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1 Workshop Synopsis The Workshop to Provide Assistance to the Architect of the Capitol to Develop a Scope of Services for the Update of the Master Plan for the U.S. Capitol and Grounds was held on September 23-24, 2002, at the National Academies Building in Washington, DC; the workshop agenda is included as Appendix C. The general format of the meeting was to engage the participants in roundtable-type discussions, led by the committee chair, of selected topics related to campus master planning in general and current issues affecting the Capitol Complex. The Architect of the Capitol together with staff from that office and other stakeholder agencies (i.e., the House and Senate, Supreme Court, Library of Congress) provided information and answered questions posed by the participants. The synergy of these interactions elicited many useful points for the committee to consider and greatly contributed to the richness of the discussions. The findings and recommendations contained in this report, however, represent the opinion of the NRC committee that was appointed for this purpose. The responsibility for the final content of the report rests entirely with the committee. The Capitol Complex The U.S. Capitol Complex comprises the Capitol building, House and Senate Office Buildings, the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Capitol Grounds, the Library of Congress buildings, the Supreme Court building, the Capitol Power Plant, and various support facilities. To a large extent, the current form of the Capitol Complex was shaped by the expansion of the Capitol in the mid-19th century that added the House and Senate wings and the new dome. In 1874 Frederick Law Olmsted was commissioned to plan and oversee a major expansion of the Capitol grounds necessitated by the building additions. He directed the work on the grounds until 1889. Olmsted was determined that the grounds should complement the building and added the marble terraces on the north, west, and south sides of the Capitol. Landscaping was designed to adapt the surrounding areas to the new construction, and included grading of the ground and the planting of shrubs at the bases of walls as the progress of the masonry work allowed. In general, the duties of the Architect of the Capitol include facility operations, mechanical and structural maintenance and repair of the buildings, the upkeep and improvement of the Capitol grounds, and the arrangement of special functions such as inaugural ceremonies and other events and ceremonies held in the building or on the grounds. Legislation has been enacted from time to time to include additional buildings and grounds within the jurisdiction and responsibility of the Architect of the Capitol. Funding for the activities of the Architect of the Capitol, including operations, construction, maintenance, and repair, is provided through congressional appropriations. The extent of the Capitol Complex is shown in Figure 1.1.
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FIGURE 1.1 The U.S. Capitol Complex and Grounds. SOURCE: Architect of the Capitol. At the present time, work is under way on the construction of a new Capitol Visitor Center, an underground facility to be located beneath the Capitol’s east front plaza. Significant modernization projects are planned for the Supreme Court and the Capitol Power Plant that provides heating and cooling for the entire complex, as well as a major renovation of the National Garden of the U.S. Botanic Garden. Efforts are also under way to bring all facilities into compliance with requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and fire protection standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Condition assessments are being conducted for the Capitol and the Senate and House Office Buildings. Finally, physical security improvements are either planned or under way for individual buildings and the Complex perimeter. The total estimated cost of this work is approximately $1 billion. A description of currently funded program activities is presented in Table 1.1.
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TABLE 1.1 Ongoing Program Activities of the Architect of the Capitol Activity Description Life Safety These programs are essential for complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Act, environmental and hazardous material protection requirements, fire codes, and other regulatory matters affecting the general health and welfare of building occupants. Passage of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 in particular has placed significant emphasis on ensuring that the Capitol Complex is free of hazards to the Members, Senators, staff, and visitors. Security These programs meet the needs created by the increased risk of terrorist activity that has resulted in heightened sensitivity to threats to security at the Capitol Complex. In addition, there are security needs to protect property such as the collections at the Library of Congress. Compliance with ADA These are programs essential for complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Passage of the Congressional Accountability Act has reinforced the resolve to ensure that the Capitol Complex is free of barriers to the Members, Senators, staff, and visitors. Cyclical Maintenance Several buildings in the Capitol Complex are reaching an age and condition that, best practices suggest, indicate the need for major renovation or replacement of building systems. Various improvements are recommended to ensure that these building systems continue to provide services to occupants. Improvement Technology is changing far more rapidly than existing building infrastructures can support and adapt to. This is especially true in the rapidly expanding area of telecommunications, but there is a corollary effect that is felt in any building system that uses any sort of electronic technology for operation or support. Programs in this category support either the replacement of existing building systems or the installation of a new type of technology or structure to generate significant operational improvements or benefits. Technology-Management Systems These programs support the use by the Office of the Architect of the Capitol of computer applications and telecommunications systems to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. SOURCE: Architect of the Capitol. A principal concern of the Architect of the Capitol is the need to plan, organize, and carry out short-term projects while not losing sight of their long-term physical and social implications for historic and iconic structures of national and global significance. Master planning is a proven approach for providing the policy framework on which to organize and order physical improvements on a temporal and spatial basis.
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The Master Planning Process Master planning processes for large campuses generally follow five steps: Observation, data collection, and analysis of the campus to obtain programmatic information for input to the master plan process, Preparation of a conceptual plan, Drafting of detailed plans for individual elements, Integration of the individual plans into a final plan for the overall complex, and Development of tools and strategies for implementation. Master plan implementation tools might include design guidelines, space standards for the various Capitol Complex jurisdictions, and development of information technology systems that allow for the convenient storage and display of information for the buildings and grounds. However, the workshop participants noted that work on campus master plans typically does not begin until institutional leaders and other stakeholders participate in the creation of a vision for the campus that provides strategic direction. Absent a clear vision, the development of a truly meaningful and inclusionary master plan becomes problematic and may not be achievable. A Capitol Vision A strategic vision for a master plan provides direction, unifying themes, and a context for action. First and foremost, a vision for the U.S. Capitol Complex and Grounds needs to be inspirational and convey their magnitude and symbolic importance. Second, it needs to be comprehensive, integrating the commonalities that cut across different issues and reconciling competing issues such as security and accessibility. The master plan vision provides policy direction by physical example. It should represent enduring values, set the course for exemplary facility practices, and stand the test of time. To do this, it needs to embody consensus across groups and it needs to be flexible and not prescriptive. Overall it needs to provide guidance for informed choices to people as they implement the master plan through capital investments. To be effective, a process to develop a master plan vision should involve a bipartisan group of stakeholders of the Capitol complex, including the Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress. The Architect of the Capitol should ensure that the vision statement is clearly articulated so that people understand why it’s important and why they should participate in the process. The process itself should be open and inclusive and reach out to all different stakeholders and provide an opportunity for them to express their values and concerns. Although a vision statement as described above is crucial to the development of a master plan for the Capitol Complex, some inherent conflicts with the process were noted. For example, many of the workshop discussions focused on the patriotic, historic, or symbolic nature of the buildings and their relationship with the surrounding community and the need to obtain “buy-in” from a wide range of stakeholders. However, the diverse body that ultimately must agree on the vision is most solidly unified in their relationship to the facilities as a working environment, not necessarily the higher-order iconic issues. As such, resolving the broader issue of how an
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elected, partisan body will agree in a reasonable time frame on a “vision” that will both enhance and preserve the historic structures and that, at the same time, may ultimately affect and possibly restrict their day-to-day functions is challenging. Delays may be foreseeable and, at the same time, unavoidable. The workshop participants noted that ongoing programs and projects are too important to allow them to become bogged down. While an inclusive approach certainly represents an ideal to which most of the workshop participants would aspire, whether or not it can be accomplished in a time frame that can influence ongoing efforts is open to question. For this reason, there was much favorable discussion of a parallel or “dual-track” approach—allowing critical security, life safety, and renovation projects to go forward while maintaining consistency with a longer-term view of the Capitol Complex and its multiple roles in the neighborhood, city, nation, and world. This longer-term view should embody sufficient strategic guidance to allow for the rapid reassessment of priorities in the event of a national security, financial, or other crisis that may not be anticipated. More than once during the workshop, the Architect expressed the desire for “a process that would put ongoing projects together and pull them into a timeline to make sure they fit with one another and represent movement and real progress toward the big picture that a master plan attempts to describe.” Ideally, a capital planning and programming process would permit the Architect of the Capitol to appear before appropriations committees with a plan that includes current basic system needs—e.g., new sprinkler systems in the older buildings such as the Rayburn House Office Building—in a comprehensive package for the Capitol Complex and Grounds. Such a package would show what was planned for the future and the annual level of appropriations necessary to achieve consistent funding and a realistic workflow. For budgeting purposes this would be very helpful. A capital planning and programming process would acknowledge work that has already been undertaken and would engage key staff-level players in a deliberative and interactive dialogue. Such a process could be used to identify the appropriate action for areas of particular significance, use, or concern absent formal guidance from a master plan. The initial step would thus be fairly straightforward information collection, which could be completed expediently and which would serve as the basis for the subsequent, and more time-consuming, development of the vision. Planning Concerns During the course of the workshop, several overarching or transcendent planning concerns were selected for discussion. These included security, sustainability, historic preservation, and the role of emerging technologies in the workplace of the future. Although the workshop participants recognized that many more issues will need to be addressed in the master plan and therefore included in the RFP, these issues were discussed at length because of their particular relevance to the future of the Capitol Complex. Security Since the bombings of the U.S. embassy and Marine barracks in Lebanon and other attacks worldwide in the 1980s, the United States has increasingly been the target of terrorism. The 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York and the 1995 attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City were preludes to the suicide attacks on the World Trade
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Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The anthrax attacks on the Hart Senate Office Building and other targets that utilized the U.S. Postal Service in October 2001 were yet another manifestation of terrorism. These events have generated a climate of fear, suspicion, and unease to which all government entities, including the U.S. Capitol Complex, have responded. As a result, there is an ongoing program of physical security enhancements currently under way at individual buildings and along the perimeter of the Complex. This work is a continuation of the enhanced security measures that began to appear in the Complex as early as 1983. Overall, no workshop participants took serious issue with the need to provide security for the U.S. Capitol and other structures within the Capitol Complex. However, there was wide-ranging discussion of the image that these security measures project to the nation and the world, the impact of increased physical security on employees and neighbors of the Complex, and the potential long-term impacts of “temporary” security features. The workshop discussions focused on the contrast between the physical reality of greatly enhanced security and Americans’ traditional love of freedom and openness. This is perhaps the fundamental issue that will shape the Capitol Complex in the years to come. The question of security and public accessibility need not have a simple “either/or” answer because appropriate levels of security can be provided while maintaining open public access. However, there is reason for caution because in the absence of guidance to the contrary, the history of U.S. embassies has shown that fortress-type construction is often the result. There was therefore considerable discussion regarding the experience with U.S. embassies since the 1980s and the evolution toward designs that put security first, often at the expense of other desirable objectives. One approach to achieving a practical balance of security and aesthetics is to encourage public input and utilize the skills of many disciplines, not just those of security or law enforcement specialists. Sustainability During the workshop, the issues of energy security, energy reliability, energy effectiveness, and green design were discussed. These discussions focused primarily on energy usage for buildings, infrastructure, and transportation and the extent to which the Capitol Complex could be, or ought to be, a world showcase of American ingenuity in developing cutting-edge environmental and energy technologies and practices. The point was made that enormous amounts of energy are used to heat and cool buildings in the United States and that technologies exist—and are in use—to achieve improved building performance and comfort levels at greatly reduced cost and energy consumption. There are several areas where proven but not always commercially viable technologies could be employed to demonstrate a national commitment to sustainability while at the same time showcasing U.S. capabilities. For example, combined heat and power generation (CHP) technology can achieve 80 percent total energy efficiency compared with traditional efficiencies of about 30 percent. Advanced “smart building” technology can be cost-effective within 3-10 life cycle years (depending on the scope). Combined fuel cell, gas turbine, and absorption chiller technologies, while not currently cost-effective for typical buildings based on energy savings alone, offer enormous promise for the future from the standpoint of energy security and reduced heat and pollution loadings. This was viewed as an opportunity for the United States to lead by example in an emerging area of international importance. Transportation for Senators, Members, staff, and visitors to the Capitol Complex also has sustainability implications. Large areas of above-ground parking are provided for private
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automobiles, and more will be needed as underground garages are closed or restricted due to security concerns. Alternatives to the private automobile, such as public transportation, multi-occupant car pools, and telecommuting could greatly reduce parking requirements and demonstrate a real commitment to sustainable transportation solutions. In the tradition of Olmsted, landscaping can also play an important role in providing relief from the “heat island” effect of massed buildings and paved parking lots. The present Capitol Complex makes exemplary use of landscaping and water features as design elements but these low-technology approaches also have an important and broader role in sustainable design. Historic Preservation Because of the obvious importance of historic preservation in any planning for the U.S. Capitol and Grounds, the participants did not address the topic in depth. However, historic preservation was recognized as a major factor in relation to an udpated master plan. Future plans must honor the heritage not only of existing structures but also of the grounds and landscaping, which have historic significance as well. In addition, both the L’Enfant Plan of 1792 and the McMillan Plan of 1901 still retain relevance for future activities. The L’Enfant Plan expressed in physical form the concepts of the separation of powers and the equilibrium between federal and state governments. Symbolically balancing the executive and legislative branches, L’Enfant located the Capitol on Jenkins (now Capitol) Hill, the most prominent elevation between the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, and the President’s House on a similarly elevated site to the northwest. The central feature of the McMillan Commission’s plan for the national capital was an open green space. The Mall was reconfigured to frame and emphasize the formal link between the Washington Monument and the Capitol. Reinforcing L’Enfant’s themes, the McMillan Commission further highlighted the relationship among the grand axial streets and avenues, and the groupings of major public buildings along the Mall. One significant historic preservation issue that must be recognized in the master planning process is that the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Capitol, and related buildings and grounds are legally exempted from listing in the National Register of Historic Places, according to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and therefore exempted from requirements to proactively plan for preservation (Section 110) as well as the protections afforded by Section 106. In the absence of historic designation, a master plan may be the only vehicle for a reasoned approach to the facilities and grounds based on a vision that recognizes the significance of these sites. In terms of stewardship, the master plan has to establish conservation objectives and identify those issues of repair, restoration, and reconstruction that have to be resolved and that require a full understanding of the history of previous work, why a particular space is significant, and what makes it significant. How the options are evaluated, the decisions that need to be made, and the methodologies for making those decisions have to be specified. Future Architects of the Capitol and associated planners will need data on the history of the system and methods used in order to decide, for example, whether to keep a piece of marble, replace it in kind, or remove it and change it to something else entirely. Technology and the Workplace The workshop reaffirmed the belief that technology has the power to transform the workplace of the future. The nature of work, work environments, and monitoring and
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maintenance of the workplace all could be significantly affected by new and emerging technologies. Information technologies are linked to numerous workplace-of-the-future issues, such as reduced overcrowding in offices, increased administrative flexibility, enhanced security, and improved environmental control. Robust network infrastructures allow flexibility in worker locations, including sites away from the Capitol Complex. For example, some Members and Senators are decentralizing their staff, who now work in their own home district and state instead of the District of Columbia. Decentralization has implications in terms of space needs and changes in the size of the Complex if, in fact, there are increases in staff in the House, Senate, or Library. Flexibility in working arrangements supports space density management options, rapid relocations, and rapid business resumption options. In the long run, the master plan should guide the decisions about what uses are most appropriate for the Capitol Complex, what types of data should be collected and maintained to support the master plan, and how new technology could be introduced into the offices and conference and meeting spaces to implement that vision. Congressional offices may not need to be sized or configured exactly as they are now, and through technology there could be a different distribution of spaces in the future. For example, there is much more collaborative work now being done with a concomitant need for different kinds of work spaces and technology requirements. Network infrastructure and document management technologies allow remote storage and retrieval of documents, and promote space density reductions, reduced floor loadings, and flexible location of staff. Networked infrastructures can also support rapid business resumption at a predetermined alternative site in case of a natural disaster, accident, or terrorist attack. The master plan could offer a range of projections of how the Congress might function in the future under different technology scenarios. Computer-aided facility management (CAFM) technologies offer enormous potential to support operational, historic preservation, security, and space management initiatives. They also provide the infrastructure and operational models the Architect of the Capitol needs to streamline its own organization as well as its relationships with Hill-wide and external business entities. At one end of the spectrum, CAFM systems offer the ability to answer questions such as “What resources are available?,” “Where are they?,” and “What is their condition and mission capability?”—questions that are essential for the operation of a campus of the size and intricacy of the Capitol Complex. This capability is critically important in emergencies. Beyond its use as an information resource, however, the Architect of the Capitol organization must be prepared to operate in the new, Internet-based economy. The ability to capture, store, and use information and manage business relationships has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, and its potential to support the Capitol Complex of the future needs to be explored through an updated master plan. Finally, the master planning effort itself will likely generate a substantial quantity of environmental, site, facility, and organizational information that should be captured, integrated, and commissioned into the Architect of the Capitol’s CAFM systems. The Procurement Process The workshop discussions emphasized that careful preparation for a master plan procurement process is extremely important. Procurement planning addresses several key issues such as cost, timing, contracting method, and whether there will be a single or multiple contracts.
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It was noted that utilizing a single core management group or firm to oversee the master planning and procurement process on behalf of the Architect of the Capitol would offer real advantages. This type of management contractor arrangement would provide the flexibility to add or subtract tasks as they were needed on a task order basis and avoid involving the Architect of the Capitol in lengthy procurement and contract negotiations with firms or individuals that might be needed for only a single activity. The management group would also be responsible for determining and integrating the collective capability of the various offerors—for example, whether any of them have worked together, how well they work together, and whether there are particularly notable teams that have worked together on similar projects. The scope of services for the procurement should be clear, concise, and specific. There should be no question in the offerors’ minds as to what they are to provide and when they are to provide it. There should also be a mechanism to measure whether the specified deliverables have been provided. The Architect’s office should also define what exhibits and data are needed during the RFP process and afterward so that the contractors start out on the right foot. To speed the evaluation and selection process, the scope of services of the contract should set forth the evaluation criteria used to select the firm or group of firms that will do the work. Although quantitative evaluation criteria bring discipline and organization to the selection process, finding the best qualified offeror for a specific activity cannot always be reduced to a numerical scoring system. Multifirm teams in particular generally score well under these conditions but may still lack the outstanding capability the Capitol Complex deserves. The scope of services should be as performance-based as possible so that it does not limit solutions to a single approach or suggest solutions to the contractor. Preproposal meetings with potential offerors are an important step in the acquisition process. Regardless of how carefully the scope of services is written, there are always many questions from potential offerors, and preproposal meetings provide the opportunity to answer them. These meetings would also provide the Office of the Architect of the Capitol with an opportunity to explain the unique relationships among the entities that are going to be affected by the contract. This includes both the organization of the Architect’s office and the various organizations that occupy the Capitol Complex. The preproposal meeting could also be used to explain the interfaces with other organizations and existing plans so that the offerors know the parameters of the project. It was noted during the workshop discussion that because of the strong emphasis on design in master planning, selected elements of the procurement could be done as a competition. In particular, visual presentations such as maquettes would further demonstrate the capabilities of a team (the costs of preparing for this type of competition are sometimes offset with small stipends). Once work is under way, interim deliverables may be useful to make sure the project is on schedule and that the stakeholders know where it is going and how it compares to predetermined milestones and benchmarks.
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