Awards of Excellence 2021
DPR Construction
Viasat Black Hills Office Building & Dry Labs

Viasat Black Hills Office Building & Dry Labs
Award of Excellence
Best Suburban Office or Industrial/Flex - 2 or More Stories

Project Team

Viasat - (Owners)
Gensler - (Architect)
DPR Construction - (General Contractor)

Project Description

Growth in the past few years temporarily divided the Viasat Germantown team into two buildings, and with this project completion the team has come back together under one roof—with room to grown. The new office building is about one mile from Viasat’s previous facilities in Germantown and is a milestone among many in the Germantown office’s history.The new three-story, 97,000 SF building has room for 185 employees and includes a two-story parking garage, roast house, cafe, workout area with showers and lockers, game room and outdoor barbecue and game area. It also includes room for growth. Space on the third floor could accommodate another 60 employees, and plans for a 2,000 SF addition are pre-approved when the space is needed.The Germantown team is involved in multiple aspects of Viasat’s business—from the Viasat-3 ground network and defense programs to government mobility and in-flight Wi-Fi. And for its relatively small staff, working in close proximity creates a comraderie that is not only pleasant but good for business.

The new building will not only reunite the staff in one structure, but will also help to recruit future employees. The synergy among the company’s various groups is invaluable in creating a collaborative work environment and provides for creative ideas to flourish. The Germantown facility specializes in software and systems engi-neering know-how which is critical to Viasat’s greater goals.

“COVID-19 was one of the biggest challenges and most uncertain situations I’ve ever encountered in my career. The entire team’s ability to adapt to the environment that COVID created for us was phenomenal,” said Stephen Hatch, Viasat Project Manager, Levine Investment Owner Representative.To adapt to the pandemic’s challenges, the team utilized a large shell space inside the new building that allowed them to conduct daily meetings with trade partners while maintaining a safe distance. The team relied on virtual tools to continue to keep the lines of communication open between all stakeholders.Pandemic effects aside, a constructability challenge was the significant amount of earthwork that had to be done early in construction. Breaking ground in early 2019, the team overcame the challenge of mass excava-tion during the wettest year on record for the area. Ultimately, the project was completed in September 2020 with plaudits to go around. RESULTS
Prior to this new building, the Viasat east coast team was divided, working out of two dated buildings with limited resources and security. This new building brought the team into the 21st centure with ample ameni-ties while also providing enhanced security in this digital world.

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