APTA – American Physical Therapy Association Headquarters

Alexandria, Va.

Award of Merit


OWNER: American Physical Therapy Association



SUBCONTRACTORS: Hardesty Concrete Construction Inc.; Service Glass; Robey Inc. (Drywall and Framing); Berkel & Co. Contractors Inc. (Sheeting and Shoring); East Coast Tile (Tile and Stone); American Automatic Sprinkler Co.; WH Boyer (Landscaping); AMA Construction (Site Concrete); Synergi (Ornamental Metals)

Opened in time for APTA’s 100th anniversary, the 85,000-sq-ft building is punctuated by a seven-story atrium and floating stairwell. The building features a ground-floor fitness center, café and flex space that APTA is already making available as a COVID vaccine clinic. The seventh floor features a 300-person conference center, full-service catering kitchen and a terrace providing stunning views of the nation’s capital across the Potomac River.

The building’s location within a former railroad yard meant that significant amounts of lead- and arsenic-contaminated soil had to be removed, treated and disposed of before construction got underway. Significant site dewatering was needed as well; groundwater was pumped into settling ponds before discharge to local waterways. Another planning consideration was safeguarding a parking garage located three stories directly below where APTA’s building would rise.

To construct the building’s seven-story atrium and floating stairwell, the construction team erected a full-height scaffold that facilitated work on all sides, including placing six stories of inlaid millwork. The atrium houses a large smoke evacuation system that integrates automatic doors with a large air handling unit to dispel smoke in a matter of seconds.

Highlighting the building’s many sustainability features is a lighting system that increases or decreases light intensity in step with the amount of sunlight coming through the windows.