C17 Flight Simulator Facility Addition
U.S. Air Force
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Tacoma, WA

Construction Cost:  $5.3 Million

LEED Silver-level design

The project included full outdoor air economizers to achieve a 28% energy savings over a standard system.


Wood Harbinger provided mechanical, electrical, and fire protection engineering services for the design and construction of a simulator bay addition to a 3-bay, C-17 flight simulator complex.  The addition provides a full-motion flight simulator, support spaces for two fixed simulators, computer equipment, training rooms, and briefing rooms.  The facility is designed to achieve a LEED Silver Certification.  Completion of the project is anticipated in 2011.

This project was initiated because the three chillers, each separately connected to its own simulator building, would fail at different times resulting in an unacceptable amount of downtime for the simulator.  Wood Harbinger designed an intertie system to allow the chiller for the new building to interconnect with the three existing chillers.  This provides continuous backup to any one simulator, eliminating any chance of downtime.  In addition, the existing building did not have the capacity to have a mass notification system.  Wood Harbinger worked closely with the owner to provide a mass notification system for the new addition and has the future capacity to expand into the existing building.

Mechanical Systems include:

  • Full outdoor air economizers to achieve a 28% energy savings over a standard system;
  • A chilled water intertie system to allow other simulator buildings to provide chilled water backup;
  • A chilled water interconnection loop, including underground insulated piping;
  • Gas fired air handlers; and
  • Outdoor air pre-conditioner to efficiently de-humidify the space at a low energy cost.

Electrical systems include:

  • An extension of the base’s 12.47kV primary electrical power system;
  • An electrical power system with 30% spare capacity;
  • Energy-efficient lighting with daylight controls to minimize energy usage; and
  • A mass notification and fire alarm system to alert occupants in the event of a fire within the building or in the event a disaster occurs outside of the building.

Wood Harbinger incorporated sustainable features into the design by including an outdoor air pre-conditioning system that provides dehumidification at one location rather than spending the energy to dehumidify the much larger air volumes in each zone; variable speed drives and outdoor air economizers; separate temperature control zones in each space to maximize occupant comfort; sensor operated lavatories and dual flush water closets to minimize water usage; and design modifications to intertie the overall chilled water system serving the complex to provide additional reliability for this mission critical facility.