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Firebird Farm Infrastructure Upgrades

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The University of the District of Columbia includes a main campus as well as several remote campuses, including the 143 acre Firebird Farm in Beltsville, MD. UDC requested Mimar to provide a number of upgrades of site utilities and infrastructure in order to expand service facilities to accommodate an increase in staff and students.

1.      A new restroom facility/shower and dressing room using sustainable technologies. This was a stand-alone structure in the vicinity of the food packing building. Conditioned spaces, security, One-Card access control and ADA standards were required to be met. Solar power options were also considered.

2.      A new septic system to accommodate the needs of the food packing building, commercial kitchen trailer, restrooms in the classroom building and the new canning shed. The capacity was then up-sized to account for future expansions.

3.      Design of a new food processing building with completion of a food packing addition and an entryway vestibule. The building was designed to meet all applicable building codes. The design included electrical, mechanical, heating and plumbing

4.      Renovation of the existing classroom building and multi-use spaces connected to the food processing building for ion site soil and water testing. Provided lab grade countertop, and new finishes, including LED lighting, exhaust fan and plumbing fixtures.

5.      Designed a replacement backflow preventer, replaced the main water shutoff valve and repaired damage main and irrigation lines, checked isolation valves and provided for the installation of a fire hydrant.

6.      Designed an electrical solution to increase the electrical systems capacity and distribution systems at the Aquaponics green house and classroom trailer. Increased size to accommodate future infrastructure additions.

7.      Prepared and provided detailed cost estimates for the work to be done. The pricing was broken down to match specification section for the work.

8.      Worked with UDC staff to value engineer various sections of the design elements in order to reduce costs and ensure that capital budget requirements were met.


The Mimar team provided all construction documents and costing information to meet applicable building codes and to obtain necessary building permits. Our team was also r4esponsible for checking and verifying all work to be performed under the contract documents for accuracy and detailed coordination. This included all architectural, architectural programming, commissioning, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, civil, information technology, security, signage, interior design, lighting, structural and hazardous materials abatement. Documents were required to meet all applicable State of Maryland and Prince George’s County requirements.


Documents were completed in accordance with UDC Design Standards and UDC Appendix B for AE contracts. Coordination of documents which were also reviewed by the UDC Capital Planning Commission. Appropriate coordination was conducted with governmental permitting agencies in order to secure all necessary plan approvals.


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