STG Pacific was awarded a prime contract to build a new Morphology Center for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS). Our scope of work involves new construction of a two-story, 14,500 sf building adjacent to the existing Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon. This addition is a specialty-use facility with two functions: 1) the storage of a variety of wildlife morphological specimens from threatened and endangered animals worldwide; and 2) FWS employee work space.

STG Pacific teamed with FWS to satisfy complex technical requirements within a strict budget. We performed value engineering (VE) to identify and incorporate key end-user requirements. Through VE, we redesigned an insulated metal panel wall system to meet key technical requirements including R-value, structural capability, air infiltration and fire resistivity. STG Pacific furnished a 3D rendering of the proposed system to demonstrate that the building aesthetics met FWS’ expectations. The selected system also reduced cost by $275,000 while providing constructability advantages including an estimated 40% shorter installation time.

In addition, understanding end-user preferences of specimen storage was critical in building equipment procurement. Stored specimens are delicate and several threats can cause deterioration including: excessive heat; humidity leading to mold growth; insects; and light exposure. Considering these factors and ensuring controls were in place allowed for successful procurement of the HVAC, and cooler/freezer rooms.

STG began construction of the new Morphology Center in October 2018. Utilities for the new structure were tapped from the current facility, making routing and integration of utilities one of the first priorities. Civil site work and underground utility installation followed, including a 6” fire water supply line. The concrete foundation was then completed in December 2018, with structural steel erection beginning January 2019. Construction is scheduled for completion in October 2019.

STG Pacific is performing construction during the winter which is characterized by a variety of conditions including wind, sleet and snow. Through years of experience working under similar conditions in Alaska, to date we have executed the work with zero safety incidents.

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