BUILDINGS - Smarter Facilities Management


Rockwell Collins Engineering Office Building 130, Cedar Rapids, IA

Project Innovations 2007



Submitting Company:
Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, IA

Project Team: (not all-inclusive)
Rockwell Collins, owner; Ryan Cos. US Inc., general contractor; OPN Architects Inc., architect; KJWW Engineering Consultants, mechanical consultant; Schnoor-Bonifazi Engineering and Surveying, civil engineer; M2B Structural Engineers LLP, structural engineer; Engineering Alliance Inc., traffic consultant; The Weidt Group, building  modeling.

Project Specifics:
Building type/use: office/engineering lab

Square footage: 120,000 square feet

Project cost: $14.6 million

Project completion: December 2006

Product Suppliers: (not all-inclusive)
ABB Inc. | ADT Security Systems Inc. | Allsteel Inc. | American Standard | Bell & Gossett | Best Access Systems | Butler Manufacturing Co. | Carrier Corp. | Chicago Faucets | Cisco Systems Inc. | Climate Engineers | CURRIES | Diamond Vogel Paints | Doors Inc. | Draper Inc. | Elkay Manufacturing Co. | GE Security | GE Supply | GenFlex Roofing Systems | Julie Industries Inc. | Kawneer North America | Kohler Co. | Lithonia Lighting | Lutron Electronics Co. Inc. | McQuay Intl. | Overhead Door Corp. | Owens Corning | PPG Industries Inc. | SARGENT Manufacturing Co. | Siemens Building Technologies Inc. | Signs Etc. | Sloan Valve Co. | SYSTIMAX Solutions | C&A Floorcoverings | Teknion | Toshiba America Inc. | USG Corp. | Von Duprin | VT Industries

As a defense contractor, Rockwell Collins made a stark change from the predominantly windowless buildings built in the 1950s and ‘60s (when windows were considered a security risk). Here, the building is light and bright, with an abundance of natural lighting.

The space concept for this office and electronic research laboratory called for two concentric square donuts around the 16 Department of Defense secure labs in the center. On the exterior donut, cubicles feature lots of natural light from exterior windows. The next donut consists of two or three rows of walled offices.

Special Design Features
The front of the building includes a slanted, metal-clad façade that is reminiscent of the skin of an airplane. Sunscreens adorn all of the building's south and west windows, and some of its north windows. All of these features help convince occupants and observers that the building is not a metal box.

Since labs create lots of heat from computers and electronic equipment, the team used the heat in the winter to wash exterior walls by situating fan-powered VAV boxes on the perimeter of the building. Occupancy sensors located throughout the building address lighting and HVAC occupancies. Because of its efficiencies, the building is expected to become certified to LEED's newest version - the first building in Iowa that will be certified at the newest version - and, if certified, only the fifth LEED building in the state.

Design/Construction Challenge
Biggest challenges for the design team were schedule and budget. The facility - a Butler building built and furnished for under $122 per square foot - was completed in 7.5 months from start of construction through completion. 


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