The challenge posed to Syska Hennessy Group by the owner, LCOR Alexandria, LLC, was to provide an energy efficient campus approach to a 2.5 million-sq-ft complex of five- to 10-story office buildings and two open parking structures, while retaining the flexibility of standalone office buildings. The solution from a mechanical engineering perspective was to develop a distributed central plant.
USPTO also wanted a more energy-efficient solution with greater backup and redundancy. The idea of a central plant was explored, but the site, a brownfield that had been an old train yard, posed its own challenges. First, the 10 acres proved too small to accommodate an independent central plant building. Any underground hazardous material cleanup would have increased the cost of the project further.