The Arthur J. Altmeyer Federal Building is located on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) main campus in Woodlawn, Maryland. This ten-story, concrete-framed building is home to the executive leadership team of the SSA and had no major alterations since its inception in 1959. Reflective of its era, the interior layout consisted of a double loaded corridor and an occupant density of 280 GSF per person.
Tasked with a complete re-cladding, new mechanical systems, stairs and elevator cores, and an interior overhaul, our team maximized open office work areas and shifted offices to the interior of the floor plate, providing daylight and views to all occupied areas of the building while achieving the client’s goal of 150 GSF per person. The modernization increased the capacity of the building by 33% allowing critical support segments to be located under one roof.
As the public face for the SSA, the building façade needed to convey a sense of strength, security and transparency to the American public. A simple and unified expression was designed that seamlessly adapts to varying site conditions, solar exposures, and degrees of public interface. The strong vertical rhythm of aluminum plate and glass seeks to balance the horizontality of the building volume and impart a civic gravity to the campus entry. The careful calibration of this envelope design required rigorous energy modeling and collabo-ration with the mechanical engineer to maximize energy performance and occupant comfort. The unitized façade varied across each elevation to minimize heat gain on the south, east and west and maximize daylight on the north. Glare was addressed with fritted glass that also varied across each façade.
Recently completed, the project achieved LEED Silver Certification. The innovative façade successfully transformed a severely underperforming building to one that outperforms ASHRAE baseline values by 14.8%.