Project Completion Year
Project Location: City
Project Location: State
Project Location: Country
United States of America
The Grogan | Dove Federal Office Building + campus in Miramar, Florida is designed under the GSA Design Excellence program and celebrates the dedication to public service. The holistic design was focused not on a single issue, but on a long-term view for enduring value and performance while enhancing the wellbeing and quality of work life for users.
The 20-acre site accommodates a 375,000-SF office building for approximately 1,000 federal workers, a parking structure, and vehicle maintenance facility. Originally a part of the Everglades, the site had been leveled with 18” of aggregate fill prior to purchase by the GSA, and restoring the indigenous wetlands became an overarching goal of the project.
An integral part of the project’s success, the landscape integrates + conceals security elements, accommodates a robust storm water management system, renews wildlife, and creates site-specific outdoor spaces connecting users to nature.
Two 60-foot wide buildings – six and seven stories tall, strike the best balance of internal efficiency and maximized site ecology. Building massing and east-west orientation supports passive sustainability by minimizing solar exposure + heat gain and creates microclimates that encourages building occupants to engage with the outdoors. Perforated sunscreens at the South-facing facades reduce glare without obstructing views, and 93% of regularly occupied spaces benefit from maximized daylight and from a direct visual + physical connection to the exterior.
Sustainability and efficiency shaped the design, comprehensively addressing performance for occupants over time. The result is a site-specific response that is both dynamic and memorable.
Sustainable Design Intent and Innovation
A pilot of the Sustainable Sites© Initiative™, and a benchmark project for sustainable federal office buildings in hot + humid climates, architecture and landscape fuse to address environmental issues unique to the location. Integrated High-Performance Green Building Planning, a design tool specific to the GSA was utilized, and the campus was designed to meet Net Zero by 2030.
Partnering sessions were established early in the design process, engaging representatives from the client, tenant, and design team to discuss how to meet project goals. Each solution was developed holistically as a team, from employee wellness and amenities to energy conservation, operational security and environmental restoration.
Situated in a former Everglades zone and five miles from existing wetlands, key design objectives for the campus included repairing the site by restoring over 11 acres of grey-field to its native state. In total, 59% of the site area has been restored back to indigenous wetlands. Carefully selected native plantings filter water as it enters the recharge aquifers and is retained, providing 64% reduction in total landscape water consumption compared to the baseline.
Four distinct landscape zones within this system of ecologies aid in the restoration project, with portions being restored with historical water flow patterns. In addition, native wildlife is encouraged through nesting cover, foraging and perching opportunities.
The project included integrated physical and technical security, advanced sustainable strategies, and re-imagined a secure federal facility with an image of openness and transparency
Relating Building Enclosure to Energy Efficiency
How the building envelope functions is integral to its energy performance, especially in the south Florida climate. The envelope also impacts visual and thermal comfort. With the project planned as bridging design-build, targets were established early-on for façade performance, including: window-to-wall ratio, U-value and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient.
Early-phase block model energy analysis was used to test solar heat gain coefficients to achieve the desired energy performance for different window-to-wall ratios. Daylight analysis was utilized by the design team to test combinations of the glazing’s visual light transmittance, external shading geometry and amount of frit perforation to determine optimal configurations. A performance matrix for façade optimization was passed on to the bridging team to guide the design of the external shade, pending security and wind load analysis.
Integrated Process to Meet Project Goals
The bridging design team remained on the project during construction to ensure compliance with the design, overseeing the implementation of detailed mockups to select the correct glass for the hot climate. The result is a daylight design that achieves an even distribution of light from the façade through the interior while remaining true to the energy goals of the project.
- The GSA design review process included a right-sizing evaluation, resulting in a program re-evaluation and a 21% reduction in building size. This process reduced the building footprint + related systems, cut costs and enlarged the area of green space.
- The project received LEED® Platinum for Core + Shell and LEED® Gold for Commercial Interiors.
Significant factors facilitated energy reductions:
- The design team oriented the building to minimize solar heat gain
- Key massing decisions aided in passive energy savings, including locating egress stairs at building ends to act as thermal buffer zones and blocking direct solar exposure on the east and west façades
- Sunscreens were employed to prioritize daylight on south facades, significantly reducing lighting power density;
- Renewable sources were prioritized upon evaluation of local climate opportunities.
Solar Gain Reduction
- The cost neutral decision to position the building with a long north-south façade along an east-west axis, with egress stairs at each end of the buildings minimized incident solar radiation by 21%, resulting in long term energy savings.
- Ceramic frit curtain wall with perforated sunscreens along the South-facing facades, further reduce solar heat gain and glare without obstructing views.
Lighting Power Density Reduction
- Two 60-foot wide buildings – six and seven stories tall office guarantee a maximum distance of 30 feet from any internal workspace to the building perimeter, providing 93% of regularly occupied spaces with a direct visual connection to the exterior and maximizing daylight.
- The net result is that 60% of the footprint achieves sufficient daylight without the need for daytime artificial lighting. Daylighting controls and occupancy sensors ensure minimum lighting power is used.
A 1.5mw photovoltaic array plays a significant role generating 20% of power required for the building. Domestic hot water is generated by a solar thermal system that provides 95% of the total tower demand.
The EUI of plug loads are reduced with Energy Star equipment, while Energy Star controls additionally turn off equipment when not in use.
- The net result is a building that achieves 44% energy savings over the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 baseline
- Predicted EUI of 53.7 kBtu/sf/yr excluding on-site renewable energy contribution
- Predicted EUI of 45.8 kBtu/sf/yr including on-site renewable energy contribution
****The building is a high-security campus with stringent information-sharing restrictions. As such, we have limited post-occupancy data at our disposal.
Fulfilling the GSA’s Urban Development / Good Neighbor Program requirements, the facility location was selected to improve economic development. For the GSA, the realized project is conceived as a distinct counterpoint to the low-rise buildings and expansive parking lots which dominate neighboring sites.
By relocating offices from three counties into one shared facility the amount of transportation required for internal collaboration was greatly reduced. However, tenant work requires dependence on automobile transportation, creating a high vehicle-person ratio. As this was inherent to the program, structured parking was thoughtfully developed + integrated, transportation alternatives were provided for and other measures were developed to encourage health + wellness.
In addition to providing for programmed parking required of the agency, the parking structure also provides Pow-R-electric vehicle charging stations, bicycle racks, and carpool signage at preferred parking spots.
The universally accessible site is also connected to public transit with a new bus stop.
Similar to the adjacent office buildings, the parking garage was built higher to reduce its impact on the environment and the structure serves as the platform for a 1.5mw photovoltaic canopy.
Health + Wellness
The design team carefully considered the journey from a parked vehicle to the building and integrated landscape elements that provide glare and shade protection. Continuous covered walkways temper the adjustment of body temperature and light from the extreme heat and sun to the cooled interior spaces. The entry courtyard utilizes evaporative cooling, achieved through pools of water, to further provide outdoor transitional comfort.
Building mass creates shaded courtyards to improve outdoor comfort and create micro-climates that encourage building occupants to engage with the outdoors. As a result, gathering and relaxation spaces are situated throughout the campus. Additionally, a fitness center and jogging path, located around the reconstructed wetlands, give employees amenities on par with commercial office buildings.
Post occupancy evaluations indicate that the project scores are:
- 17% higher than the baseline for overall satisfaction
- 27% higher than baseline for air quality
- 13% high than baseline for amount of light
- 22% higher than baseline for temperature control
A wide array of water conservation strategies are locally-specific and integral to the broader goals of the project – achieved in part through the medium of landscape. Potable water consumption is significantly reduced on site through a strategy involving storm water + greywater management.
Water features surrounding the building serve the multiple functions of enabling the return of wildlife while creating a perimeter security barrier
Two main objectives led the design decisions on the project:
- Utilizing the site to ease the burden of excess and runoff water during the increasing rate of storm events;
- Relaxing the burden on the public water utility.
59% of site was restored back to the wetlands
A storm water management system, consisting of retention ponds and exfiltration trenches, turns the site into a natural reservoir through sculpted earthwork and native planting. This landscape strategy collects rainwater run-off from the parking garage and hardscape on site, thereby eliminating runoff and helping to recharge aquifers.
- There is a dry reservoir on site for overflow
- Additionally, a 32,000-gallon cistern collects storm water from the office tower and annex roofs, and greywater from the cooling coil condensate
- In all, the project manages 100% of storm water runoff on-site, including a 24-hour, 2-year storm event. When cistern levels drop to a predetermined level, automatic sensors energize the well pump and supplement the harvesting system, reducing the demand of public utility resources
Conservation Through Innovation:
- Roof storm water and well water is used for 100% of the demand for cooling towers
- 100% irrigation water is provided from a municipal grey water supply
- Carefully selected native plantings filter water as it enters and is retained, providing a 64% reduction in total landscape water consumption when compared to the baseline
- Low-flow sensor operate fixtures provide 36% reduction in potable water use
- The annual regulated potable water use is estimated to be 1,021 gal/FTE per year. Together, actual potable+ non-potable well water is 9,045 gal/FTE per year
These strategies result in potable water use reduction of 95% against the baseline.
The campus design and material selection were driven by very specific conditions from the GSA, with high-performance and employee wellness and security considerations at the top of the list. The project engaged a system approach to reducing materials + their impacts, which ultimately had an impact on everything from interior finishes to site material re-use.
GSA’s Design Excellence program requires buildings that reflect the importance, dignity and stability of the US Government. For this 100-year building, materials were selected for durability, maintainability and enduring value.
The high-performing enclosure was designed in coordination with a window wall cleaning system that worked with the fixed sun shades, providing integrated maintenance and increasing longevity.
Health and wellness is central to GSA's design excellence commitment. Occupant health is improved through light quality, ventilation, smart use of construction materials and enhanced green spaces.
- 100% of employees control their own light levels
- A 72-hour flush-out, with 100% outside air, was provided prior to occupancy to help counter the fact that the highly secure building does not include any operable windows
- Peak measured CO2 levels during full occupancy was 700ppm
- Low VOC materials helped contribute to the project’s LEED® Gold Certification for Commercial Interiors
- The project scores 27% higher than baseline for air quality satisfaction.
Security + Longevity
For this federal building, performance included protective hardening, blast, and hurricane resistant criteria. The high-performance curtainwall meets stringent Miami-Dade NOA wind load and tenant blast-load requirements.
Site Material Re-use
At construction, this building was the first Sustainable Sites© Initiative™(SSI), pilot project in Florida.
- The project is a balanced site with no material exported off or imported on the site for site development, including the aggregate fill existing on the site, which was used to elevate the building pads as part of the balanced site requirements
- As part of the SSI program, only native species were used on the property
- Within these parameters, 30% of the building is comprised of recycled content
- 82% of the site's generated construction waste had been diverted from landfill.
Design Architect (FIRM)
Sustainable Strategies & Daylight Design