Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing

Disputanta, VA

Photo Copyright © Perkins + Will

Project Details

Completed 2012
63,000 sf

Perkins + Will

University of Virginia
Virginia Tech University
Virginia State University

2014 ACEC/MW Engineering Excellence Award, Award of Merit
2014 AIA|DC Award in Architecture
2014 AIA Northern Virginia, Design Excellence Award, Institutional
2013 AIA Potomac Valley, Honor Award
2013, Engineering News-Record (ENR), Best of the Best, Global Best Projects Awards
2013 ENR Mid-Atlantic Best  Projects, Best Manufacturing Project


The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing is an entirely new applied university-industry research center, and the first of its kind in North America. It provides space where manufacturers, including Rolls-Royce (jet engines), Canon (electro-optics), Seimens (manufacturing systems software), NASA, Newport News Shipbuilding, and a half dozen others, collaborate with faculty and students from the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University to perform advanced research in surface engineering and manufacturing systems. The center hosts engineering laboratories, large-scale production laboratories, administrative offices, and collaborative conference meeting spaces.

Robert Silman Associates provided structural engineering services for the design through construction administration of this complex, yet elegant manufacturing center. A large High Bay area provides space for prototypical manufacturing processes such as surface engineering, including thermal spraying, directed vapor deposition, and multiaxis milling. The facilities include core laboratories for materials preparation, surface characterization, and computer visualization, as well as conference and event spaces for CCAM employees and visitors. CCAM manufacturing systems research will increase product integrity, performance, competitiveness, and time-to-market advancing the state of engineering innovation.

The structure required the attributes of both a laboratory and a factory with a flexible design to accommodate future research and manufacturing equipment. The structural solution provides the design foundation and tools for collaboration and assists to accelerate the transition of research breakthroughs into real-world product development with innovative manufacturing techniques.

Categories: Higher Education, New Construction