1200 17th Street: Delivering LEED® Platinum in the Heart of Downtown Washington
Balfour Beatty provided CM at-Risk services for the award-winning 1200 17th Street project and designed by ZGF Architects, which is located in the District’s Golden Triangle neighborhood. The scope included the demolition of an existing, eight-story building, and construction of a new, 11-story trophy class office building with three-and-a-half stories below-grade in its place. The building is LEED® Platinum certified.
The 170,000-square-foot office building features a dramatic two-story lobby, column-free work space with floor-to-ceiling windows on all sides of the building, a green roof, client-only rooftop terrace and event space, 2,500-square-foot fitness center, ground-level retail and below-grade parking for 108 cars. Inspired by its site, which is located between the Farragut North and Dupont Circle Metro stations, the design incorporates a glazed terra-cotta façade against a modern glass tower visually connecting the building with the neighborhood.
This is the second LEED® Platinum office building in D.C. that Balfour Beatty has delivered to Akridge; we completed 700 Sixth Street in 2009.
Site Selection and Building Envelope
The 1200 17th Street project is a redevelopment of the old Restaurant Association Building site. The new office building is designed to bring new energy to the area. The project scores sustainable site LEED points for brownfield redevelopment; development density and community connectivity; site development for protection / restoring a habitat and maximizing open space; and tenant design and construction guidelines. The building façade is terra-cotta clad precast. Though a relatively new material in the D.C. market, terra-cotta is a historically-used, natural material. The floor-to-ceiling windows feature Viracon glass with a low-emissivity (low-e) coating which “have low heat transfer properties and offer higher light transmission than traditional reflective coatings” (per the Viracon website). The floor-to-ceiling windows are on three sides of the building and standard punched windows on the fourth, offering abundant natural light, reducing electricity and earning points in the Indoor Environmental Quality category.
Sustainable Exterior Features
In addition to the building façade and windows, 1200 17th Street features a number of sustainable exterior features. The office building contains bicycle storage in the garage. The limited parking capacity promotes modes of transportation other than driving. Situated in the heart of the DuPont Circle / Golden Triangle business district, the location is accessible to multiple Metro rail lines, bus routes and bike-share kiosks. 1200 17th Street has 95 parking spaces with certain spaces designated for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles. The project scores maximum points in the Alternative Transportation categories: public transportation access (6 points), bicycle storage and changing rooms (2 points), low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles (3 points), and parking capacity (2 points). The building also features a green roof which includes 8,307 square feet of a vegetated space, helping to control stormwater and minimize the heat island effect. The green roof earns LEED points in the Sustainable Sites category.
Sustainable Interior Features
1200 17th Street integrates a number of interior sustainable features, including water-saving fixtures to create a 40% reduction in water use, low-emitting materials, ventilation to increase air quality, and daylight and views to enhance the overall work environment for its occupants. The project features many sustainable plumbing elements – they are high efficiency; made with renewable energy (manufacturer-bought wind power to offset production); low flow (faucets meet the CA green code); and the urinals reduce water usage up to 80% over standard urinals. The building also features recycled content finish materials such as flooring, tile and glass countertops; chosen for their recycled content, these features keep more material out of the waste stream, earning LEED points in the Materials and Resources category. The recycled countertops in the bathrooms, for example, were made from crushed, melted beer bottles. 1200 Seventeenth Street features low-flow fixtures, a 40.25% reduction in potable water (surpassing the 20% requirement and earning 4/4 LEED points), and water efficient landscaping (earning 4/4 LEED points). All non-emergency lights (e.g. lobby light fixtures) dim between 11 PM and 5 AM. As a result, input power is reduced by at least 50% during this timeframe. The building also features a fitness center with locker rooms and showers.
Optimizing Energy Performance
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the 1200 17th Street project’s sustainability measures is the use of a dedicated outdoor air, variable-air-volume (DOAS VAV) system. Unlike a conventional HVAC system that uses air moving through ductwork to distribute cooled air, the DOAS VAV system uses water moving through small pipes to distribute preconditioned air. This air—which is dehumidified as it enters the building—is then cooled at the VAV right before it enters the designated space. According to a study from ASHRAE, a DOAS system can reduce annual energy consumption by 42% compared to a traditional system as water requires less horsepower than air to distribute per BTU. This system also requires only about 25% of the ductwork needed in a traditional office HVAC system. Magnolia Plumbing, Inc. (the MEP subcontractor) installed the DOAS system high and tight to the slab above, maximizing floor-to-ceiling space for the future tenant.
- Has won 6 awards in 2014-2015 including:
- NAIOP DC/MD Award of Excellence – Best Sustainable Project (2015)
- AGC DC Best Sustainable Project (2014)
- ULI Excellence in Office Development Award (2015)
- ENR Mid-Atlantic Best Office/Retail/Mixed-Use Developments Award (2015)
- The architect was ZGF