The Atlantic Drill Hall is intended to be unique in appearance, yet fit comfortably within the context of the immediately neighboring structures – the recruit barracks. The recruit entrance, on the west side of the new facility, is experienced through two extended canopied entries that connect existing promenade walks to the drill hall overhead doors. This alignment visually locks the Atlantic Fleet Drill Hall into the Camp John Paul Jones campus, and becomes a natural connection to the new recruit experience.
More than 60 percent of the Atlantic Fleet Drill site is an open vegetated area with Buffalo Grass sod – an adaptive species that requires no irrigation. Other site strategies include a below-grade detention system along the building perimeter that absorbs the stormwater run off from the landscaping and prevents runoff from migrating to the hardscape surfaces and into the storm sewer system. Located an eighth of a mile from the regional rail transit system, the building encourages the use of mass transportation.
With the expansive Drill Hall located on the first floor of the building, administrative spaces are provided on the second level and are organized around a central classroom. Natural daylighting is provided throughout, and the Drill Hall’s utilities—water, storm water, sanitary and steam systems—are delivered to the building through existing Naval base infrastructure. The design required no new infrastructure to be constructed, although new connections between existing and the new building were added.
To maintain maximum energy efficiency, the building utilizes high efficiency lighting and occupancy sensors in spaces to automatically shut off lights in washrooms and storage areas that are not continually in use. Comprehensive digital mechanical controls allow the outdoor air supply to be regulated to each room providing thermal comfort and verification for building users. The building achieved LEED-Gold certification with the U.S. Green Building Council.