The 149,735-SF National Guard Readiness Center Complex serves as the new home for the 34th Infantry Division, known as the Red Bulls. In the last decade, this unit has grown significantly in personnel, equipment and technology, and the new facility provides necessary administrative, training, secure work and storage areas.
Construction of the $37,872,000 Division Headquarters Building, as a part of the greater Arden Hills Army Training Site (AHATS), commenced earthwork and utilities this fall 2019 and was completed in August 2020.
During typical weekday use, the occupancy is low and limited to primarily office use. During weekend drill activities, the occupancy increases tenfold and the use expands to include training exercises, equipment distribution, large scale food service and more with all of this the building was designed to be flexible.
The design divides the building into three masses to efficiently support these uses: Unit Support, dedicated to the storage of supplies and weapons and includes unit storage spaces, vaults, and locker rooms; Administration, accommodates highly critical operations and communications, while requiring the flexibility to operate functionally with anywhere from 50 occupants to 600 occupants mitigating the impacts of M-day use on everyday function; and the Common Use, central zone which includes the building entry and serves as a hub by which all spaces extend from.
This project comes with a few requirements not normally seen in government building contracts, said Bill Scherling, Stahl’s director of project management. Resistance to explosions is one of them. “There was some exterior blast-resistant specifications that need to be met in the materials selected, so in this case much of the building is precast concrete in the building envelope,” Scherling said.
To maximize sustainability the design includes geothermal systems, photovoltaic arrays and EnergyStar equipment. The facility is designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification.
Wells Concrete produced more than 135,000 sq. ft of precast for this project, with a total of 204 precast members. The new building has both external façades and interior structural support with double tees and structural wall panels. The exterior insulated architectural panels showcase a unique mix of acid etch and formliners enhancing the building appearance.