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Pentagon Renovation Program Management

Pentagon Renovation - Arlington, Virginia

Transforming a Historic National Landmark

The Pentagon is the largest low-rise office facility in the world, covering 34 acres that consist of a five-sided building and a central courtyard. Although constructed in 1941, it had never undergone a major renovation. Fifty-one years later, in 1992, the Pentagon Renovation and Construction Program Office (PENREN) began upgrading the Pentagon, transforming it into a modern, flexible, and efficient workplace that will meet the needs of the 21st century. At a cost of $4.3 billion, the Pentagon’s renovation is the largest design-build office renovation and modernization project in the United States, comprising 6.5 million ft² with more than 17.5 miles of corridors and 25,000 personnel. The program extends through two decades, with completion expected in 2011.

Parsons, in joint venture, has been involved with the renovation from the beginning, initially providing management support as architect/engineer in a design-bid-build framework from 1992–2001. We successfully won a recompete in 2001 and now provide project and technical construction management services within a design-build framework.

Aerial image showing locations of selected major projects on the Pentagon reservation.

In addition to modernizing the Pentagon, the renovation includes projects throughout the Pentagon reservation.

The program encompasses a total slab-to-slab renovation of the Pentagon, as well as other major construction projects on the Pentagon reservation. Nothing less than a full-scale renovation was required after considering decades of deferred maintenance, the extent of needed repairs to the building and its major systems, steadily increasing operations and maintenance (O&M) costs, and the need to meet current health, fire, and life-safety codes. Since 2001 our work includes managing tenant move-out, demolition and abatement, core-and-shell construction, tenant fit-out, furniture procurement, and tenant move-in.

In addition to modernizing the Pentagon’s space, the renovation program includes the following projects:

  • New heating and refrigeration plant (completed in 1997)
  • New health clinic (completed in 2000)
  • Phoenix Project: post-September 11, 2001, reconstruction (completed in 2002)
  • Metro Entrance Facility (completed in 2002)
  • Remote Delivery Facility (completed in 2003)
  • Pentagon Athletic Center (completed in 2004)
  • Relocation of Highway 110 (completed in 2004)
  • Pentagon Library and Conference Center (PLC2) (completed in 2006)
  • Center Courtyard Café (completed in 2008) Pentagon Memorial (completed in 2008)

Ensuring uninterrupted working conditions for the building's occupants is an important program element.

Other services have included developing an overall strategic space allocation plan, criteria for evaluating individual space assignments, and adjacency requirements for tenants in the Pentagon. We performed an in-depth analysis of more than 520,000 ft² of space occupied by the Department of the Navy; provided space programming and preliminary blocking plans for U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and other tenant components; and completed the full interior design for the renovation of the Bradley Corridor area, the Pentagon’s most prominent passageway. Apart from the magnitude of the program, a unique challenge has been managing the renovation while the building’s occupants remain operational year-round. As the DoD’s command and control center, it is essential we ensure uninterrupted working conditions. Another challenge is the program’s aggressive schedule. After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the building, the original schedule was accelerated by 3 years to address the immediate need to complete life-safety and security enhancements. The accelerated schedule also accommodated rebuilding the area damaged in the attack, which included a portion of the newly completed Wedge 1.

Program Highlights

  • Historic Preservation: The Pentagon is a designated historic landmark and embodies our proud national history. We took special care to preserve its character while modernizing the facility and bringing it up to current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and force protection standards.
    Sustainable Design: PENREN championed the DoD’s first LEED-certified project in the National Capital Region (NCR) in 2003. To date, five projects are LEED-certified (including one silver), and one is pending. The program uses a design and construction approach that evaluates decisions in a holistic framework. This technique includes environmental considerations, as well as long-term cost, maintenance, and worker/employee factors. Some of the features include water conservation, energy efficiency, environmentally friendly materials and use of recycled content, and construction debris recycling. The Wedges 2–5 project has consistently diverted 50% of its construction waste from landfills through salvage and recycling.
  • The Remote Delivery Facility features a roof with vegetation. The Pentagon is visible in the background. The new RDF is a 250,000-ft² shipping and receiving facility adjoining the Pentagon. This facility significantly improves the Pentagon’s physical security by providing a safe, consolidated location to receive and screen thousands of items shipped daily to the Pentagon. This LEED-certified building is covered by a green, “living” roof that is landscaped to enhance the tenants’ view and create an alternative location for ceremonial activities.
  • Hazardous Materials Abatement: The demolition and abatement of asbestos and lead was a massive project in itself. After the project areas were cleared of nontoxic rubbish, they were enclosed to prevent the escape of asbestos fibers—and abatement was carried out under strict safety precautions. When completed, thousands of dumpsters of debris and tractor trailer loads of asbestos and lead waste will have been removed from the renovated areas.
  • Move Management: Renovation took place one wedge at a time. We relocated tenants into temporary office space and returned them when construction was complete. This process required over 1 million ft² of external swing space, a substantial amount of internal swing space, and considerable logistical planning. We also developed and revised the Tenant Guidelines (the rules of engagement for tenant participation in the renovation) and the Tenant Relocation Handbook.

As a special note, new blast-resistant and force-protection features that were incorporated into the design before the attack on September 11 are credited with saving the lives of many Pentagon workers during the attack.

To date, 5.5 million ft² have been renovated (of a total 6.5 million ft²). When finished, all of the Pentagon’s 25,000 military and civilian personnel will be able to work in a safe, professional, and flexible office environment that pays tribute to its landmark status while delivering 21st century features.


2007 White House Closing the Circle Award (PLC2), Sustainability
2007 BBG-BBGM Project of the Year (PLC2), Excellence in Construction, awarded by Chesapeake Chapter, Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. (BBG-BBGM: Brennan Beer Gorman Architects-Brennan Beer Gorman Monk Interiors)
2007 BBG-BBGM Development (PLC2), Excellence in Construction, awarded by Chesapeake Chapter, Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc.
2003 Project of the Year Award (Phoenix Project), Project Management Institute, Washington, D.C. Chapter
2003 CMAA Project of the Year Achievement Award-Value in Excess of $100 million
2002 Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management, in the category of Outreach for energy saving initiatives (PENREN)
2002 Congress of the United States, 107th Congress, 2nd Session, House Resolution 368 commends the great work completed in reconstructing the portion of the Pentagon that was destroyed by the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 (PENREN and its contractors)
2001 CMAA CM Achievement Award for Outstanding Project Value Greater than $10 million (Pentagon South Terrace Pedestrian Bridges Project)
2001 Washington Contractor Award–Association of General Contractors

LEED Recognition

  • Remote Delivery Facility (LEED certified)
  • Metro Entrance Facility (LEED certified)
  • Pentagon Athletic Center (LEED certified)
  • Pentagon Library and Conference Center (LEED silver)
  • Wedge 2 (LEED certified) Wedges 3–5 (registered LEED project)