RBC Construction Corp.

RBC Construction Corp. is drawing on its innovative construction know-how and its staff’s years of experience to build a military facility in Puerto Rico. The Cataño, Puerto Rico-based general contractor in February 2012 will begin work on the $12.3 million Caguas Army Reserve Center. The center consists of two sites: an Army Reserve National Guard training facility in Puerto Nuevo and support facilities located at Fort Buchanan, the sole active U.S. Army base in the Caribbean.

Military equipment are coordinated and maintained in Fort Buchanan Military Base, while soldiers are based and report to the National Guard Reserve Center facility. The sites are located a short distance from each other. Work will conclude in October 2013.

The Puerto Nuevo facility will include an 18,306-square-foot assembly hall, a 6,549-square-foot training center building, a 17,000-square-foot parking area and expansion to an existing parking lot and an expansion of a retention pond. Construction at Fort Buchanan includes 16,434 square feet of military equipment parking and new storage, maintenance and wash bay buildings. All of the buildings are one-story steel structures with pre-cast concrete walls.

RBC’s proposal for the project was based solely on design criteria. “There were no conceptual drawings provided from the Corps of Engineers in order to develop the proposal,” Project Engineer Miguel J. Diaz says. “The complete design/build team worked together to coordinate the various trades that compose the project as a whole and fulfill the client’s needs.”

The team helping RBC complete the Caguas Army Reserve Center project includes several contractors the company has worked with previously. “We have had an excellent and sound relationship with them throughout the years and they are an essential part of our team,” Diaz adds.

Special Requirements

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ needs for the project to include the use of conservation methods designed to lessen energy and water consumption. A photovoltaic array will provide a portion of the electricity for the buildings at the Puerto Nuevo site. The array will initially supply 30 percent of the building’s energy, with the Army having an option to increase that to 100 percent, the company says.

The Caguas Army Reserve Center project is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification. In addition to solar arrays, the center’s buildings will also feature LED lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures and energy-efficient roofing with insulation materials.

The buildings must also meet the Army’s Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) building requirements. “Static pressure forces will be used to design the framing of the buildings’ openings,” the company adds. “Windows fabricated and installed in the buildings will comply with anti-blast requirements.”

Company Qualifications

Founded in 2003, RBC Construction Corp. is capable of self-performing up to 60 percent of the work on its projects. The company’s president, Raul J. Bras Cummings, P.E., has vast experience in civil, commercial and institutional construction and was among the first to bring construction methods such as tilt-up walls and self-consolidated concrete to Puerto Rico. Recent projects including the 55,000-square-foot Edificio de Estudios Generales (General Studies Building) at the University of Puerto Rico, which was awarded the XI Biennale of Puerto Rico Architecture Award. The exposed concrete building features the use of a self-consolidated concrete formwork system.

RBC Construction Corp. itself may be only eight years old, but its principals bring a considerable amount of experience to its work. Bras Cummings has more than 40 years of experience and has managed more than $700 million in construction projects of all types. Many of the company’s personnel have at least 15 years of experience working with Bras Cummings.

“We are confident that our previous performances qualify us to perform this type of project,” the company says. “Nonetheless, we understand that every project is a new type of experience and all the new methods that will be applied during design and construction will contribute to our organization’s being able to continue providing the best quality in construction in a safe environment and in a timely manner.”

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