LCG provided initial Weather Service Office (WSO), Upper Air Inflation Structure (UAIS) and staff housing programming studies for NWS operations in Barrow, Alaska. This study explored three alternative sites in the Barrow area for new replacement NWS facilities.
LCG followed up this study with a successful design/build bid proposal for the 3,000 square foot WSO/UAIS building. This facility was carefully sited to allow for successful balloon launch operations, minimal snow drifting, and minimal environmental impact to the site, which included a fragile waterfowl nesting area. This single-story structure included pile foundation, panelized walls, and pre-engineered roof trusses. All building systems were designed for high energy efficiency and long life.
The floor plans were refined for improved efficiency and include operations area, office area, tech workroom, ready room / kitchenette, toilet room with shower, mechanical equipment room, garage area with standby generator, storage areas, balloon inflation bay, and back-up helium storage room.
This project was completed using a team approach on a fast-track basis, carefully coordinated activities with Barrow barge schedules, permitting requirements, and climate constraints. Gravel pads were placed and piling was installed in the spring of 2009 while the site was still frozen. Upon arrival of the supply barge, work was quickly performed and construction was substantially complete by the end of the year. This project achieved LEED Silver status, qualifying as the northernmost LEED certified project in the world.