Creative Collaboration

We recently completed one of the largest capacity projects I’ve had the opportunity to work on—the Central Utility Plant (CUP) at the new Fort Belvoir Community Hospital. Designing the CUP, along with all of the site/civil and utility infrastructure on the 75-acre site, was a milestone project for our firm in terms of the sheer size of the complex (1.27 million square feet overall) and the expedited schedule for completion.

There are some impressive sustainability statistics for the hospital and the strategies and specifications that were part of the CUP design played a key role in achieving the high standard set for energy-efficiency. Working closely with our joint venture design partner, HDR, we were able to help the hospital realize an energy savings estimated at 27.6 percent per year over a typical hospital of this size. We were also able to help minimize greenhouse gas emissions by more than 4,000 tons annually.

A Comprehensive Partnering Process

These are notable accomplishments, but for me, what stands out most is the collaboration behind the effort. Like Tom Christensen, who managed the overall effort for Dewberry, I was inspired and impressed by the comprehensive partnering process. We enjoyed an excellent joint venture relationship with HDR throughout the more than five years that we worked so closely together on this project. We collaborated creatively and efficiently with the JV contracting team of Turner Construction and Gilbane Building Company. We also appreciated the opportunity to interact so effectively with all of the client agencies involved in this huge effort.

Above all, I was impressed with the internal collaboration, cooperation, and support that took place here at Dewberry. The Fort Belvoir Community Hospital was a true multidisciplinary effort for our firm, involving professionals representing many of our large array of services. Our team included specialists from all three of our practice areas, including consultants in federal programs, civil engineers, architects, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineers. That internal collaboration, as well as the external partnerships, was a great experience for me, and I look forward to another opportunity to work with so many of my Dewberry colleagues.

  • Mark Heinrich
    Mark Heinrich
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