Utah National Guard Camp Williams Aaron R. Butler Readiness Center
Project Confirmation Number:
1760 Camp Williams Road
Bluffdale, UT USA 84065
Brief Description of the Project:
The Aaron R. Butler Readiness Center is a 140,123 sf, 2 story Fully grouted CMU Block Building, with complete exterior Brick Veneer, built for the Utah National Guard Special Forces
Size of Building:
Amount of Masonry Used:
8 x 8 x 16 CMU 127,120
12 x 8 x 16 CMU 18,310
Old Baltimore King Brick 285,500
Old Virginia King Brick 113,300
48" x 12" x 2" 174
Precast Headers 102
Project Completion date:
August 9, 2019
Explain the Project and its Unique Use of Masonry Materials and Techniques:
The project’s intent was to take all of the Utah National Guard-UTNG Special Forces units, which were in different facilities across Utah, and bring them into one central building. The UTNG Special Forces are a specialized division of the Utah National Guard. A typical infantry guard is equipped with a rifle, sidearm, and backpack while a UTNG Special Forces soldier will also have many other different weapons and equipment that they use as they SCUBA dive, parachute, et cetera behind enemy lines in small twelve-man teams before the main-attack force. With such a specialized division, unique requirements were presented for the building design.
The design theme is based around the design, look, and feel of Harvard University’s campus at Cambridge. Harvard is one of the oldest university campuses in the United States, and we wanted to connect ourselves to our past and show the elegance of this historical campus. General Jeff Burton, the TAG (The Adjunct General of the Utah National Guard) spent a lot time and grew to love the Harvard campus. General Burton gave direction to create a similar feel at the new Readiness Center.
Rolland Lee, with Ridgeline Design Architects, spent a week at Harvard studying the campus. He studied the buildings, culture, and history in order to bring Harvard’s design to the Readiness Center. The brick design is indicative of those historic buildings at Harvard.
There is freedom and strength shown in every facet of the special force personnel through their dedication and commitment to serve valiantly to protect our nation. This building was designed to embrace those ideals, and by using a brick veneer we show the strength and longevity of this building. As the UTNG Special Forces crest reads in Latin, “De Oppresso Liber” or “To Free the Oppressed,” freedom rings true to the Utah National Guard Special Forces, and we thank them for it. These buildings stand as symbols of the American desire for freedom.
This building is built to last for a minimum of 50 years, but it will last much longer than that. It is built to stay usable in major catastrophic events and meets the AT/FP requirements (Antiterrorist and Force Protection). Being fully grouted with rebar through the block, a CMU block structure, with a brick veneer, we meet the high level standard to protect those inside from combatant bomb blasts. During any event this building will act as a command base, and location to support boots on the ground for the Utah National Guard. This will serve as a symbol of strength and stability that those of the community can look to for support and assistance in times of crisis. One of the missions of the Utah National Guard is to support the citizens of Utah during times of crisis. This building will communicate to the community strength, elegance, and power through the design. By using the brick veneer we created elegance and show the power and strength as the building stands the test of time.
The engaged pilasters of the wings are created with a different brick style and color, which is more of a smooth face to highlight these columns that are 8’ wide and 35’ tall. The engaged pilasters serve two purposes in the design. The first reason is to break up the extreme length of the 900’ building. The second reason was to symbolically represent the small twelve-man teams of the UTNG Special Forces. These small teams complete missions which are extremely dangerous and complex. These strong pillars show our respect to these men and the strength of their resolve.
In conclusion this building shows strength, elegance, and stability in an age of constant change. Those that see, work, and use the building will sense a connection to our country’s historical past, an assurance of strength, and a pride in those that gave so much for our freedom.
Ridgeline Design Architects
Utah National Guard and State of Utah
Photo Credit: Jacobsen Construction