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Northern Virginia Community College

Regional Center for Workforce Education and Training
Woodbridge, VA

General Contractor:  Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Architect:  Grimm & Parker Architects
Engineer:  Obenchain, Linkous, Daniels & Sowick
Contract Amount:  $3,125,589
Contract Start Date:  2/10/14
Actual State Date:  7/14/14
Contract Completion Date: 1/27/15
Actual Completion Date: 7/17/15


The Regional Center for Workforce Education and Training is a 55,000 square-foot state-of-the-art building on the Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) Woodbridge campus. The two-story Regional Center is designed to be the epicenter of high-quality training and education delivery that creates a workforce to meet the technological demands of Northern Virginia businesses, government and military communities. Training programs provided will include cyber security, healthcare, IT, program management and more. The Regional Center will also include a Certified Testing Center and 7,500 square-foot Conference Center designed to host a range of events from industrial-type training, exhibits and trade shows, to formal gatherings and special events.

This project was a great opportunity for the Shapiro & Duncan team to demonstrate our leadership in mechanical construction for higher education institutions. We began with the drawings created by an engineering firm and built out the HVAC and above/below ground plumbing systems (including drains and carriers). In addition to heat pumps, rooftop units and boilers, our scope of work included mechanical construction of a small kitchen and café plus installation of all plumbing fixtures including sinks, toilets, urinals and plumbing specialties. Thermal insulation, air distribution duct work, automatic temperature controls, air/water testing and balancing, chemical water treatment and equipment rigging were provided by subcontractors.

From a construction standpoint, this project presented, literally, a “high-level” challenge – the building’s 48-foot high “bowtie” ceiling. The engineering design required us to run the 6-inch steel hydronic piping system over this obstacle and connect it to the second story of an adjoining wing of the building.


Our Building Information Modeling (BIM) process played a key role in working out mechanical system clashes and setting the stage for prefabrication by our 51,000 square foot fabrication shop in Landover, Md.  At the fabrication shop, 3-D drawings were spooled into sections of piping that could then be broken down into pods on the job site for more efficient main-to-drop assembly. Using scissor lifts, our welders were able to assemble the elevated hydronic piping system. Meanwhile, job site coordination with the trades went smoothly from start to finish.

Ultimately, our mechanical solution included all of the following components:

  • 2 boilers
  • 1 storage tank
  • 1  sump pump
  • 52 heat pumps
  • 3 rooftop air handlers
  • 2 energy recovery units
  • 1 closed cell cooling tower
  • 4 ductless split systems and condensing units
  • 6  base mount pumps
  • Triple duty valves (TDVs)
  • Suction diffusers
  • 6 pump variable frequency drives (VFDs)
  • HVAC equipment hook-up kits
  • HVAC equipment vibration isolation
  • 1 air separator
  • 1 expansion tank
  • 1 chemical water treatment system
  • 3 fans
  • 5 sections of electric baseboard heaters


The project was completed within the contract timeframe and within the contract budget. The customer was very happy, not only with the outcome but also throughout the course of the entire project. According to Chuck Landon, NVCC’s construction inspector on this project, “Shapiro & Duncan now has worked on two good-size State projects for the Virginia Community College system. Having a mechanical company that cares as much as they do about doing the project right the first time makes my job as a construction inspector so much easier. Their foreman on site, Red Grigsby, is hands down the best foreman that I have dealt with in my 36 years in construction.  Shapiro & Duncan’s overall attitude of working together and keeping to a schedule, and taking care of customer concerns, is second to none. They are a prompt and very professional company that I look forward to working with in the future.”

In that connection, the owner, Northern Virginia Community College, says it intends to use the quality of our work on the Regional Center for Workforce Education and Training as the standard for future mechanical construction projects at other NVCC campuses.