The words “temporary” and “sustainable” are likely mutually
exclusive terms to most people—especially to those in the design and construction industries. But the two can coexist harmoniously given proper planning and foresight, as the team at SmithGroupJJR demonstrated in the design of their new (and temporary) Washington, D.C. office, which recently earned a LEED-CI Platinum rating.
Before design work commenced, the firm’s local leadership made a strategic real estate decision that would place the Washington, D.C. office at its current
location for two years, and create a movable home that could be relocated nearly in its entirety. SmithGroupJJR plans to reuse more than 80 percent
of the materials in the office—including
carpet, glass walls, workstations and millwork—in the next location, where the firm will again seek LEED-CI Platinum certification.
“Sustainability-wise, knowing that this was going to be a temporary space for us really affected the way we designed it,” explains Rob Moylan, IIDA, LEED AP, Assoc. AIA, design principal at SmithGroupJJR. “The way we take sustainability seriously as a firm, we wanted to make sure we did this right; knowing we were only going to be here a little while, we didn’t want to throw it all away.”
A quarter of the construction materials used in the office were salvaged from the firm’s previous office, another 32 percent of materials were regionally sourced and 13 percent are Cradle to Cradle-certified.
The new space also boasts a reduction in lighting power of more than 50 percent versus a typical office of the same size. Perimeter circulation throughout the space affords all employees the luxury of “owning” the windows, as well as a view to the outside from every seat.