Confidential Federal Office Building and Parking Deck

Our firm was hired by the federal government to design and build a new office building on an existing a high-security campus. The project team defined success as design excellence, campus cohesion, energy conservation and sustainability, a healthy workplace, security criteria compliance, budget adherence and on-time completion. Client scope documents dictated performance expectations. The design process began with translating these principles into design compliance metrics and a refined program.

The 1,034 tenants occupy an 8-story 268,000 SF building. Building density, set at 170NUSF/person established the efficiency target. Balancing efficiency, collaboration and privacy demands, 60 percent of the offices were programmed as open offices, with the remaining 40 percent programmed as hard-walled offices.

In addition to meeting functional requirements, the building needed to compliment the campus. The campus environment experience begins upon arrival, continues during building approach and culminates as one reaches the work space. After parking, visitors experience the campus as pedestrians. Intuitive paths and muted signage guide visitors as they pass other buildings, picnic tables, benches and landscaped plazas. Landscape beautification creates indefinite water consumption; 100 percent of the irrigation demand is served by collected rainfall and mechanical condensate.

The campus language is dictated by sophisticated buildings of various sizes and forms, comprised of brick, curtain wall, metal panel and treated concrete. Our building’s curvilinear form and materials originated from this existing language. Yet we concurrently allowed the campus influence on our design strategy, while ensuring the building had its own character. Enhancing the campus composition, we created the focal point for the new central portion of the campus.

Canopy overhangs and extensive low reflection clear glass soften the transition between interior and exterior. The vestibule draws in visitors. Sloped curtain walls, dramatic roof features and high level finishes make the lobby a focal point anchoring the first of two towers. Sunlight fills the space responsibly; artificial light adjusts automatically. Seating alcoves benefit guests and tenants, allowing private conversations or a respite.

We promoted healthy stair usage with perimeter staircases, one located closer to the lobby than the elevators. Breakrooms lining the perimeter of each floor are naturally lit to encourage fellowship throughout the day.

Great effort was placed on making the open environment area airy and light-filled. Higher light transmitting glass was provided, while sloped ceilings maximize volume and allow deeper sunlight penetration. Acoustical ceiling tile has greater light reflectivity and noise absorption properties. Light louvers in the perimeter glazing transom redirect natural light. Additional mechanical zones enhance thermal comfort flexibility. Daylight harvesting sensors reduce unnecessary artificial light. Lower cubicles create a sense of connection.

On pace to achieve LEED Gold after analysis of multiple design scenarios, the building tracks to use 33.4 percent less energy (ASHRAE 90.1-2007) than a typical office building. Through our design optimization process, aesthetic assessments, energy use analysis, upfront and life-cycle cost analysis, constructability review and schedule implication tracking, the team made informed decisions; delivering on all our success measures throughout the project.