New Digs for Corps of Engineers Scores 100 With EnergyStar

The Seattle District of the US Army Corps of Engineers moved into new headquarters at Federal Center South Building 1202. With an aggressive energy-saving design, the 209,000-sq-foot building is anticipated to be among the top one percent of office buildings in the US for energy-efficiency.

The $72 million project is expected to merit LEED Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council and an EnergyStar score of 100.

The 1202 building is anticipated to be the region’s most energy-efficient air-conditioned building, using one fifth of the estimated energy for a standard office building in the Northwest. It uses an innovative “phase change material” that releases and stores cold-energy to reduce the building’s cooling needs, and it is one of the first in the region to combine the use of geothermal heating and cooling systems with structural piles.

Other sustainable features include:

  • 25,000 gallon cistern stores rainwater from the rooftop for use in toilet flushing, irrigation, etc.
  • 90 percent of the building is naturally daylit through optimization of floor depth and facade
  • 100 percent outside air is filtered and distributed via underfloor ventilation
  • 300,000 board feet of reclaimed timber is used from an existing warehouse on site
  • 50 percent reduction of impervious surfaces, creating 4.5 acres of pervious landscape

The distinctive U-shape of the building configured around a central atrium introduces biophilic design principles such as daylight, views, natural forms and elements into the workplace and allows light to penetrate deep into the core.

The project, funded by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is part of the US General Services Administration’s Design Excellence program to promote sustainability, help communities and advance a clean energy economy. GSA aimed to develop a state-of-the-art district headquarters for the Army Corps and its Seattle workforce. The design-build project was led by ZGF Architects and Sellen Construction.

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