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TRANSWESTERN - 815 Connecticut Avenue

  • 815 Connecticut Before Construction 
  • 815 Connecticut During Construction 
  • 815 Connecticut After Construction 

815 Connecticut Avenue

Showcase Project: Transwestern


Washington, DC

Project Size

235,000 Square Feet

Annual Energy Use (Source EUI)

283 kBtu/sq. ft.
170 kBtu/sq. ft.

Energy Savings:


Annual Energy Cost


Cost Savings:



815 Connecticut Avenue, a 12 story office building with a first floor retail level, was originally constructed in 1964. In 2008, DRI Development Services, the development arm of Transwestern, met with the owner, Alecta, and developed a strategy to re-establish it as a trophy class office building.


Alecta opted to push the limits when it comes to sustainability. To meet this challenge, Transwestern provided the initial strategy, and found solutions to obstacles that surfaced along the way. Phase I involved a major replacement of the chiller plant, while Phase II involved the replacement of the building façade and additional sitework.

Other Benefits

815 Connecticut Avenue was was awarded LEED® Platinum for Core and Shell in September, 2013, and has an ENERGY STAR® rating in the 90s. In addition, elevated occupant workspace comfort will be obtained by sealing leaky windows, increasing outside air intake, and installing LED lighting or T-5 controlled by a new Lutron Quantum System

McQuay Turbocor chillers at 815 Connecticut


Based in Sweden, Alecta was motivated by the energy savings and sustainability aspects of retrofitting and replacing systems in 815 Connecticut Avenue. The economics were in place for Alecta to challenge Transwestern to go above and beyond in finding cost saving solutions.


Phase I consisted of completely replacing the chiller plant with two McQuay Turbocor Frictionless chillers. The chiller replacement was finished in April 2009. The ability to monitor the power consumption of individual mechanical components was built into the new plant so that future energy savings could be planned and monitored in real time. The central plant equipment had passed its life expectancy and was very inefficient, which became evident when the ENERGY STAR rating skyrocketed from the high 30s to 82 after the first year the chiller plant was in operation.

In Phase II, the façade was replaced with a new curtain wall, providing sweeping views of the White House and National Mall. Chilled water piping to all ground floor retail spaces was replaced with a condenser water loop, which resulted in energy savings by allowing the chillers to be shut down after normal office lease hours. The Phase II replacement of the primary façade was completed by March 15, 2012. The 1st floor retail façade with blue glass decorative cornice was completed in June 2012, and the roof terrace and some of the sitework was completed in July, 2012.

Other Benefits

Additional benefits from this showcase project include:

  • New HVAC equipment has eliminated the safety risk for city employees who are no longer required to scale 40-foot high ladders to change the temperature in the exhibit hall and some office spaces.
  • With the growth of the film industry in Georgia, the Civic Center’s exhibit hall has been utilized as a sound stage for several movies and TV series. The energy efficiency improvements are allowing the city to book additional projects without concerns of equipment outages.
  • As a part of its sustainability plan, Power to Change, the city will now use the 45-year old Civic Center as a demonstration project showcasing its commitment to energy efficiency and for public sustainability education.

Finally, the City of Atlanta is considering LEED Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance certification in the future.