectural Products, Norcross, Ga. A dark pigmented precast concrete is used at the base of the buildings. The ACM panels were fabricated and installed by TSI Exterior Wall Systems Inc., Upper Marlboro, Md.

As Duffy explains, the cladding decision was driven by a combination of security requirements, including blast protection, enclosure performance, durability, ease of maintenance, cost, and the desire for aesthetic options and flexibility. “It was decided that metal panel was the best choice for addressing all these considerations for most of the opaque wall areas,” he adds.

The building's appearance is based on a forest metaphor. “The west side of the site is adjacent to forested National Park Service land,” says Duffy. “The vertical striping of windows and walls, and the colors and patterns of the walls, derive from the appearance of those trees with their vertical trunks, the bark patterns and shafts of light between them, dappled light and peak autumn foliage colors. Four colors taken from the foliage at that visit were used for the metal panel colors, with the color pattern and the configuration of windows representing an abstraction of the impression made by the autumn forest.”

“The assembly approval process required construction of on-site, full-scale mockups,” explains Briggs. “Fine-tuning the four-color range involved production of bus-wrap photo images in lieu of a lengthy sample procurement process.”

And, as Briggs notes, the project’s success is due in large measure to the excellent coordination among AECOM, LEO A DALY and DBI Architects. “The complexity of the project and an extremely challenging schedule required daily sharing of building information models among the three principal design offices,” he says.