Summarize the project's program, features, and achievements: Redstone Gateway 8200 & 8300 have given Huntsville’s nickname “Rocket City” a big boost through the recent completion of Northrop Grumman’s new Research & Development campus in support of the Missile Defense Program. Located in Huntsville, Alabama within Redstone Gateway’s sprawling 468-acre multiuse business complex, the project includes two, build-to-suit facilities and a parking deck, all completed on an aggressive project deadline for one of the nation’s largest defense contractors. Together, the state-of-the-art, Class A tilt-wall buildings total 260,000 square feet, each five stories tall with features that include executive office space, program management and engineering design space, a 16,000+ square-foot data center, a 350-person auditorium to facilitate classified program meetings, and a 144,000-square-foot parking deck with nearly 400 spaces. Officially unveiled in April 2023, Northrop Grumman’s new, two-building campus is located just outside of Redstone Arsenal and is now home to more than 1,000 employees focused on space technologies. Staff benefit from optimized operating efficiencies and a dynamic research and development work environment. The campus’ integration lab has robust and resilient cutting-edge capabilities, and its engineering laboratories allow employees to utilize DevSecOps (Development, Security and Operations) methodologies to develop, test, mirror and qualify integrated systems across the Missile Defense engagement chain. This project is undergoing LEED certification and waste diversion efforts during construction of the core and shell were reduced into landfills by 90%. During construction of the multi-level, stacked-panel, tilt-up building, the team encountered numerous complexities such as panel bracing and handling, crane size, and tight working spaces due to the buildings’ unique site placement. For persevering through these challenges on an aggressive schedule, the team has been applauded for completing the project 30% faster than a typical construction timeline for a similar project. Redstone Gateway 8200 & 8300 expand facilities for dynamic research and development in support of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Program with launch and missile defense development capabilities to expand R&D support for defense, intelligence and government customers – all in support of Northrop Grumman’s mission to deliver innovative solutions to protect and defend the United States and its allies against evolving threats.
What obstacles were overcome related to the schedule, budget, program, specification, site, etc. on this project? In early 2021, the $100-million project began on an expedited schedule when the contractor was asked to pause and pivot construction of an existing, onsite building to Redstone Gateway 8200 & 8300, comprised of two new five-story Class A structures with highly customized office spaces. This included relocating materials within the campus to begin work. To meet the tenant’s schedule, the project was on a fast pace and completed in 30% less time. The contractor increased crew size and worked longer hours while holding to the same stringent Quality Control and safety checks to deliver a high quality final product. The contractor completed redirection within a two-week timeframe by quickly engaging a site contractor, readying the site work plan and developing a set of drawings. Within a month, foundations were underway, and the project was fully staffed. The following two months included construction and pouring casting beds, followed by forming, reinforcing and pouring lower panels in six weeks and upper panels in three weeks. Although the team encountered a good amount of weather (snow/rain typical of Alabama’s spring), they continued work on schedule. A final obstacle was the late addition of a second floor data center, for which the contractor added 188 beams for structural integrity following construction completion. The team’s hard work paid off – at the time of completion, Redstone Gateway 8200 & 8300 were the first five-story stacked-panel tilt-wall buildings in the Redstone Gateway development, and likely the first in North Alabama.
Please communicate any engineering complexities or unique features of the panel design for this project. ? Construction of the five-story, stacked-panel buildings presented numerous construction complexities, including panel bracing and handling, crane size, tight required workspace and use of casting beds. Panel sequencing proved to be one of the most complex aspects of the project, as the team dealt with unique site orientation and placement of the buildings on the square site – both positioned on a 30-degree angle but 90-degrees from each other – leaving little room for casting or bracing panels between buildings during construction. Thus, the design took more planning than usual from the project’s superintendents who worked through numerous scenarios of panel sequencing to refine the casting, movement, placement and erection of both buildings. Design and construction of the multi-story, tilt-up facilities are not as typical in the construction industry and the team faced a challenging sequence of panel placement and stacking for the stacked design. The lower panel, measuring approximately 60-feet tall and 15-inches thick, was set on the building’s first level, followed by steel installation and floor decking. The team then poured panels that were set on the next levels, followed by steel and roof tie-ins, creating two elevations of panels. All work was self-performed by the General Contractor with panels cast onsite and carefully positioned with room to move into place.
What is the potential for this project's impact on the community and/or environment? Both buildings are LEED Certified (application in process) and the team’s efforts for waste diversion positively resulted in an unusually high percentage (90%) for the core and shell building. Redstone Gateway 8200 & 8300 have a significant impact to the North Alabama community and nation, now headquarters to Northrop Grumman’s Research & Development Campus in their pursuit of design and development for the Next Generation Interceptor Program, the future system to protect America from intercontinental ballistic missile attacks using radars, space sensors, and commands and control systems. One thousand employees working on the campus have access to highly efficient and optimized engineering, development and testing systems to protect our nation and its allies in the Missile Defense Program. Northrop Grumman, one of the nation’s largest defense contractors, is one of the two prime firms to pursue design and development for the nation’s aging missile defense program. The company’s selection accelerated construction and completion of Redstone Gateway 8200 & 8300, and this new campus now serves as a workplace for engineers who will protect and secure our nation from global threats to our security.
Huntsville, AL 35808
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