General Services Administration (GSA) contracted to Skanska to design and construct the U.S. Census Bureau’s new 1.4 million-SF headquarters, near Washington, DC. The eight-story building houses 6,000 employees who previously occupied two 1945-era buildings on the site as well as three sites leased nearby. The four-phased project included an eight-story main building, constructed over two phases (north section-phase I and south section-phase II), associated north and south parking structures for over 3,000 vehicles, several smaller connected structures, abatement and demo of the existing buildings, and surrounding site work. The GSA utilized the design-build bridging delivery process for the project. In January 2002 GSA contracted with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) to develop the concept design.<br><br>
Phase I included nearly 770,000-SF of office space, a cafeteria, conference center, auditorium and a 1,592-space parking structure. Phase II included approximately 630,000-SF of office space, a library, gate house, walkway to/from the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) station, Remote Delivery Facility (RDF) and a 1,506-space parking structure. Phases III and IV included abatement and demolition of the existing buildings and the currently ongoing civil site work, road work and landscaping. The main eight-story structure was completed in December 2006 and was occupied in stages throughout the construction to ensure that preliminary activities for the 2010 census could begin on schedule.<br><br>
The breathtaking look of the building comes partly from its “wooden veil” — a unique design element, mostly a wood screen of vertical blades and exterior glass patterned to match the wood screen. The exterior precast concrete panels are green in color and have a patterned face to emphasize the curved forms of the wooden blades. Landscape improvements included a park-like setting of paths, trees and gardens throughout the complex.