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High Frequency Direction FInding Federal Communication Center

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As part of a Region Wide Contract for M/E and Related Engineering Services, Mimar, as Architect of Record, provided professional architectural, interior design, structural, mechanical, electrical, and fire protection services for the design and construction administration of a new 5,000 SF High Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) Federal Communications Center (FCC) which was previously housed in temporary trailers.

The building is located in a designated and more remote area of the federal government campus site in Columbia. Public utilities, such as electrical services were extended from the public street while the water was provided by a well system and sewer service was provided

by septic tank and septic leaching field. Due to the classified nature of the work performed within the building, physical security was a prime consideration and the building was surrounded by security fencing and a card access automatic sliding gate system.


Support spaces outside of the secure interior area included a conference room, offices, break room, workshop, and storage rooms. All these spaces required space planning confirmation and compliance with all applicable codes and ADA requirements. Tenant input was also provided continually throughout the design process to ensure a high degree of Owner satisfaction. A new emergency power generator and communication system were designed and installed to provide uninterrupted electrical service the HFDF center.


MIMAR’s scope of work under this contract also included an existing condition survey, site selection, design, and construction administration services. The survey encompassed documenting existing site utility services and evaluating existing incoming power system relative to project programmatic demand. Design services included site analysis, upgrading existing utility infrastructure to accept a new high voltage transformer serving existing, and new facilities and mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and septic systems serving the new HFDF center. MIMAR performed all architectural, structural, HVAC, plumbing and high voltage transformer design services with in-house staff received excellent ratings from the Owner’s evaluation.

To accommodate Owner directed programmatic revisions during construction, MIMAR redesigned the building to include a designated SCIF within the building footprint, separating the operations center from the remainder of the HFDF. The SCIF was designed in accordance with uniform U.S. Government intelligence community physical and technical security requirements to restrict unauthorized physical access or electronic surveillance.


The new HVAC system was designed in accordance with the requirements of a SCIF facility. The building computer room was serviced by a 30-ton air cooled computer room air conditioning system, (CRAC) with humidity controls. Other office and support areas were conditioned with indoor air handling unit with direct expansion cooling coil and electric heating coil. A second CRAC unit was provided for the computer operation room and computer equipment room for redundancy, to condition the operation room if the first CRAC unit malfunction. Services included design of the HVAC system, construction documentation, construction administration and equipment inspection. It is of particular note that an initial complex issue with the exacting humidity requirements for the specialized electronic gear was overcome through the application of mechanical system controls and equipment installation. This accomplishment was particularly appreciated and recognized by the Owner. MIMAR provided all of the HVAC, electrical, plumbing/infrastructure design systems with in-house staff.


After completion of this project, our design team was awarded a certificate of excellence by the U.S. GSA Mid-Atlantic Region. Client provided past performance questionnaire (PPQ) for several jobs and rated MIMAR "Exceptional" in all categories.

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