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Best Projects Higher Education/Research: Homeland Security Education Center

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This 64,000-sq-ft facility, the first of its kind in the Midwest, brings homeland security to the nation's heartland, preparing firefighters, police and other first responders for international and domestic terrorist acts in addition to man-made and natural disasters.

Photo Courtesy of Steinkamp Photography
The Homeland Security Education Center in Glen Ellyn, Ill., prepares firefighters, police and other first responders for international and domestic terrorist acts.
Photo Courtesy of Steinkamp Photography
The center houses a breathing-apparatus lab, ambulance simulator, forensics and cybercrimes labs, and a debriefing room.
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The hub of the Homeland Security Education Center is a non-military 4-D Interior Immersive Training Lab, both a gathering space and a place for simulating force-on-force urban response, which focuses on scenarios students may encounter on the job.

Featuring brick and stucco finishes as well as canopies and street lights, the 5,400-sq-ft space is intended to resemble a main street. Behind storefronts are classrooms and labs.

Elsewhere, an auditorium lobby displays a 1,000-lb I-beam from New York's World Trade Center as well as images and text relating to the Sept. 11 attacks. The facility also houses a breathing-apparatus lab, ambulance simulator, forensics and cybercrimes labs and a debriefing room.

Believing design-bid-build would increase the likelihood of change orders, the owner opted for an integrated project delivery method that called for collaboration among design architect, architect of record, engineers and construction manager from the project's outset. Corresponding contracts contained binding language relative to project scope, budget and schedule.

In addition to an early analysis of major building systems, the completion of a comprehensive basis of design during schematics helped ensure systems remained within budget. The preparation of independent estimates by designers and the construction manager at major design milestones further assisted in preventing scope creep.

The project was completed on time and on budget and included the design, purchase and installation of more than $2 million in specialized equipment, including fume hoods, advanced audio-visual systems and forensics lab benches.

Integrating specifications for military equipment into final bid packages resulted in a fully operational facility upon its opening.

Homeland Security Education Center Glen Ellyn, Ill. Key Players

Owner: College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, Ill.

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