Environmentally friendly golf clubhouse scores at US Army’s Carlisle Barracks

They came. They saw. They golfed. They relaxed. That’s kind of the post-golf vibe happening with military and civilian golfers at the US Army’s Carlisle Barracks Golf Course in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Part of the experience now includes the $5.6 million clubhouse—a green building built without using any taxpayer funds at military installation, which is not only the country’s oldest active base, but also home to the US Army War College.
The new 9,766-square-foot clubhouse replaces a structure that served the community for at least 40 years. The building now offers a restaurant and bar with a dining area and commercial kitchen, a vast improvement over the former grab-and-go snack stand. A pro shop, locker room, offices and golf club storage areas also were added in the new construction. Adjacent to the single-story clubhouse, visitors are privy to a practice putting green and extra parking with added lighting.
The project is the work of Stellar, the Jacksonville, Florida-based firm construction management at-risk, design-build and general contracting service provider. The company started the project in spring 2019 after winning a design-build contract from the US Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM), which handles the day-to-day operations of Army bases around the world. Rather than relying on tax dollars, IMCOM used non-appropriated funds to pay for the job, with money coming from service members and other users of military recreation facilities.
Contract in hand, Stellar leveraged its vast experience with both military and golf course-related projects to develop a design that would fall within IMCOM’s budget, be environmentally friendly and provide Carlisle Barracks with a modern clubhouse that operates in a cost-effective manner.
Building Green (and Silver)
From the outset, LEED Silver certification was the target for the project. With this in mind, the first task was to demolish the existing two-story clubhouse to make way for a more eco-friendly structure. Crews crushed the old concrete slabs and reused the material as part of the aggregate base for the new building.
“By recycling the crushed concrete, we kept the waste from ending up in a landfill,” says project manager Bill Richardson. “The reuse of previous materials onsite helped us get extra credits to go toward the project’s LEED Silver certification.”
The construction team also focused on the new clubhouse’s geothermal HVAC system as part of its environmentally sustainable construction plan. The old building had a geothermal system, but it was inadequate for the new facility. Keeping budget in mind, the company created an efficient system for the new structure by expanding the existing geothermal well field.
Builders knew the building had to be modern, not only in terms of architecture, but also from a maintenance standpoint. With a state-of-the-art utilities infrastructure installed, and an electrical system complimented by the use of LED lighting, the structure is more efficient, will last longer and costs less to maintain.
Construction challenges
Every project has its challenges, and the Carlisle Barracks job was no exception. The construction team encountered typical obstacles such as boulders and bedrock when excavating the site, yet also faced challenges that could only arise on a busy military base with an active golf course.

The Carlisle Barracks has a helipad that military officials fly in and out of every day. The flight path, which was parallel to the access road and adjacent to the construction site, had to be top of mind at all times.

The Carlisle Barracks has a helipad that military officials fly in and out of every day. The flight path, which was parallel to the access road and adjacent to the construction site, had to be top of mind at all times. The company redirected trucks and kept workers out of the flight path when helicopters arrived and departed. Additionally, Stellar made sure its work did not interfere with ongoing golf games and tournaments during the construction period.
“We set up a temporary modular pro shop to make sure the project didn’t interfere with club operations,” Richardson says. “By keeping an open and consistent line of communication with club management, we were able to keep crews out of the way of golfers and employees.”
The team also maintained the integrity of the golf course grounds by performing directional boring for a gas line running to the job site. This choice was made after determining that trenching for the line would pose a public safety risk and impact the fairways and tees.
Design details within budget
When it came time to build the clubhouse, Stellar worked with IMCOM to design interior and exterior features that would fall within the budget, while adding a much needed fresh and modern appearance. “The rustic board-and-batten facade with a stonework base is not only inviting and beautiful, it’s also more cost-effective than traditional brick and stone construction,” Richardson says.
Rustic themes indoors were implemented, too. The team gave the clubhouse’s ceiling old-world charm by using decorative faux wood beams. The beams, which look like they were carved by a chainsaw, actually are made of high-density urethane foam. By choosing this innovative material, Stellar was able to stay true to both the budget and IMCOM’s vision for the project.
Stellar also saved IMCOM money when it installed epoxy floors in the clubhouse. The flooring’s sheen carries the elegant, up-to-date theme throughout the building. “By choosing to go with epoxy flooring, the Carlisle Barracks was able to save a considerable amount of money without compromising on beauty, durability or functionality,” Richardson says.
The pro shop also benefited from cost-effective design and construction. The golfers needed a shop with more space for merchandise and the team delivered. The new shop features impressive custom millwork and both recessed and track lighting to compliment all of the equipment and clothing the golf club now is able to offer.
The clubhouse was completed in December 2019—less than a year from its start date. The local subcontractor base understood what needed to be done and knuckled down to help the company meet its budgetary and timeline goals.
As soon as the clubhouse keys were turned over to officials at the Carlisle Barracks, enthusiastic golfers began lining up in the pro shop and enjoying the perks of The 19th Hole Snack Bar, where wait staff take orders as guests dine under gleaming, bronze chandeliers. Although the clubhouse is open, the job is not over. As a final step, the company is pursuing LEED Silver certification, a key objective for the project and another step toward the ideal of a more environmentally conscious construction industry.
Joe Mark is the Operations Manager for Federal and Commercial projects at Stellar, a Jacksonville, Florida-based firm that provides construction management at-risk, design-build and general contracting services for a range of commercial and public sector markets. You can reach him at jmark@stellar.net or (904) 260-2900.

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