Volusia County has formally dedicated its much-anticipated Emergency Operations and Communications Center, a $21 million, 43,000 square-foot facility recently completed by Ajax Building Corporation. The center is scheduled to be fully operational April 4, after the county’s Emergency Management Division and the Volusia County Sheriff’s Offices’ 911 dispatch center have completely moved in.
Designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, EF3 tornado and large missile impacts, the single-story building was constructed using concrete tilt panels and a steel superstructure. Other features include an emergency operations room to accommodate 90 support personnel during disasters, a state-of-the-art news media broadcast room, citizens information center, ham radio center, 75-foot backup radio tower, backup generators, helicopter pad, kitchen and bunk rooms for men and women.
“This facility will enable us to work much smarter every day — and especially during times of disaster-recovery,” said Emergency Management Director Charles Craig. “Many thanks to the project team members from Ajax Building Corporation and Schenkel Shultz Architecture for all of their hard work and dedication in building us a state-of-the-art Center for which all of us in Volusia County can truly be proud.”
Meeting rooms allow for key disaster response officials to convene to make strategic decisions necessary to protect the public during emergencies like hurricanes, civil unrest, wildfires and mass casualty incidents. The lobby includes bullet-resistant interior walls.
As construction manager, Ajax built the project in 12 months and maximized the local participation, hiring more than 93 percent of the subcontractors from the area. Orlando-based Schenkel Shultz Architecture designed the project.
“This facility is a tremendous asset for the community — and a rewarding project for Ajax to manage,”said Bill Byrne, Ajax president. “Projects like this one have an undeniable positive impact on the community and we are proud to have completed it on time and on budget.”
Located in west Daytona Beach at 3825 Tiger Bay Road, it replaces a 37-year-old a “bunker style” cramped and crowded building that was about one-fifth the size.
The newest emergency operations and sheriff’s communications center in Florida also is the “greenest.” Innovative design processes include computerized energy and air management that can be monitored and adjusted offsite over the Internet, green housekeeping, waste reduction and a recycling program.
Thermal energy storage contributes to significant energy cost savings. During off-peak hours, one chiller “makes ice” while the other serves the building’s cooling demands. During on-peak hours, when electricity is more expensive, only one chiller is required to run while melting the ice in the storage tanks to meet the cooling needs. Lower kilowatt demand equates to a sizable rebate from the utility company.
Other sustainable construction features included harvesting and recycling trees removed initially when the site was cleared, sourcing 20 percent of the building materials locally and recycling or salvaging 75 percent of the construction waste. Irrigation will be removed after one year, when native plantings have been established.
The design team will pursue Silver LEED certification of the facility. The project already has been recognized for attaining three Green Globes® for New Construction (NC) under the Green Building Initiative.
About Ajax Building Corporation
A 55-year-old company, Ajax is recognized for its expertise in construction management, design-build and program management of educational, healthcare and commercial facilities, as well as other public and institutional buildings. Ajax is dedicated to building sustainable and high performance facilities — from design to construction and operation —and has two-dozen LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professionals credentialed employees on staff. Ajax maintains Florida offices in Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Ft. Myers and Punta Gorda, as well Atlanta and Durham, NC. In rankings, the company takes a leadership position in a number of Top Contractor categories. Engineering News Record names Ajax among the Top 100 Green Contractors in the United States. Regionally, Southeast Construction magazine ranks Ajax No. 18 in the list of Top Contractors and No. 15 in Green Builders. McGraw Hill’s Design Build magazine also ranks Ajax No. 67 in the Top Design Builders in the United States.