Located on a prime site in downtown Washington, DC only one block from the White House, the outdated 45-year-old B+ class office building was converted to a trophy building in order to support the owner’s vision for a high-performance, sustainable property. The design of this large-scale renovation focused on upgrading the significant exterior and interior areas of the building and implementing the latest technological advances and green initiatives while managing the enormous logistical issues associated with re-skinning a building while it is continuously occupied.
The building’s existing exterior precast panel skin was fully replaced with a new horizontal glass curtain wall system. Updating the central power system with new, efficient cooling towers and a new management system resulted in an energy savings of 65 percent. The central plant replacement was completed at night with minimal disruptions to tenants, while the replacement of the building’s exterior skin of the building was completed in stages.
Every component and feature, from the modern forward-facing concierge desk to the state-of-the-art fitness center, was designed to evoke a comfortable, contemporary feel. Along with the main entrance, building plaza, and street café, the space helps to reinforce the building’s unique location and position the property as a vibrant urban space.
Sustainable design elements were incorporated into various aspects of the project, allowing the project to meet the stringent criteria for LEED Platinum Certification. If achieved, 815 Connecticut Avenue will be the first building renovation project to achieve this level of LEED certification.
In December of 2011, Presidents Obama and Clinton toured 815 Connecticut Avenue while renovations were underway to tout the project as a prime example for their Better Buildings Challenge to support job creation through investment in energy efficiency upgrades to commercial office properties.