top of page

USACE Engineer Research & Development Center

Vicksburg, Mississippi

ERDC Structural Model
ERDC Auditorium
ERDC Vicksburg

Click to enlarge, see below for more information

Construction Cost: $53 Million

Size: 146,000 SF Addition

Achieved LEED Gold Certification

Structural Principal: Stuart Smith

Services Provided: Communications / Audio Visual, Structural

Schmidt Consulting Group (SCG) provided structural and audio-visual design including coordination, production, and delivery of construction documents for the new Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, MS.  The new 146,000 sf Headquarters replaces 169,000 sf currently occupied in five separate outdated buildings and is designed to be a major part of the campus master plan. SCG was a consultant to USACE Mobile in-house design staff for the project.


The new building consists of a four-story wing on the south and a three-story wing on the north, connected by a three-story atrium in the middle. It provides office and meeting space, training and technical support and quality of life areas for ERDC Headquarters and administrative personnel. Building features include a 500-seat Auditorium, classrooms, conference rooms, VTC rooms, library, cafeteria, health and fitness, general purpose, receiving areas and office suites. Office suites include a reception/waiting area, outer office and interior offices with huddle space. Suites with larger numbers of employees utilize open office workstations.  The facility was designed to create a central campus setting and the necessary utilities, infrastructure upgrades and roads were designed to support this concept.  A Central Plant building and a cooling tower enclosure are adjacent.  The latest UFCs, AT/FP requirements and LEED standards were met.


Initially, the project was significantly over budget and cost reductions were required.  SCG reviewed the progressive collapse design and worked closely with a structural steel company to develop a new standard connection that saved weight and steel.  Experts at the USACE Protective Design Center conducted a review and approved the innovative design, which saved over $1 million in project costs. 


Due to the secure nature of the headquarters facility, a specialized structural design was required. The multi-story headquarters is classified as Occupancy Category III and designed to resist progressive collapse, satisfying the requirements UFC 4-023-03 January 2010 using Alternate Path and Enhanced Local Resistance analysis methods. 


Minimum standoff distance requirements were met and exterior doors, walls, windows and skylights were designed to meet AT/FP requirements. A mass notification system was included. The building uses a multitude of construction materials to include steel, masonry, reinforced concrete, brick and light gauge steel studs and was designed in compliance with IBC 2012, UFC 1-200-01, UFC 3-301-01, UFC 4-010-01 and UFC 4-023-03.  A geotechnical investigation including borings was completed and based on the findings, deep auger-cast pile foundations with pile caps were used.  A 4-inch minimum thickness slab on grade with a 10 mil vapor barrier on 6” capillary water barrier was used.  The brick exterior has light gauge metal framing or curtain wall systems with steel tube support framing and the roof is wide rib, type B metal roof deck on pre-engineered metal roof trusses supported by steel frames.   The central plant building design was similar, but used shallow concrete spread footings for a foundation. 


Schmidt Consulting Group provided comprehensive communications design to support the headquarters operation.  The audio visual (A/V) systems include all necessary equipment, interface, cabling software and power supplies to support the facility’s security office, training rooms, conference rooms, cafeteria, auditorium, interactive and distance learning, health area, individual offices and government-furnished video-teleconferencing equipment.  The Emergency Operations Center, a classified area, was provided with SIPRNet, secure video-teleconferencing and local and remote monitoring of camera surveillance systems.   

bottom of page