Adding Efficiency to Innovation: Consolidated Scientific Research Facility at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Along the York River in Virginia, the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) is on a path to a new home. Barton Malow is leading the charge on a 32,000 square-foot facility that will house offices, conference rooms, laboratories, media studios and more.

Technology on the site

At the center of our team’s work there is the use of innovative techniques to get the best result. BIM coordination provides accurate modeling and planning to ensure all the trades teams involved (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, steel and fire protection) detect possible clashes in their work. With 190 tons of total steel, 23.5 tons of joists and 1063 cubic yards of concrete, the technology’s role is crucial. 360-degree cameras are being used for documentation, PlanGrid, a construction productivity software, is being used for quality control purposes, and even drones are getting in the action for owner photography.

LEED Silver Certification

To achieve this distinct certification, unique measures are needed. You might be asking, “What the heck are those?” Bioretention cells capture and filter stormwater runoff, which reduced water pollution and aims to stabilize stream flows. The cells, which are made up of sand, topsoil and native grasses, collect the water and then percolates it into the ground evenly.

Rare challenges

The team at the VIMS site has also been a recipient of some unique challenges. During an attempt to give the site permanent power, the utility company in charge uncovered a grave site, which caused a delay. Since the project is close to historic sites like Jamestown and Yorktown, the area hotbed for archaeological happenings. Think that’s wild start to a project? An unexploded cannonball was found on the site, and officials had to be called into to remove and detonate the projectile elsewhere.

How will this help VIMS?

Researchers no longer have to cross distances to talk to colleagues or share ideas. The new building will house all research departments into one facility. Moreover, labs, common areas, and storage for equipment will be vital additions. Finally, the facility will present an opportunity for the Information Technology department to relocate, which not only frees up space in other areas but keeps them focused on certain disciplines to make their work more efficient.

Kristen Costello

“Working for Barton Malow gives me the confidence that I am part of a team who takes their values seriously. From top leadership down, Barton Malow takes care of their people, and that culture is evident in all that we do. There’s really no place quite like it. ”