Elmendorf AFB Professional Military Education Center

  • Location Elmendorf Air Force Base, AK
  • Client RIM Architects
  • Owner U.S. Air Force
  • Mission: Get Smart(er)

    Training our troops and their leaders is better with sufficient room and an efficient design.

  • Sustainable Space

    Incorporates maximum daylighting and exceeds use requirements and water conservation measures by 30%.

Seats in the chair before seats in the air. An undersized, old building no longer served the educational needs of the Elmendorf Air Force training mission. This project modernized the existing Professional Military Education (PME) Center with a new 24,000 SF building and an area to be used as a parade ground. The Center serves as a military training space for a combined program supporting both non-commissioned officers (NCO) and first time airmen (FTAC) of the Alaska Command and the Northern Pacific Region. The new, one-story, concrete masonry unit and steel, low-slope roof structure meets current building standards and provides the necessary spaces that enable enhanced learning and leadership training. The facility includes reception, heritage and display areas, auditorium, instructional seminar rooms, conference spaces, offices, student lounges, and a variety of support spaces including a mechanical platform.

RIM Architects, with Reid Middleton as structural engineer, led the final design team under White Mountain Construction for this design-build project. The building consisted of steel roof framing with CMU bearing/shear walls on a conventional reinforced concrete foundation. Reid Middleton provided the structural engineering for the steel framing, CMU walls, foundation and blast protection of exterior windows and doors, as well as construction support. While LEED certification was not required, a number of sustainable materials were incorporated throughout the design. Achieving maximum natural daylight was an instrumental goal in the building design. Educational and administrative spaces are located at the perimeter of the building and afford natural daylighting. Anchorage’s northern design climate creates challenges when addressing the increasing demand for energy conservation in building construction. Despite these challenges, the design exceeds energy savings of 30% over ASHRAE 90.1 per EPAC 05 requirements. Water conservation was achieved through low-flow faucets and toilets. General energy reduction was achieved by energy-efficient fluorescent fixtures and occupant sensors throughout the facility. Split-face CMU was used as the primary finish material to minimize maintenance at both the exterior and the interior of the auditorium; high quality carpet and porcelain tile make up the high-traffic floor finishes of the building interior.