David Purdy, LEED AP BD+C, Vice President, DAVIS
As the general contractor of several nearby jobsites, taking on this project meant we could provide the ultimate efficiency. JBG realized the significant value in having DAVIS on both sides of the street.
ENR MidAtlantic Best Project Award, Renovation/Restoration
WBC Craftsmanship Award, Power Generation, Distribution and Switchgear, Demolition and Abatement, Telecommunications Systems and Facilities
ABC of Metro Washington Excellence in Construction Award, Commercial $40 million and above
As a Rockville-based general contractor, not only are we neighbors to several government agency headquarters — we've built them. Working with JBG we constructed the headquarters for three different health and research-related agencies in Rockville: the National Cancer Institute, and confidential government agencies at 5601 Fishers Lane and this particular confidential government agency. Each of these successes has led to the next project, and with this site, another contractor had been working on the project for a year before JBG asked us to take over the construction and complete the project. In a matter of days our team was onsite — managing the five-year, occupied renovation of the largest office building in the state of Maryland to date. The project required immediate immersion and mobilization, and JBG trusted our team's expertise implicitly.
A Massive Makeover
Originally built in the late '60s, the building required a complete structural overhaul to meet the modern needs of a large GSA tenant. On the exterior, we removed the existing façade and replaced it with a blast-resistant, custom-designed glass curtainwall system. We also built a bridge to connect two of the facility’s wings to one another. By enclosing this exterior space, we were able to construct the building’s new flagship feature: its atrium.
Measuring 38,000-SF, this 14-story glass atrium is as functional as it is grand. It’s located off the newly renovated two-story main lobby, making it the perfect common area for employees and visitors alike. Within the atrium, our interiors team built-out a conference pavilion as well as a café — but before that, our base building team capped the atrium with a stunning 10,000-SF ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) skylight. Though difficult to pronounce, ETFE is a popular material for skylights of this size because of its lightweight, yet durable properties. ETFE is one of the many sustainable elements and Energy Star® products that contribute to the building's energy efficiency. This project is registered LEED Platinum®.
Although not visible from the outside, the complete makeover of the building’s mechanical and electrical systems is equally as significant. We upgraded dated equipment — replacing it with an energy-efficient DOAS HVAC system. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, DOAS HVAC systems reduce energy usage by 21 to 38 percent, which is a significant savings for any building of this size.
Uncovering Time Savings Through Uncompromising Investigation
We had to get up-to-speed quickly. This was a five-year, tenant occupied, multi-phased renovation, and in just a few days we recognized inefficiencies in the existing project plan.
While analyzing the implementation and phasing plans that were in place, we asked the question: "why are there two final phases?" The previous contractor's strategy was to tackle the renovation sequentially. However, we knew we could save time and money by combining the last two phases into one. We presented our plan to the owner and creative team, detailing how we could convert a wing into a larger swing space — which provided more square footage to conduct the renovations and protect the tenants from the construction zone.
This move required minor architectural modifications to prepare the swing space for a larger number of employees — but it was well worth it. We shaved eight months from the project’s timeline, saved money for our longtime client, and enabled the tenant to occupy the space ahead of schedule. Today, this headquarters provides office space to more than 4,000 federal employees.
Project photos by Connie Zhou; progress photos by Dan Poyourow Photography