655 New York Avenue
Award of Merit
Owner: Douglas Development & Brookfield Properties
General Contractor: DAVIS Construction
Lead Design Firm: Shalom Baranes Associates
Structural Engineer: KCE
Civil/MEP Engineer: Dewberry
Subcontractors: Miller & Long and Potomac Construction Co. (Concrete); JCM Associates Inc. (Mechanical and Plumbing); International Chimney Corp. (Structure Relocation)
After four years of planning and site preparation, the team successfully integrated 19 historic buildings into a mixed-use development encompassing a full city block. Two buildings were relocated to new foundations, including what the team says is the largest structural relocation in Washington, D.C.’s history. Each move was completed in a single day without incident, the team says. Structural bracing and underpinning preserved the structural integrity of other historic buildings during excavation for a new 250,000-sq-ft underground garage. Excavation involved selectively removing underlying soil in 5-ft lifts. Continuous scanning using automated deformation monitoring equipment ensured that the project team could respond immediately if any structural movement took place. Structures were also stiffened through the addition of wood-framed shear walls, steel channels and steel cabling, making each building a rigid box.
Completed on budget and on schedule in 30 months, the project is punctuated by a new 130-ft-tall office and retail tower with a central atrium composed of 120,000 sq ft of glass and multiple levels of hanging stairs. When the original design for exterior terra-cotta outboard fins was found not to be feasible, the team pivoted to cast custom aluminum dies that were painted and textured to resemble terra cotta. These fins were prefabricated onto the secondary units in lieu of field installation, reducing total installation time by two months.