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New Innovative Design for Future DFC Tenant

By Richard Stebbins

Empty warehouse with columns and fluorescent lighting

An empty warehouse on the Denver Federal Center has become a blank canvas to design and build an innovative workspace for the Department of the Interior's Interior Business Center (IBC).

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) left the 150,000 square foot facility, known as Building 48 (B48), in 2013. Now a $49 million project will convert B48 into a modern work environment that will be net-zero energy and net-zero carbon.

"We are taking a vacant, underperforming building and transforming it into an adaptive, modern, energy efficient space to support the mission and business needs of the IBC," said Public Buildings Service Regional Commissioner Tanisha Harrison.

The sustainable office space will include the use of solar power, cost-effective LED lighting, as well as high-efficient heating and cooling systems designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards.

The exterior of the building will feature conservation efforts that will make the grounds SITES Silver certified. The landscape will feature adaptable trees, a pollinator garden and bioswales for water conservation and a connection to nature.

Rendering of a typical workspace being developed by Centerre Construction and Cannon Design
Rendering of a typical workspace being developed by Centerre Construction and Cannon Design Photograph by Cannon Design

"The intent with our design is to transform this 1940's warehouse into a state-of-the-art office space that celebrates the mission of IBC while not impacting the environment," said Harrison.

Developing this project on the Denver Federal Center optimizes space within the federal footprint as well as relocates IBC out of three leased facilities that will save $17 million in lease cost avoidance and $6 million annually in rental savings.

B48 has an incredible history dating back more than 80 years. Prior to NARA occupying the warehouse space, B48 was used to make ammunition when the complex was known as the Denver Ordnance Plant. When the plant closed in 1945, the complex was converted to office space for federal agencies.

Region 8 is responsible for managing the Denver Federal Center with a goal to support GSA's strategic priority of footprint optimization. This includes the revitalization of buildings to improve the work space for tenants, such as the recent Office of Natural Resources Revenue and the Bureau of Reclamation projects.

For more information on the Denver Federal Center and the B48 project please watch this video.