Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare Center RD&A and T&E Consolidation Facility

The Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren Laboratory is a premier research and development center that serves as a specialty site for weapon system integration. Their unique ability to rapidly introduce new technology into complex warfighting systems is based on longstanding competencies in Science and Technology, Research, Development and Acquisition, and Test and Evaluation.  The base capabilities are focused on both the present and future: The Division is meeting operational needs today, and is fundamentally reshaping the way our Navy will fight and defend our country in the future.

The project included the construction of a multi-story Research, Development and Acquisition & Testing and Evaluation Consolidation Facility (RD&A & T&E) to accommodate the facility occupants. The project team was required to provide design and construction of the new building that included a high bay area, electronic equipment laboratory areas, computing areas, open and hard-walled office spaces, break rooms, shower facilities, conference rooms, and a specialized testing anechoic chamber with two control rooms. It also provides for both secure and non-secure networks. Construction included site utility development; fire protection, detection, and alarm systems; security provisions; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems with direct digital controls; plumbing; electrical power distribution in both 60 and 400hz; medium voltage electrical service; standby electric power; secure Internet protocol router (SIPR) and non-secure Internet protocol router (NIPR) connectivity; lighting; and special grounding. A raised flooring system was utilized throughout most of the first and second floors.

This project with its various segments and unique and innovative equipment requirements called for detailed and intimate knowledge of an unusually wide variety of materials and installations. The Anechoic Chamber was designed to accommodate the testing and evaluation of advanced electronics and avionics and required complete isolation from all standard building systems. All of the laboratories were equipped to handle any electronic system currently in use or planned to be put into use for the Navy. These systems included land-based, ship-board, vehicle and airframe mounted equipment, each with unique space and infrastructure requirements. The facility was designed so that any system could quickly and easily be duplicated and reconstructed for test and evaluation. The 400 hertz equipment in particular, due to its unusual electrical and magnetic properties, posed unique and non-standard installation challenges. Most large contractors would struggle to provide the expertise to handle all of the disparate products, means and methods. It was consistently proven that Native Sons went beyond mere familiarity with the technical requirements of the work and they added additional value to the construction process due to in-depth knowledge of all of the related requirements of the systems.

Native sons received the Small Business Administration (SBA) Division 1 Small Subcontractor of the Year Award for its work on the project and was nominated for the National SBA Small Business Subcontractor of the Year Award.