OCI Associates, Inc. provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection engineering design for a two-story 81,000 square foot National Center for Explosives Training & Research (NCETR) at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
The design-build team’s goal was to provide secure access to the state-of-the-art learning environment with labs and classrooms dealing with highly sensitive materials. The floor plan accommodates several echelons of security, including sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF) level rooms, vaults, and communications/data security arrangements. Sophisticated equipment and specialized audio visual systems were incorporated for instructional purposes with interactive building-wide data and display systems.
The first floor includes a mock courtroom classroom with judge’s bench, witness stand, jury box and evidence gallery. A tiered Conference Room is outfitted with smart desks for interactive presentations and telecasts from remote locations. This area of the complex can also serve as an Emergency Operations Center during periods of high alert with its secure rooms and sufficient emergency power generation equipment. A one-story connector brings together a loading dock, storage and break areas between the training classroom areas.
Due to the forensics labs, close attention was paid to the transportation of material insides by incorporating a specially equipped out-building with cleanup and boot wash zones. Each laboratory is outfitted with fume hoods and point of use exhaust snorkels. Design challenges involved extensive study of the Sound Transmission and STC ratings with the rooms that required specialized security and technological requirements. This $25.4 million dollar project received an “Excellent” Performance Evaluation with Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) Requirements (Secure office environment) for open storage.