Silver Mountain Aims for Gold

The 20,000-square-foot battalion headquarters contains 3,000 sq. ft. of office space.

Whether battling subzero temperatures in the winter or swarms of mosquitos in the summer, Silver Mountain Construction is up to the challenge. The Palmer, Alaska-based company recently completed a battalion headquarters at Fort Wainwright, an Army base just east of Fairbanks.

“We’re experienced working in Interior Alaska and contending with severe weather conditions,” said Tom Selmer, Silver Mountain’s project manager. “On this project, we were pouring concrete at 10 degrees below zero.”

Construction on the two-story, 20,000-square-foot building began July 2014. The project was the first for Silver Mountain Construction since it was created and certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration as an 8(a) company, a designation that allows it access to certain contracting advantages with the federal government.

Silver Mountain is a subsidiary of CIRI Services Corporation, along with sister company Weldin Construction, and ANC Research & Development. Silver Mountain served as general and electrical contractor on the Wainwright project and Weldin served as the mechanical contractor.

The project represents Silver Mountain’s foray into LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) construction. A program of the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED buildings use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points across several areas that address sustainability issues. Based on the number of points achieved, a project receives one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. “We were originally aiming for a Silver rating, but we’re on track to get Gold,” Selmer said.

The battalion headquarters was fully designed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; as such, Silver Mountain was required to have a superintendent/site safety and health officer and quality control manager on site at all times. All told, Silver Mountain dedicated 730 days to the project from the time of award in May 2014 to the time of completion, May 8, 2016.

“There were 60 days of pre-construction activities before we were actually on site, so we lost a couple of months,” Selmer said. The limited work window, he said, was “just another challenge. We can work just about anywhere. Our ultimate goal is to keep our customer satisfied.”

Silver Mountain provides comprehensive construction services specializing in military fueling projects, process piping and civil/underground construction projects for local, state and federal government agencies, as well as the private sector. For more information, visit