U.S. Southern Command Headquarters

Miami-Doral, FL


USACE, Mobile District


Architecture, Interior Design, Construction Administration, Sustainable Design


BRPH Architects-Engineers, Inc. provided architectural/interior design and construction administration services for the 168,000 SF Services Building and the 48,000 SF Conference Center of the Americas at the Southern Command complex in Miami-Doral, Florida. The design focus for the SOUTHCOM complex was to allow the many entities of Southern Command to execute their missions in a secure and interconnected environment that is both productive and efficient while being a zoned campus of segregated use. To that end, the project was designed to foster a campus atmosphere that is comfortable and functional for all users; staff, visitors, government officials, and dignitaries. The two story Conference Center of the Americas features a command and control center and central energy plant with the uninterrupted power system. The center contains a suite of private offices for distinguished visitors on the main floor. These visitors range from international heads of state to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the President of the United States. The auditorium includes tiered seating for 200 and can double as a coalition operations center. Nine 25-person conference rooms are designed to be secure spaces. These rooms are separated into several groupings by movable partitions to give flexibility for differing meeting requirements. The building elevations are durable and low maintenance, appropriate for the local environment.

The Service Building is a multi-use two-story facility. The first floor includes a 30,000 SF two-story gymnasium and fitness center, garrison (4,102 SF), child development center (12,600 SF), medical clinic (11,900 SF), warehouse (10,100 SF), and central energy plant. Family services are located on the second floor and include MWR, public works, and various administrative services. The gymnasium and fitness center includes two basketball courts, two racquetball courts, large weight room, two aerobic rooms, two activity rooms for various classes and programs, and a three-lane elevated running track. A sauna and steam room is also included in the locker/shower facilities.

The buildings were designed to exceed the requirements of the International Building Code for high-velocity hurricane zone regions (withstands 185 mph winds) and security/ATFP requirements. The campus was designed to give the impression of stability and security for users as well as visitors. Employees can access the entire campus, but visitors are blocked by layers of controlled security, from electronics systems to guards to physical and natural barriers.

The U.S. Southern Command Headquarters achieved USGBC LEED® Silver status. The project Design-Build team including the owner, user groups, architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, and material vendors participated in weekly LEED round table discussions to achieve these higher standards. The project includes highly efficient building systems, interior fit-out materials, and furnishings that meet sustainable workplace standards and construction techniques for environmental concerns. Enhanced commissioning included education training for all occupants was used and the Government has established a green housekeeping maintenance program for the facility.