Web Exclusive: ThyssenKrupp Elevator Supplies NGA, Receives Craftsmanship Award

by Elizabeth Pate

Developed as a joint venture between Clark Construction and Balfour Beatty, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Campus East in Springfield, Virginia, is one of the largest federal facilities in the Washington, D.C., area. It is comprised of five buildings and includes two eight-story buildings joined by a 500-ft.-long by 120-ft.-wide atrium, which has a roof made of the same lightweight, translucent materials used on the Beijing Olympic Water Cube. NGA’s design incorporates various energy-efficient technologies and has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® Gold certification.

Vertical Transportation and Construction

In 2009, ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas was awarded the contract to install 39 elevators for the complex. The company was also recently awarded an additional order to supply two elevators on the atrium’s east side. According to Mike Faid, application designer and senior project manager for ThyssenKrupp Elevator, the project was challenging for various reasons, such as the high level of security and the building’s EM-385 safety code requirements. “We set up an office trailer on site [in] April 2009, which served us for two years. [This is] where we planned and ran two to 12 installation teams. The trailer was 1/2 mi. from the actual building site so the installers had to walk or ride our all terrain vehicle,” Faid said.

The atrium’s glass elevator installations were especially difficult, due to the constantly changing dynamic of each working day. Planned coordination was necessary between all involved trades, because they were working in the same space at the same time. Prior to the actual elevator installations, the atrium’s scaffold system had to be removed so the overhead steel within the overhead cage could be set up with a blast-proof structure. According to Faid, several surveys were conducted on the structure, slab edges and final entrance-frame locations during various phases of the project. ThyssenKrupp Elevator was also responsible for managing design changes to the elevator cabs and lobbies, which were provided by Elevator Doors, Inc./Elevator Cab Inc. of Patterson, New Jersey. Each cab was preassembled at the factory.

Building Design

NGA covers approximately 2.77 million sq. ft. The main building was designed with three main areas and erected from right to left. This construction method allowed each building area to be broken down into smaller segments, providing ThyssenKrupp Elevator safe access to each section. Section “L” in Figure 1 is where ThyssenKrupp Elevator is installing two additional elevators from its recent contract. The company expects installation to be complete this spring.

Award Ceremony

In March, the Washington Building Congress presented ThyssenKrupp Elevator with the 2012 Craftsman Award for its glass elevator installations at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. The category for the award was “Special Construction for Elevators & Escalators.”

Breakdown of Elevator Equipment

ThyssenKrupp Elevator provided the following equipment:

  • TAC50 controllers for all traction elevators
  • TAC20 controllers for all hydraulic elevators
  • GD-300 geared machines for four service elevators
  • GD-2 geared basement machines for eight glass observation elevators
  • GD-1 geared overhead machines for passenger elevators
  • Oildraulic dry-power units and jack equipment
  • Mechanical equipment: car slings, platforms, safeties, oil buffers, entrances and service cabs
  • Hall signal fixtures
  • Custom lobby panels to cover multiple fire command centers and a custom security control center panel
  • IMS elevator monitoring system with complete fiber- optic network and engineer’s office

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