Gensler’s expanded K Street office in Washington, DC features a unique storefront style environment on the first floor, where the global architecture, design, planning, and consulting firm claimed the building’s former restaurant spaces to create a vibrant gathering place for workers and guests. It features a mix of settings for small group meetings or intimate discussions, as well as a large multi-purpose room with sliding glass doors that allow the space to be opened up to the entire lobby. Expansive windows connect designers with public life, and vice versa, and a striking grand staircase offers a visual link to the workspaces above.
GHT provided MEP engineering design for the project, which consisted of a 15,000 SF renovation on the second floor and 12,000 SF expansion on the first floor. The first floor mechanical room houses a new air-handling unit (AHU) that is tied into the base building chilled water system and connected to new ductwork serving new variable air volume (VAV) boxes throughout the first floor. It also features a MERV 13 filter, airside economizer, and variable frequency drive (VFD) with a static pressure reset sequence that saves fan power during partial cooling loads.
The airside economizers utilized with the first floor and penthouse AHUs allow for additional energy savings by taking advantage of free cooling when the outside air is 55° or cooler. Supplemental split systems provide 24/7 cooling capability to dedicated AHUs in the first floor IT closet and reprographics room, as well as a new second floor IT closet. Fans in the 3-D modeling fabrication lab are connected to the exhaust system to ensure fumes do not escape to gathering and workspaces.
The lighting control system and efficient fixtures installed on the first floor also reduces the amount of power used by the space. The second floor renovation included an updated reception area; expanded and relocated library; and the addition of multiple private offices, team rooms, conference rooms and perimeter workstation clusters. GHT designed the required reconfiguration of lighting, power receptacles, ductwork, and diffusers, and added VAV boxes where necessary. The second floor continues to be served by the existing base building chilled water system.