Fernald Preserve Visitors Center

Transforming a nuclear weapons production site into a sustainable community asset


U.S. Department of Energy
The S.M. Stoller Corporation






Harrison, Ohio



Awards & Honors

2008 AGC Build Ohio Award Winner
2009 Aon Build America Award Winner
LEED Platinum Certification

Situated on 1,050-acres, the Fernald Preserve project consisted of the transformation of a nuclear weapons production site into a community asset. The site was home to a uranium processing facility that supported the nation’s defense program during the Cold War. A $4.4 Billion environmental cleanup project converted the site into a nature preserve teeming with native plants and wildlife. We constructed a 10,800 SF visitor center that became the first LEED Platinum rated building in the State of Ohio, 102nd Platinum building in the world.

The new energy-efficient building was created from a 23-foot tall pre-engineered steel warehouse, used as part of the site’s cleanup program. The steel skin of the south and east walls was peeled back and replaced with glass curtainwall. This allowed for the creation of a solstice wall, which serves as a metaphor for renewal by the owner. Walls inside the building are framed on a diagonal that allows the storefront entry systems to frame the view of the rising sun on the first day of summer. The solstice wall line extends outside the building and parallel to a walkway that leads to the Cold War Memorial, a display that had been retained and reinstalled on the line as part of the design features.

The new Visitors Center features nine exhibits that tell the story of Fernald’s history and the environmental clean-up project, and a fully-equipped meeting room for education programs and community meetings. The design and construction of the Visitors Center incorporated sustainable design principles including the reduction of energy, electricity and water consumption, and the reduction or minimization of the impact to the environment. Additionally, the building’s exhibits incorporate innovative products and processes, making them one of the first federally funded sustainable exhibition projects in the U.S. They were designed in consultation with the faculty and students at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) and detail the history of the site.

Megen led the design+build team, managing every aspect of design and construction. In addition to managing its own subcontractors, our team coordinated the work of several owner-contracted consultants, such as the exhibit designers, and integrated their work into the overall construction timetable. Because of the trusting relationship the team developed at the project’ inception, the owner awarded us an additional $1 million in work to manage above the contract scope. The project was completed on time and on budget. We also led a zero-accident job site working within the Department of Energy’s safety standards, which rank among the most stringent in the world often surpassing OSHA’s requirements. In addition to surpassing the owner’s LEED Gold goals with LEED Platinum certification, our team was awarded the 2009 Build America Award and 2008 Build Ohio Award for the project.


Square Feet



Ohio LEED Platinum Building

Achieved a zero-accident job site and met DOE’s rigorous safety standards

“We are extremely proud that the building surpassed our own requirements to achieve a Gold rating and became the first Office of Legacy Management building, as well as the first in Ohio, to earn the highest possible rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.”

Jane Powell
Site Manager, Fernald Preserve

The Fernald Visitors Center was fast-tracked, and Stoller considers it of great significance that Megen and it sub tiers worked in excess of 24,000 hours over the course of the contract, with no incidents or accidents of any kind. Such safety performance is outstanding.”