The Pentagon Project

by Lester M. Hunkele, III, P.E., (M.ASCE), Vice Pres., Program Mgr. of the DMJM-3D/I joint venture; DMJM,
Julian Sabbatini, P.E., (M.ASCE), Assoc. Vice Pres.; DMJM,
Gary Helminski, Sr. Vice Pres.; 3D/I,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2001, Vol. 71, Issue 6, Pg. 38-45

Document Type: Feature article


The renovation of the Pentagon, now under way, is one of the most ambitious, complex, and challenging construction undertakings in contemporary history. It entails the equivalent of demolishing the interiors of three buildings the size of the Empire State Building, refurbishing them from top to bottom without disturbing the occupants or disrupting their work, and completing the renovation on a strict budget of $1.2 billion. The initial phases of the renovation were addressed using standard design/bid/build (D/B/B) contracting. This method proved inefficient in the face of the logistical challenges of a project of this magnitude; there were about 800 change orders for the first section of the basement renovation alone. It became clear that a major shift in government construction stance and practices was needed, and design-build practices were instituted for the remainder of the renovation. As the renovation of the Pentagon progressed, new design elements and unforeseen site conditions surfaced, including more than 75,000 mi (120,675 m�) of largely undocumented wiring, piping, and cables. The construction is progressing wedge by wedge through the structure. The tenants of the first renovated wedge moved in on February 22, 2001; the rest of the renovation will span 20 years.

Subject Headings: Renovation | Cables | Construction management | Project management | Design-bid-build | Pipes | History

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