A major new mixed-use development project now underway in Washington, D.C., shooting for a LEED Platinum rating, is a real green building challenge. The project will occupy more than 650,000 square feet in D.C.’s Capitol Riverfront district and will include an 11-story, 224,000-square-foot office building with 11,000 square feet of additional retail space on the ground floor. Skanska USA, based in Washington, D.C., will serve as the developer for a portion of the project, working with Grosvenor Americas (GA), and San Francisco-based Gensler Architects for the design.
Skanska will provide work on the office building while GA is busy with apartment spaces, retail and hotel development. A total development cost is not yet available as the project is still in its initial design phases, but according to Rob Ward, executive vice president, Skanska USA Commercial Development Inc. in Washington D.C., “design is progressing and the project could be ready to start as soon as mid-2013.” The extensive list of green features designed into the building in pursuit of the coveted LEED Platinum rating includes regenerative elevators that capture electricity from downward movement; water filtration and water storage on-site; green power; low emitting materials/VOC; carbon footprinting; waterless urinals; low emitting materials/VOC; daylighting; green housekeeping; and tenant submetering.
While designing any building to meet LEED certification is challenging, designing a mixed-use project this large compounds the difficulties. “The challenges associated with a LEED Platinum certification include cost/benefit analysis for additional construction costs associated with a wide-range of green elements; identifying mechanical systems that deliver the highest level of efficiency while balancing cost; tenant understanding of the value and benefit of a LEED building; locating suitable materials on a regional basis to achieve LEED goals; and using cutting-edge technologies and the challenge to find local companies with experience with design/install/various systems,” explained Ward.
The rewards of the project make the challenge well worth the effort. “The flourishing Capitol Riverfront District provides one of the most exciting opportunities for development in Washington D.C.,” said Ward. “This mixed-use development promises to offer great value to its growing community and to local businesses, and will ensure that the area continues to thrive.”
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