State Emergency Operations Center - Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency

Architect: SCHRADERGROUP architecture LLC

Associated Architect: AECOM

Location: Harrisburg, PA

Awarded a publish

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) provides dedicated emergency services and disaster assistance for the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with the ability to sustain uninterrupted operations during activations.

The facility houses the administrative functions for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) as well as partner organizations and integrated functions such as the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Traffic Management, Tier 3 data center, media briefing, training facilities, and protected storage for PEMA operations vehicles.

"The efficiencies of co-locating multiple agencies offers positive efficiencies. The building organization favors placing day-to-day activities along the perimeter, favoring light and view for those in the facility on a daily basis." ~Jury comments

The greatest design challenge in the new 145,000 sq ft facility was developing  a solution that affords the highest levels of flexibility, sustainability, security, survivability and interoperability while providing sufficient space and functionality for all user groups and technological components. And, while the building meets strict building stand-off and hardened shell requirements and includes fully redundant HVAC, power and data systems, it also presents an attractive exterior and interior environment for both staff and visitors alike. Responding to the client’s desire for the facility to visually integrate with other buildings in the immediate area, the exterior of the building is comprised largely of stone and brick.

The building is oriented on the site to match the existing set-backs of the adjacent facilities as well as to avoid existing on-site wetlands. Passive standoff strategies are utilized in site design and include low landscaping retaining walls and infiltration basins for blast mitigation. For the interior, extensive efforts were made to develop a cohesive, efficient and effective co-location facility for the occupying agencies that comprise the Commonwealth’s consolidated emergency operations. The main entry hall, through a series of secure vestibules and clearance checkpoints, links the functions of the building between the public and ‘private’ sides of the building. The facility is LEED Certified.

Additional information

Consultant – Acoustics and Audiovisual Design: Shem Milsom Wilke Consultant

Engineer - MEP: Brinjac

Engineer – Structural and Civil: Hunt Engineering

Engineering Consultant – CAD, Radio, Telephony, and Transition Planning: Mission Critical Partners

General Contractor: Eci Construction

Interior Design: Mitchell Associates


Mallory Scott Cusenbery, AIA (Chair), RossDrulisCusenbery, Sonoma, California

Hon. Celeste F. Bremer, United States District Court | Southern District of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa

Michael Cox, AIA, Wold Architects and Engineers, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Julian Jaffary, B.Arch, OAA, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thomas Pulaski, Prince William County Police Department, Woodbridge, Virginia

Arthur Thompson, AIA, SMRT, Portland, Maine

Charles W. Wend, Mount Vernon, Washington

Image credits


Matt Wargo


Matt Wargo


Matt Wargo


Matt Wargo


Matt Wargo