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Best Manufacturing Project

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Photo by Alan Karchmer
Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing
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An applied-research facility located in Prince George County, Va., the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) is a 63,000-sq-ft facility housing engineering and computational laboratories with integrated data-acquisition systems.

The CCAM is the only collaboration of its kind in North America, bringing together the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University with member firms Canon Virginia, Chromalloy, Newport News Shipbuilding, Rolls-Royce, Sandvik Coromant, Siemens and Sulzer Metco.

The building features a high-bay area, which provides space for manufacturing processes, as well as materials-preparation and computer laboratories, conference rooms and spaces for amenities.

The $13.4-million project, led by W.M. Jordan Co., Newport News, Va., required a heightened degree of collaboration due to the numerous project stakeholders and multiple funding sources. One of those sources—a federal grant obtained by the project owner—compressed the amount of time available to bid the project and complete construction documents.

Although the owner provided a pad-ready site, extensive groundwater caused an unexpected setback to the schedule at the outset of the project. Wet soil conditions required 90% of the building's footings to be undercut and backfilled with lean fill.

The groundwater situation delayed completion of the foundations and, subsequently, the start of structural-steel erection. However, by accelerating steel fabrication and erection, re-sequencing exterior-skin work and then expediting the finish tasks, the project team was able to complete its work on time.

A significant portion of the work was directly subcontracted by the owner. W.M. Jordan provided extensive coordination for these owner-supplied, contractor-installed systems, integrating them into the overall production schedule and coordinating with the affected trades. The scenario created logistical coordination challenges and safety concerns.

With buy-in from the University of Virginia Foundation, all of the owner's direct subcontractors were required to participate in W.M. Jordan's weekly safety meetings. Furthermore, W.M. Jordan provided specialized safety training for the high-risk aspects of the project.

The CCAM project resulted in no lost-time accidents or injuries.


Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Disputanta, Va.

Key Players

Owner CCAM; University of Virginia Foundation

Architect Perkins + Will

General Contractor W.M. Jordan Co.

Engineering consultants Integral, Robert Silman Assoc.

Mechanical and Plumbing EMC Mechanical Services

Electrical Chewning & Wilmer

Painting Glidewell Bros.

Roofing Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal

Cast-In-Place Concrete TDU Concrete

Fire Protection Sentry Fire Protection

Structural Steel S.W. Funk Industrial Contractors; Lynchburg Steel & Specialty Co.

Tile Flooring MTR Tile

Framing James River Interiors


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