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Capital Planning and Project Management.

NOvA Far Detector Building

NOvA Far Detector Building.

Project Architect

Burns and McDonnell

Construction Manager at Risk

Adolfson & Peterson Inc.

Total Square Footage

41,000 GSF

Project Cost

$45.1 Million


All project capital costs are funded by The U.S. Department of Energy. For more detailed information about NOvA, click here.

The scope of work consists of two subprojects: Phase I, Road Improvements and Site Preparation, has been previously approved by the Board. That project includes the upgrade of approximately 3.5 miles of existing logging road to provide all weather access to the Far Detector Building, clearing and grubbing of the building site and the rock excavation for the Detector Enclosure. The excavated rock will be crushed and sized in order to be used as road base and shielding berm.

Phase II is for construction of the 41,000 GSF Far Detector Building. The building consists of a below grade enclosure (approximately 70 feet wide by 70 feet tall and 350 feet long). The enclosure will be situated approximately 40 feet into the rock and will have cast-in-place concrete floor slab and walls. The roof of the Detector Enclosure will be a composite construction of precast concrete planks with a cast-in-place concrete topping. A 0.5 foot deep barite aggregate layer will provide cosmic ray shielding for the Detector Enclosure. Other features of the Detector Enclosure include cast-in-place concrete support spaces such as Computer Room, Control Room and Electrical Equipment Room. The Detector Enclosure will have four levels of steel access walkways on the west side that lead to exit stairs.

The adjacent, at-grade, Service Building will include a Loading Dock, Office, Toilet, Scintillator Equipment Room, Mechanical Equipment Room and Fire Protection Room. The Service Building will be a metal sided, structural steel building with a modified bitumen roof membrane. Adjacent to the Loading Dock is a tanker unloading facility sized to accommodate four (4) trailers and appropriate spill containment.

The mechanical systems for the facility include rooftop HVAC units, sump pumps,ventilation fans and related accessories. The fire protection system for the facility will be a water mist system with 20,000 gallons of onsite water storage.

Project Timeline

February 2009: Construction Documents Complete

June 2009: Construction Begins

June 2011: Construction Complete

Key Sustainability Features

  • Blasted rock material removed from excavation was used as road bed material for the 3.5 mile access road and was also used for ballast material at the sides of the detector hall.

Project Status Updates

April 2010

Substantial completion for the Base Project (site and building) was achieved on April 15, 2011. This means that the University can begin to occupy certain parts of the building. Work continues on the outfitting package which consists of additional building interior work for mechanical, electrical, and structural items necessary to prepare the building for the start of the detector installation later this year. The outfitting package work is scheduled for completion in June 2011.

October 2010

Structural concrete placement is nearing completion with 93% complete. The installation of the concrete walls and precast roof beams of the detector hall are nearing completion. Site work is ongoing. The access road paving is complete. Installation of the fixed access platforms (catwalks) continues in the detector hall. The overhead crane is installed inside the maintenance building. Installation of the fire protection and mechanical and electrical systems and equipment is ongoing. Backfilling of the ballast rock surrounding the detector hall will begin in the near future. The two tower cranes and on-site concrete batch plant will be removed by the end of October.

June 2010

Site restoration work including seeding and soil pile removal continued along the access road. Concrete work continued with over 1,700 cubic yards of material placed. The majority of the concrete work in June was associated with the wall pours at the north end of the Assembly Area and Detector Enclosure. In addition, the work on the mud slab and base slab continued in advance of the wall pours. In June, the fabrication of the precast concrete roof beams was begun. Electrical rough-ins continued in the Loading Dock area. The coiling doors were installed in the Loading Dock area.

April 2010

In April the contractor has continued to install rock dowels and they are 65 percent complete now. 71 percent of the tensioned rock anchors and 69 percent of extensometers were completed as well. Roofing installation and concrete pour started and tower cranes were delivered and installed.

March 2010

In March rock blasting in the Far Detector has been completed and the rock excavation is approximately 95 percent complete. In April the contractor will start the Detector Building foundation pour.

February 2010

In February the contractor has continued with rock blasting and excavation. Rock excavation is approximately 80 percent complete now. The contractor has worked for 203 days without lost time accident.

January 2010

In January the contractor has resumed rock blasting. Rock excavation of the Far Detector Building is now 75 percent complete. The concrete foundation and structural steel for the northern half of the Service Building is complete.

December 2009

In the month of December the contractor continued to work on the Loading Dock part of the building. Some concrete was poured there. Work continues on rock trimming in the excavation for the Far Detector Building.

November 2009

In November the contractor has completed floor slabs for the Loading Dock portion of the building. Structural steel erection for the North end of the Loading Dock is done as well. The contractor has a goal of providing a weather tight enclosure for the northern portion of the Loading Dock by the end of the 2009 construction season. The metal wall panels and roof will be installed in December in order to accomplish this goal. The rock excavation at the building site to date is 73 percent complete.

October 2009

In October the access road to the site was completed. Contractor used crushed rock from the site for the road base. Rock excavation on the building site is 67 percent completed. Contractor has poured foundation for the Loading Dock portion of the building in October and started structure steel frame erection. They are pushing hard to enclose the building before the cold weather.

The project is very well received and welcomed by local residents and businesses as it brings a good, much needed business for them in the harsh economy.

September 2009

Phase I of the project is proceeding close to schedule. Adolfson & Peterson and Hoover Construction are fully mobilized and well into Phase I activity. The roadwork is getting close to completion. Rock blasting on the building site is on-going and excavation is 57 percent complete. Rock from the site is crushed and used for the road base. Concrete batch plan has been established on site and footing work has begun in September. Foundation pour for the Loading Dock portion of the building has been started in September. Access roadwork is 94 percent complete. Average manpower for the month was 45. Adolfson and Peterson has worked 100 days without lost time accident.

August 2009

Access Road work is 80 percent completed. Rock excavation at the building site is 40 percent completed. Due to weather delays and pour soil conditions work is behind the schedule and contractor is working longer hours.

July 2009

Road work is in progress. Rains have delayed it and crews are working longer hours now trying to catch-up. Blasting work has began on the building site. It will continue through mid-September.

June 2009

The 3.5 mile access roadway into the site is 100 percent cleared and grubbed and work continues to construct the roadway bed. The silt fence is 100 percent installed. The building site is 100 percent cleared with the rock face fully exposed in preparation for the rock blasting work to begin to excavate the foundation hole for the neutrino detector. Surcharge loading of the roadbed through the wetlands is ongoing. Procurement of the electrical utility improvements is underway.

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