USGS Headquarters JW Powell Building Fire Alarm Replacement


U.S. General Services Administration


Reston, VA

Square Footage

1,015,000 SF

Date Completed

July 2018


Prime Contractor – Design/Build

The Powell Building is the headquarters of the USGS, which serves as the nation’s premier earth and biological science agency. The USGS works in cooperation with more than 2,000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers. This information is used to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters; safeguard the nation’s natural resources and enhance the quality of life through the careful monitoring of our water, biological, energy, and mineral resources.

The Powell Building houses mainly offices, some laboratories (just over 110,000 SF of labs), an auditorium, library, credit union and a cafeteria 600 people capacity). Constructed on an 84 acre site, the Powell building was completed in 1972.  Singleton was responsible for the design and construction for the complete replacement of the fire alarm system. The work was performed at night in a fully occupied building without any interruptions to the existing system. The fire alarm system in the Powell Building was antiquated and did not meet modern building codes or current GSA requirements. The existing system was upgraded to provide emergency voice communication features and to comply with the National Fire Alarm Code and current GSA requirements. This work included designing, furnishing, and installing a new, complete analog/addressable network voice evacuation fire alarm system for the building which remained occupied throughout construction. The system included all wiring, raceways, pull boxes, terminal cabinets, outlet and mounting boxes, control equipment, alarm, and supervisory signal initiating devices, alarm notification appliances, and all other accessories and miscellaneous items required for a complete operating system. The scope included the monitoring of existing Elevator, Computer Room, and other remote Fire Alarm Control Panels existing in the building.