Halsey Field House, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
A General Contractor Serving Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Since 1951

2010 AGC Washington Contractor Award

Agile Chemical Facility P-161
Department of the Navy, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, Maryland


The Agile Chemical Facility contract was a complex project that required the phased consolidation of two operational, 1950s-era munitions processing plants into a high-tech hazardous material processing and laboratory facility. Agile represents one of the most advanced explosive facilities in the United States military, and is so critical to the nation's military that the project received a DX priority completion rating, indicating that the facility was of the "highest national defense urgency".

The John C. Grimberg Co. (Grimberg) served as prime, general, and mechanical contractor on the project. The contractor coordinated carefully with the Navy throughout, and delivered substantial additional value, both before and during the project; for example, Grimberg identified deficiencies associated with the piping design prior to commencement, deficiencies that would have rendered the facility virtually inoperable—process piping was central to facility operations.

The contractor worked with the Navy and its representatives to adjust the design, as well as proposed value-engineering solutions in the process that not only reduced the Navy's projected cost by millions, but also improved the facility's operational capability.

Notable Features

The project included the demolition of multiple preexisting laboratory and support facilities and maintenance of ongoing processing operations critical to national security. With that, Grimberg performed demolition and/or retrofits of multiple site buildings, constructed multiple new additions, and delivered heavy mechanical equipment removal, relocation, and installation.

Key features included advanced explosives material decontamination, storage, processing, and disposal systems and equipment, as well as a new explosives research, development, and testing laboratory, state-of-the-art temperature controls and storage facilities, and remote detonation fiber-optic cabling and video surveillance equipment.

Of note, systems and equipment work also involved a major explosives-grade process piping installation effort, including glass, Teflon, and stainless steel HAZMAT process piping lines of various weights and types. (The facility processes significant amounts of nitroglycerine waste, all of which is transported via full-penetration welded stainless steel piping lines.) Grimberg installed the system itself and x-ray tested all associated welds—over 1,000 were tested and all passed inspection.