Maritime Safety and Security Team Operations and Training Facility

Houston, Texas

Coast Guard facility’s well-orchestrated design blends in but stands out.

The architectural design for this 27,400-square-foot Houston Maritime Safety and Security Team operations and training facility was carefully considered in terms of its materiality, composition and relationship to the existing campus. It was important that the MSST building relate visually to the campus while also representing the user group it housed. Horizontal white and gray brick bands were in harmony with the masonry on the existing adjacent building and U.S. Coast Guard heraldry was also incorporated in the custom designed metal panel window surrounds on the main building elevation. These four-sided surrounds formed a decorative cowling that was not only visually stunning but also provided shade on the south facing windows. They metaphorically represent the red-ringed boats deployed at sea.

State-of-the-art kennels and runs house K-9s and put them to the test.

The K-9 facilities included both a housing kennel for two dogs with a separate washtub room and individual rooms/sleeping quarters for two dogs. The outside training yard is 25-feet by 100-feet and includes a number of training apparatus that test crawling, tunneling, balance, climbing jumping, stair ascension and ramp negotiation. This facility has become popular with local law enforcement agencies and has become the site of frequent weekend “rodeos,” in which law enforcement K-9s compete to traverse the obstacle course in the quickest time or strive to find the contraband hidden somewhere within the course.

Carefully selected foundation provides savings and protection in heavy rains.

Our team was able to save $200,000 by engineering shallow foundations in lieu of deep pile-supported foundations. To protect the building’s foundation from the surrounding expansive clay soils during frequent heavy rain events, a continuous subsurface sheet membrane was installed around the entire building footprint. This cost-effective method isolated the spread-footings from the damaging forces of expanding wet soils.

  • Single-story 27,400 SF training facility
  • Boat maintenance and storage bays
  • Canine kennels and dog run
  • Armory
  • Office/Administrative spaces
  • Exterior fitness area
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