GSA Bureau of the Public Debt

File Type: Free Content, Case study
Release Date: January 2006
Average Rating:       (0 Ratings)
GSA Bureau of the Public Debt

Fast Facts

Address: Parkersburg, WV
Company/Developer: Lowe Enterprises
Design/Builder: Re: Vision Architecture
Property Type: Government Headquarters
Square Feet: 182,500 square feet
Height: 5 stories

Building Description: The facades of the building are clad in metal panels, with aluminum window framing and low-e, safety laminated, insulated glass. The entire perimeter is wrapped in glass in order for windows to provide light and capitalize on the views for the office spaces. The window wall maintains a consistent sill and head height throughout and utilizes a regular five-foot module for flexibility in partitioning. Documentation has been submitted for Silver LEED certification.


The two-phase build-to-suit office building was constructed on a 6.12-acre site located at Fourth and Avery Streets in downtown Parkersburg. Direct access on the ground floor to the main conference/training facility is available from the lobby. The conference and training rooms are arranged around a break-out space to encourage interaction.

The site was owned by the City of Parkersburg and was transferred to Lowe Enterprises through an assignment of a purchase option agreement between the City of Parkersburg and the U.S. The site had environmental contamination (certain identified hydrocarbons) and the land Purchase Option Agreement stipulated that the City of Parkersburg would be responsible for any existing environmental condition requiring remediation.

Green Features

Sustainable Sites

  • Green roof and/or high albedo materials cover at least 75 percent of the total roof area.
  • General office areas benefit from a nine-foot ceiling height to increase the diffusion of light. The typical floor configuration places over 86 percent of the office space within 40 feet of the exterior window wall to maximize access to light and views for all staff members.
  • Commuter rail 0.3 miles from site (Emerson Route); Downtown Trolley 0.1 miles from site (200 Third Street Building); East Rider Bus Line 0.1 miles from site.
  • Internal configuration of the typical office floors places the vertical circulation core at the intersection of the three phases, with separate mechanical and bathroom cores in each phase.
security gate at the GSA Bureau of the Public Debt

Security Gate

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • HVAC system with carbon dioxide monitoring sensors integrated with the building automation system.
  • Non-smoking building.
  • All adhesives employed on the project (including, but not limited to, adhesive for carpet, carpet tile, plastic laminate, wall coverings, adhesive for wood) were those with the lowest possible VOC content below 20 grams per liter and met the requirements of the manufacturer of the products.
  • Adhesives and sealants with no formaldehyde or heavy metals were used.
  • Low-emitting paint and carpet products.
  • Ventilation—filter frames are oversized to accept HEPA type filters; fans provide necessary static pressure for larger units.

Water Efficiency

  • High-efficiency irrigation technology used in conjunction with native and xeriscape landscape design.
  • 30 percent of paved area will be shaded within five years.
  • Dual flush water closets.

Energy and Atmosphere

  • Building complies with energy code ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1999.
  • No CFC-based refrigerants in the HVAC&R systems.
conference room in the GSA Bureau of the Public Debt

Conference Room

Materials and Resources

  • Storage and collection of recyclables.
  • Construction waste management.
  • 15 percent Recycled content—site disposal services and containers for recycling cardboard, paper, cans, glass and plastic provided.
  • 40.61 percent of materials manufactured and harvested locally.
  • 60.69 percent of wood-based materials and certified wood products from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests.
  • Green housekeeping.
  • LEED-accredited professional on the team.

Return on Investment Analysis

  • Total building costs including land were $212 per square foot for the entire 182,500-square-foot project.
  • According to the 2006 BOMA Experience Exchange Report, the average operating costs (psf) for the project are $5.44 (utility costs psf of $0.86). These numbers include taxes of $3.35 psf and expected EnergyStar building utility costs.