Von Braun Phase III

Missile Defense Agency

Design-build lump sum


  • HVAC
  • Overhead air-distribution systems
  • Central cooling & heating plant
  • Multiple data centers
  • Commercial kitchen
  • Fitness center
  • Auditorium
  • Plumbing
  • Sheet metal
  • Temperature controls
  • Documentation of mechanical systems for LEED certification
  • Entire complex controls, interface control systems for contained mail extraction areas


Von Braun Phase III
Huntsville, AL

Phase III of the Von Braun Complex is a six-story, 839,873-square-foot hub to a three-building secure facility for the Space and Missile Defense Agency located on the Redstone Arsenal site. Along with numerous secure offices, the building boasts a cafeteria, commercial kitchen, an 800-seat auditorium, a full fitness facility, and even several special guest hotel rooms.

U.S. Engineering was the lead mechanical contractor for the project, directing all design and preconstruction services as well as HVAC and plumbing construction activities.

  • The cooling system consists of three 1,400-ton centrifugal, water-cooled chillers and grade-mounted cooling towers, 26 interior built-up air handlers and four energy recovery units for preconditioning outside air.
  • Telecommunications and computer rooms are served by 26 ceiling-mounted and 14 floor-mounted precision air-handling units.
  • The heating system consists of variable air volume boxes with hot water reheat. Heating is accomplished with three 450-horsepower hot water boilers.
  • Both systems are designed with 100% redundancy. In addition, a back-up steam converter system is provided for additional redundancy on the heating side.
  • The building automation system is capable of controlling and monitoring the entire complex of buildings with multiple energy plants, in addition to communication with the Base network.
  • Plumbing systems consist of hot and cold domestic water, sanitary waste and vent, natural gas and storm piping, local hot water heaters and instantaneous heat for remote sinks.
  • Central gas-fired heaters were provided for the kitchen and fitness center areas.
  • Fixtures were provided to government specifications and include battery-backed automatic flush valves and faucets. A complete perimeter and underground foundation drainage system was provided.