The design of the 275,000-square-foot GSA Regional Field Office is generated by careful integration of concerns for security, sustainability and appropriate image into a thoroughly synthesized design solution. In response to climate considerations, the plan of the LEED certified building is narrow, presenting broad faces to the south and north, and thin faces to the east and west.
The concrete walls are sheathed in aluminum shingles that both reflect heat and allow the high thermal mass of the concrete to provide temperature stability for the structure. A lightweight metal frame was hung off of the concrete walls to carry a “second skin” for the building on the south, east and west sides. Heavily fritted laminated glass is attached to the lightweight frame with stainless steel clips. The almost opaque glass, which is placed away from the actual thermal wall of the building, shades the structure substantially from direct heat gain from the hot Texas sun. The space between the two skins becomes a significantly cooled microclimate reducing the load requirements for air conditioning systems. In winter, the glass layers enhance the heat-insulating functions of the facade owing to the comparatively higher surface temperatures of the inner surface of the facade.
On the north side of the eight-story building, the aluminum surface is fully revealed and is animated by varied window patterns reflecting the extremely divergent view and lighting requirements of functions on this face of the building. The simple, elegant, and economical building, which was designed in a joint venture with Leo A Daly, is well-suited to its specific purpose and the goals of its agency. It is both an inspiring workplace for its employees and an efficient facility for the citizens it is serving.
- 275,000 GSF
- LEED Certified