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Tilt-Up Construction Technique Likely to Save Time and Cost

"On schedule and on budget" was the central theme of a recent progress report on the four-story, 411,000-square-foot, $110 million Federal City Marine Forces Reserve (MarForRes) building, the largest tilt-up project in the Gulf Coast region and the largest ever for military end use.

"We are right on target with our construction timeline and our financial budget for the Federal City site," said Algiers Economic Development District (ADD) Chairman Jeff Arnold. "It has been a little over one year since we had the groundbreaking ceremony. Our target is to complete the Headquarters of the MarForRes by September 2011, which is part of our 75-year lease agreement between the Algiers Development District and the Department of the Navy signed last year."

The tilt-up construction technique is expected to save about three months on the building schedule and up to 10 percent of costs for the building, according to Gen. David Mize, who leads the New Orleans Federal Alliance (NOFA), the organization overseeing operations of the project.

The Federal City complex totals $150 million of current funding, including approximately $110 million for the MarForRes Headquarters, $7 million for amenity upgrades on the site, and $33 million for infrastructure improvements and other aspects of the project.

The MarForRes building stands on more than 2,600 pilings driven under its three-foot think slab.

The exterior of the building comprises 196 tilt-up panels, each cast on site near or adjacent to where it is tilted by crane into place. Once in place, each panel is held steady by at least four 52-foot braces as temporary supports. Altogether, the area of the tilt-up panels totals 121,618 square feet and requires 2,849 cubic yards of concrete weighing more than 11 million pounds. In addition, the concrete panels hold a total of 1,107,237 pounds of reinforced steel.

A total of 118,590 half-inch "thin bricks" are cast directly into the panels onsite so that the facade will be consistent with the surrounding buildings that were constructed by conventional brick and mortar.

Gen. Mize was joined by a group of local leaders headed by New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin in hailing the scope of the Federal City project and the tilt-up technique employed.

Joining Mayor Nagin and ADD Chairman Arnold at the podium were: U.S. Rep. Joseph Cao; Louisiana Economic Development Deputy Secretary Steven Grissom; New Orleans City Council-at-Large Member Jackie Brechtel Clarkson; New Orleans City Council District C Member James Carter; and Deputy Commander of MarForRes Bob Braithwaite.

The master developer of the Federal City complex is HRI/ECC, LLC, a joint venture between privately held HRI Properties (HRI) and Environmental Chemical Corporation (ECC) specifically created for the development of Federal City.

"ECC is proud to be a part of keeping the Marines in New Orleans and welcomes the opportunity to develop a new town center in Algiers. We look forward to our continued partnership with NOFA, Algiers Development District, and the Marines to create a thriving community that will provide jobs and a safe place to live, work, and play," said Steve Anderson, ECC CFO.

"Our specialty at HRI is developing transformational projects that revitalize entire neighborhoods," said Eddie Boettner, Chief Administrative Officer and Co-Chairman of HRI. "Federal City represents a unique opportunity to create an entirely new neighborhood that combines restoration of historic structures and construction of contemporary buildings like MarForRes that are sensitive to the surrounding architecture. What we have accomplished in the New Orleans Warehouse District is our goal for Federal City - creating a thriving community of residents, businesses, and now the military," he added.

Woodward Design+Build of New Orleans was chosen as the contractor for the building, which must be constructed to progressive collapse standards implemented after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.


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