Architecture People & Places


ZGF in Seattle, Washington

The Federal Center South Building 1202, located on a brownfield site in Seattle, Washington was designed by ZGF Architects for the Army Corps of Engineers. Photo: Benjamin Benschneider/ Courtesy ZGF

The Federal Center South Building 1202, a General Services Administration building in Seattle, Washington, has been completed. ZGF Architects was part of the 209,000-square-foot (19,400-square-meter) project's design-build team, along with Sellen Construction.

The metal panel-clad building, which is targeting LEED Platinum certification, is a new headquarters for the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Built on a brownfield site adjacent to a federal superfund site, this project's plan is in the shape of a horseshoe, a form which the firm attributes to local geographic features -- particularly the oxbows that are characteristic of the Duwamish Waterway.

 The skylit atrium of the Federal Center South Building 1202. PR Newswire/ Courtesy ZGF Architects

At the center of its plan, a large, three-story atrium serves many roles in the building's design: a circulation core, an air-return plenum, and day-lit garden courtyard. A hybrid structural system of exposed wood and steel reinforces a connection with the neighborhood's warehouse past, and with an adjacent 20th-Century warehouse building designed by Albert Kahn.

Some of the sustainable features of Federal Center South Building 1202 include: a multi-well ground-source heating and cooling system, a rainwater capture system and 25,000-gallon (95,000-liter) cistern, occupancy sensors and extensive daylighting, an under-floor ventilation system featuring 100% outside air.
One end of the building's horseshoe main mass. Photo: Benjamin Benschneider/ Courtesy ZGF

The building is expected to have an Energy Use Index (EUI) of 5.8 kilowatt hours/ square foot/ year (64 kWh/m2/year), achieving 40% below ASHRAE 2007 benchmarks, and an Energy Star score of 100.

Project Details

Size: Three-story, 209,000 SF building (180,000 SF of office and conference space)
Project cost: $72 million -- $270 / square foot for building only (excluding site work and warehouse demolition)
Location: 4735 East Marginal Way, Seattle, WA 98134 
Construction Start Date: July 2010
Completion Date: October 2012
Tenant: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Owner: U.S. General Services Administration
Construction manager Assistant and Commissioning Services: Heery
Funding: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

Section-perspective diagram showing many sustainable features of the LEED Platinum-targeting Federal Center South Building.. Image: ZGF

Project team

General Contractor: Sellen Construction
Design Architect: ZGF Architects LLP
Structural and Civil Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers
Mechanical / Plumbing: WSP Flack + Kurtz / University Mechanical
High Performance Design: Built Ecology
Lighting: WSP Flack + Kurtz
Telecommunications: WSP Flack + Kurtz
Electrical: Lane Coburn & Associates, LLC/Sequoyah Electric, LLC
Landscape architecture: SiteWorkshop LLC
Graphics and Signage: Studio SC
Elevator: Lerch Bates
Acoustical: The Greenbusch Group
Life Safety: Rolf Jensen & Associates / Tuazon Engineering
Geotechnical / Soils: Hart Crowser & Associates, Inc.

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