DC Water to Build New Sustainable Headquarters Facility

Building to feature first U.S. wastewater thermal system

Washington, D.C., DC Water, sustainability, wastewater thermal system

Skanska USA Building announced it will build a sustainable 150,000 sq ft headquarters facility for the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water).

The new building will feature a wastewater thermal system, the first use of this technology in the U.S., which will allow DC Water to utilize the city’s wastewater as a source of thermal energy to condition the building. It will be located on the site of the existing O Street Pump Station along the waterfront of the Anacostia River in southeast D.C.

“Wastewater thermal is just one of the many innovative ways this project will make our operations more efficient and sustainable,” said DC Water CEO George Hawkins. “Consolidating our administrative offices will leverage funds that otherwise would have been spent to lease space and expand existing facilities. It will also preserve vital land at the Blue Plains treatment plant for future process improvements.”

The six-story headquarters will feature a fluid architectural shape that will wrap around the existing O Street Pump Station, allowing full access to the station. Solar heat gain and glare will be reduced through a unique stepping of the floors while a series of copper sun screens hung from the façade will provide additional control over day lighting. A curving façade alleviates over-abundant daylight, while also responding to the bending frontage of the Anacostia River. 

“DC Water had very clear goals with this project: Create a new headquarters building that makes use of existing DC Water facilities, meets the need for expanded space, effectively serves its customers and applies as many environmentally sustainable construction features as possible,” said Steve Skinner, executive vice president and general manager of Skanska USA Building in Washington, D.C.

The design of DC Water’s headquarters was developed collaboratively by Skanska and its architectural design partner, SmithGroupJJR. In addition to architectural design, SmithGroupJJR is providing MEP engineering and sustainable design services. Other key design team members include Leuterio Thomas (Oxon Hill, Md.); JVP Engineers P.C. (Washington, D.C.); SK&A Engineers PLLC (Washington, D.C.); Wiles Mensch Corp. (Washington, D.C.); and Oehme van Sweden (Washington, D.C.).

“Sustainability has sculpted the building inside and out,” said Sven Shockey, design principal for SmithGroupJJR Washington, D.C. “The headquarters will employ new building technologies not yet seen in the U.S., which will contribute to it being one of the most unusual and lowest energy office buildings in the region.”

The building is designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, but also employs many advanced strategies that are expected to exponentially surpass LEED certification.

Construction of the headquarters is scheduled to be complete in December 2017.

Skanska USA

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