The 19,000-sq-ft Tower Cos. Corporate Headquarters project is located on the ninth floor of 2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard—itself a LEED platinum project (see adjacent story)—and was the first LEED platinum-certified office in Maryland under the LEED for Commercial Interiors rating system.

Tower Cos. Corporate Headquarters Rockville, Md.

The headquarters and base building make up the first “double platinum” project in the Washington, D.C., area.

The owner’s goal was to create the healthiest and most environmentally sound workplace possible. The design concept involved creating an interior environment of materials varied in color, hue, texture and scale in a cohesive manner to create a space that emulates the diversity of the natural environment. The office is designed to provide views to the outside from almost every occupied space, reflecting the company’s belief that a connection to the outside world should always be evident.

Platinum Points Large windows and 10 skylights contribute to the sunlit office space, with 77% of all occupied spaces having sufficient daylight for everyday tasks. Outside views are offered from 95% of all occupied spaces.

Electric lighting was integrated into the daylighting strategy. Sunlit space provides a significant amount of daylighting, and all occupied spaces near windows and skylights are monitored by daylighting controls. Compared to a typical office, the electric lighting uses 27% less energy and the HVAC system uses 45% less energy.

Many of the company’s computers, monitors and printers were replaced with more efficient products. In addition, the Tower Cos.’ space is submetered, allowing it to remain aware of its energy usage throughout its tenancy. Waterless urinals and low-flow showers and faucets result in a 39% reduction in water usage.

Key Players

Architect and LEED Consultant: Kishimoto.Gordon.Dalaya PC, Arlington, Va.
MEP Engineer: KTA Group Inc., Washington, D.C.
Lighting Designer: Moran Coventry Lighting Associates, Washington, D.C.
Owner: The Tower Cos., Rockville, Md.
General Contractor: Dietze Construction Group Inc., Ashburn, Va.

Some of the materials used included insulation from blue jean scraps; wheat-straw agrifiber door cores; bamboo cabinetry and tabletops; recycled glass in the kitchen counters and floors; wool and mohair carpets; and silk, wood fiber and grass wall coverings. More than 60% of materials and furniture were manufactured within 500 mi of the project site, and 75% of all new wood products are FSC-certified.

Elements that pushed the space beyond a typical sustainable project include:

  • A four-stage air-filtration system that circulates at least 30% more outside air than required by code, turns over every 51 minutes, controls odors and removes more than 90% of airborne contaminants. CO2 monitoring increases fresh air when necessary.
  • Dishes and glasses made of recycled glass and corn paper for kitchen use.
  • Use of low-mercury replacement light bulbs throughout the office.
  • Meditation room and a full kitchen to encourage spiritual and physical health.

Biggest Challenge Interior materials varied in color, hue, texture and scale, resulting in a palette of more than 80 finish materials. Materials were coordinated to ensure compliance with goals for recycled content, regionally obtained materials and sustainably developed products.