Category: Repair / Rehabilitation
Location: Fort Benning, GA
Size: 500,000 sq. ft.
Masonry Used: 9,504 pieces of precast, 1,042,120 pieces of brick, and 51,055 pieces of CMU block.
Submitted by: AECOM

Project Description

The Army Maneuver Center of Excellence represents a merger between the Armor Center and School from Fort Knox, KY and the existing Infantry Center and School within Building 4 at Fort Benning, GA. Building 4 was constructed in 1964 with a six-story tower and two one-story classroom wings, comprising 500,000 total square feet.

The building, while holding much sentimental value to those who studied there, did not embody the look needed for our country's home for armor and infantry training. The rehabilitation project comprehensively redesigned and modernized the structure, including new infrastructure, security upgrades, extensive code upgrades, systems replacements, interior finishes, and, foremost, a new faade and forecourt.

The tower structure is a cast-in-place concrete, two-way flat slab with perimeter beams, and the roof of the wings is a folded plate concrete structure. Both concrete structures originally had unreinforced concrete masonry unit infill with face brick and very narrow slit windows. The auditorium structure, steel framed with masonry infill, remains.

The original concrete structure was retained but masonry infill and face brick on the tower were removed to open the exterior walls and allow large expanses of glazing. The existing brick skin was removed by the innovative use of a small robot suspended from a crane and remotely operated from the ground or a nearby lift. This eliminated the need for expensive scaffolding and increased worker safety during demolition. New masonry brick, CMU, concrete paving and pavers, and precast stone are used in the renovation.

Structural strengthening to meet DoD occupant safety codes considered several factors including uplift forces on the existing floor and roof structure, stability of columns spanning two stories high if lateral support at any floor was lost, and continuity of vertical, peripheral, internal and column tie forces throughout the building. To address some of these issues, strips of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) were utilized on the floor and roof slabs throughout the building, to increase the load capacity of the original cast-in-place two-way slab. CFRP was also used around new slab penetrations to reinforce the existing concrete slab and maintain structural capacity. During design, careful coordination was performed to avoid conflicts between the grid of two-foot-wide CFRP strips and slab penetrations required by other trades. Columns were also jacketed with steel angles and plates and connected floor to floor with steel rods that pass through the concrete floor structure.

This project was designed with a goal of achieving LEED Gold certification. Utilizing the existing structure, collection and recycling of construction materials including masonry, use of regional products and recycled content in construction materials, and dust and noise control were all taken into consideration to meet these goals.

Project Participants

Owner: US Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District

  • Contractor: Walbridge
  • Other: AECOM
  • Other: McCarty
  • Other: Ron Kindell Masonry
  • Other: Miller-Mize
  • Other: General Shale Brick
  • Other: S. M. Little