The U.S. General Services Administration rededicated its U.S. Custom House Federal Building at 721 19th St. in Denver on September 10. The building received new mechanical and electrical systems to improve its energy efficiency, along with replacement of 750 windows.

Photo courtesy of Matsuo Engineering and Centerre Construction
The U.S. Custom House remodel included raising the height of interior ceilings to their original elevations and restoring all wood base, trim and doors.

The GSA anticipates that the improvements will lower energy consumption by 20% as well as increase tenant security.

The project budget was $43.5 million, and at its peak, it employed 80 full-time workers. It was completed on time and on budget.

The project was awarded to Matsuo Engineering, an 8(a) small business enterprise, and Centerre Construction, a small business enterprise contractor. The firms entered into a joint venture to merge core competencies and provide better engineering, design and construction services. More than 38%, or $11.7 million, of the subcontracted work was performed by small businesses, most of which were Colorado companies.

“GSA is proud to have had so many small businesses participate in this project,” said Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator Sue Damour. “We know that small businesses play a vital role in creating jobs and growth in our economy. This project is one of many GSA projects across the country that has helped get our economy back on track.”

The U.S. Custom House was built in 1931. In 1979 the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Primarily used to house offices, it also has a child-care center and provides space for U.S. Bankruptcy court proceedings. Its tenants include the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, the Military Entrance Processing Station, Dept. of the Army, Dept. of Justice, Dept. of Labor, Dept. of the Treasury, the Railroad Retirement Board and the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Key project facts:

• $2.5 million of work went to women-owned small businesses and more than $3.5 million went to minority-owned businesses.

• The building received new mechanical and electrical systems that will improve energy efficiency by 20%.

• Upgrades included new flush valves that meet LEED requirements for 20% water reduction.

• Crews replaced 750 old windows with new, energy-efficient ones.

• The Custom House received an internal historical renovation that included raising the height of interior ceilings to their original elevations, restoring all wood base, trim and doors, and re-creating all door and window transoms.