AstraZeneca Discovery Meadows Child Development Center
Gaithersburg, Md.
Award of Merit

Owner: AstraZeneca
Lead Design Firm: studioMLA
General Contractor: DPR Construction
Civil Engineer: Macris, Hendricks, & Glasscock P.A.
Structural Engineer: Structura
MEP Engineers: Shapiro & Duncan; Reese Engineering
Sustainability Consultant: 7group
Subcontractors: Alliance Exterior Construction Inc. (Roof, Siding and Metal Panels); Baltimore Waterproofing Inc.; Construction Trades Services Inc. (Underground Utilities); D2 LLC (Clearing, Grubbing, Grading); ECS Mid-Atlantic LLC (Air Quality Testing); Hardesty Concrete Construction Inc.; Hugh Lofting Timber Framing; J.E. Richards Inc. (Electrical); Metro Painters Inc.; Patriot Steel Fabrication Inc.; Pro-Pave Inc.; Ruppert Landscape Inc.; Shapiro & Duncan Inc. (Mechanical)and Plumbing); Weldon Steel

The circular 23,500-sq-ft child development center emphasizes sustainability in ways beyond its large windows, intricate landscaping and extensive use of natural interior finishes, the team says. High exposed ceilings, designed to create an open interior aesthetic, left little overhead space to conceal conventional mechanical components. The project team used 3D modeling to optimize routing for ductwork and piping, which also had to be carefully fabricated and welded to accommodate the curved building geometry. Scanning technology proved instrumental in minimizing slab boring for a geothermal radiant heating system.

The sustainability concept also applied to the $15.2-million project’s sitework. To compensate for a limited laydown area, all jobsite dirt was reused. During excavation, the team uncovered 23 large boulders that were repurposed into new planting areas, eliminating the need to purchase decorative rocks from another state as originally planned. By continuing preconstruction value management throughout construction, the project team identified savings that allowed roof pavers and other originally deleted features to be restored while still completing the 16-month project on time and under budget.

Check out our feature in Construction Today