As the base building architect and interior design team, we enabled Washington Gas to consolidate three regional offices and 800 employees into a single, energy-efficient, modern campus located on a 20-acre brownfield site. An additional challenge was moving the company from mostly private offices to a state-of-the-art environment that allows individuals and corporate divisions to collaborate. An integral part of our design requirements was interweaving sustainable technologies into our solutions.
Washington Gas allowed us to showcase our expertise in both base building and interior design, as we designed the 190,000 square-foot office, 75,000 square-foot technology center and created the 20-acre campus master plan. Our design solution organizes bright, collaborative, open work environments around an exterior, south lawn amenity. Natural light fills the space along the south facade, where an open, column-free work environment looks out to the green space. The facades respond to both their internal functions and external site contexts, with sensors on the south curtain wall that automatically raise and lower screens in response to daylight conditions. The interior environment celebrates the industrial identity of the company with exposed structural frame and building systems. We created a central “Main Street” circulation path, with central support functions located near this corridor to allow employees to overlap and interact.
We incorporated many sustainable strategies into this build-to-suit project, including a Bloom fuel cell that creates on-site electricity — the first commercial application of this technology on the East Coast. We displayed this innovation on the south lawn as a nod to the client’s energy-centric, technology-forward business. The Bloom fuel cell has reduced the client’s carbon footprint by 93%, or 38,870 metric tons of CO2. We also implemented the region’s first Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS). This HVAC system provides healthier, more energy-efficient air and enables increased ceiling height for a more pleasant environment. Our office design has provided places for staff to mingle and collaborate, fostering teamwork and camaraderie as three offices consolidated into one.