DPR Construction’s Team Makes an Abandoned Building an Office Deserving of Emulation

Living Laboratory

Knowing the mechanical system would generate a lot of interest as a showcase, the DPR team installed it behind a glass window wall. Color-coded piping helps visitors more easily understand the functionality of the four-pipe system. The team also introduced radiant sails in a few of the meeting rooms. The ceiling-hung system transforms the centuries-old technology of radiant heating and cooling into a modern architectural element, providing alternative thermal comfort to occupants.

Reclaimed wood is used in the entryway of the space and above the wine bar, connecting the office with the history of the Mid-Atlantic region while providing acoustical benefits.
Reclaimed wood is used in the entryway of the space and above the wine bar, connecting the office with the history of the Mid-Atlantic region while providing acoustical benefits.

From ceiling to floor, learning opportunities were leveraged. At floor level, four different concrete finish options were installed throughout the common areas to showcase and educate potential clients about the different options available, costs, aesthetics and how they wear over time.

DPR representatives wanted to utilize a multitude of finish types to show customers how they look and work. All meet LEED material credit requirements and many are Cradle to Cradle Certified, including carpet, wallcovering, tile and window shades. The most notable architectural element throughout the space is reclaimed wood, which was taken from barns in Connecticut and the eastern shore of Maryland and installed by DPR’s carpenters. This sustainable finish, used in the entryway of the space and above the wine bar, connects the office with the history of the Mid-Atlantic region while providing acoustical benefits.

As in all of the newer DPR offices, the office utilizes a project dashboard display that provides real-time information related to energy and water consumption, as well as energy produced by the photovoltaic array.

Remarkable Results

A key difference on this project from DPR’s other offices—and something the DPR team could replicate for customer projects— is a dedicated ownership team that made decisions and kept attacking and driving things forward.

These leaders learned to balance the different elements of the project. For example, providing a demand-controlled ventilation system pushed against the goal for NZE. Natural daylight didn’t always work with the varied schedules of staff, so task-adjustable lighting was provided to individuals. The biggest lesson was you don’t have to choose between cost, wellness, sustainability and creating an incredible workplace. With the right team, engaged early, you can maximize the benefits.

The office creates a sense of community. People have places to spend time together beyond meetings or daily desk activities.
The office creates a sense of community. People have places to spend time together beyond meetings or daily desk activities.

Retrofit Team

OWNER: DPR Construction, Reston, Va.
ARCHITECT: SmithGroup, Washington, D.C.
LEED CONSULTANT: Sustainable Building Partners, Fairfax, Va.
MEP ENGINEER: Southland, Dulles, Va.
ELECTRICAL AND SYSTEMS INTEGRATION: M.C. Dean, Tysons, Va.
AIR-QUALITY CONSULTANT: Healthy Buildings, Fairfax

Materials

FURNITURE: Living Office from Herman Miller
CUSTOM PRODUCTS: Gutierrez Studios
RECLAIMED LUMBER PRODUCTS: Old Wood DE LLC
LAVATORY: AER-DEC from Sloan
LIGHTING CONTROLS: WattStopper by Legrand
TUBULAR DAYLIGHTING DEVICES: Solatube
BUILDING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: Honeywell
SENSORS: Senseware
SMART GLASS: RavenWindow, (303) 984-7490
PHOTOVOLTAICS: Helix from SunPower
PLUG-LOAD MONITORING: Enmetric Systems Inc., (650) 489-4441
WIRELESS COMPUTER CONNECTION: Barco ClickShare
WIRELESS AUDIOVISUAL: Sonos
DASHBOARD DISPLAY OF ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION: BuildingOS from Lucid
HVAC CONTROLS: Honeywell
DOAS: Ingenia
EXPANSION TANK: John Wood Co.
BOILER: Lochinvar
COOLING TOWER: SPX
CARPET: Shaw
TILE: Mosa and Johnsonite
WALLCOVERING: Filzfelt
WINDOW SHADES: Mechoshade

Photos: HOACHLANDER DAVIS PHOTOGRAPHY

About the Author

Chris Gorthy
Chris Gorthy, LEED AP BD+C, is a principal of DPR Construction, an international general contractor. Gorthy serves as a project executive in preconstruction, leading projects across multiple market sectors. His expertise in green building, cost benefit and life-cycle analysis has been instrumental in the planning and execution of numerous LEED and Net Zero Energy projects across the U.S.

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