GSA Transforms Historic Structure Into Sustainable Building Model
After 23 months of construction, the U.S. General Services Administration rededicated in mid-February its 95-year-old Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Grand Junction. Delivering on GSA’s mission to create a more sustainable government, the goal of this $15-million project is to be GSA’s first net-zero-energy building listed on the National Register.
Designed to achieve LEED-Platinum-certification, the rehab turns a 1918 building into an electric utility by having it produce as much energy as it uses. The facility is more than 50% more efficient than a typical office building as a result of the upgraded systems. If the goal of net zero is realized, the building will produce 100% of its energy needed throughout the year.
“This project is one of our crown jewels in the Rocky Mountain region,” said Susan Damour, GSA Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator. “It’s been a unique project in that we’ve converted the building into a model of energy efficiency and sustainability while preserving its original character. We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to give this building new life and have it continue to be an integral part of the Grand Junction community.”
The Beck Group and Westlake Reed Leskosky implemented a wide range of technologies and building techniques on the project. To drive down energy consumption in the building, they’ve designed a geo-exchange system that is tied into the VRF mechanical system.
The project has installed highly efficient lighting systems, increased insulation at the building envelope, and added interior window systems that maintain the historic windows but increase thermal performance, including plug strips with desk-mounted individual occupancy sensors. There are now 385 photovoltaic roof panels that generate 123 kw, or enough power to meet the electricity needs of 15 average American homes.
“What GSA did on this project cannot be carbon copied,” said Jason Sielcken, GSA project manager. “The decisions made are tailored for this building, climate and location; however this project can serve as a proving ground for many innovative technologies, how these technologies can work together, and how they can be implemented as a tool to support the preservation of historic buildings.”
Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse Modernization & Renovation
Grand Junction, Colo.
Size: 41,562 gross sq ft
Cost: $15 million
Timeline: June 2010 – Design Start, March 2011 – Construction Start, Jan. 2013 - Completion
Owner: U. S. General Services Administration, Rocky Mountain Region
Design-Build Partners: The Beck Group, Denver; Westlake Reed Leskosky, Cleveland
Civil Engineer: Del-Mont Consultants, Montrose, Colo.
Blast Consultant: Weidlinger Associates, New York City
Fire Protection: Protection Engineering Group, Chantilly, Va.
Construction Manager: Jacobs Technology Inc., St. Louis
Commissioning Agent: ME Group, Denver