2930 Eisenhower Avenue Offices


Alexandria, VA


Davis Carter Scott Ltd., McLean, VA


Fernandez & Associates, Falls Church, VA


Harvey-Cleary Engineers & Builders, Gaithersburg, MD

Project Scope

Sq. Footage:

184,277 (including 109,351 square feet of parking)

Architectural Precast Elements:

529 architectural precast panels
2930 Eisenhower Avenue Offices

The office building at 2930 Eisenhower Avenue seamlessly integrates the latest in environmentally sustainable design into a Class A office building that offers nearly 75,000 square feet of office space and 285 parking spaces. The project went through several public hearings to finalize the design, Bhide notes, and faced a variety of site restrictions for construction crews. The ultimate design features one below-grade level of parking, three more parking levels above that and three levels of office space on top.

The designers also incorporated a geothermal HVAC system, the first to be used in Alexandria. “Being the first of its kind, the project went through a rigorous architectural-review process, which also included a separate Development & Special Use permitting process in the city,” he explains.

A key concern was the three levels of above-grade parking. Officials were concerned that such a highly functional parking structure above ground level might detract from the aesthetics of the surrounding neighborhood, which featured more traditional designs. The designers used architectural precast concrete panels to achieve the look that was desired, creating a fenestration pattern that replicated the appearance of the higher office levels.

Translucent glass was used in the window openings on the parking levels to provide the look of finished office space both during the day and at night. The panels were erected onto post-tensioned concrete beams placed 20 feet on-center with mild steel slab infill with column-free space between the core and the skin.

The geothermal system required 48 holes to be dug 150 feet deep to create geo-wells. The system of wells provides an efficient way to absorb heat in the winter and reduce heat gain in the summer, because the Earth remains approximately 65 °F year-round at depths below the frost line, Bhide explains. This system allows the building to maintain optimal fluid temperatures for a heat-pump application.

Although the project was not LEED certified, it would have garnered many points, Bhide says. Precast would have helped with a number of those, including energy efficiency and locally manufactured products. “Transportation costs for the material were minimal,” he says. Gate Precast Co. in Oxford, N.C., provided the 529 precast concrete components.

The project had a “rigorous” 13-month, fast-track construction schedule, he adds, which required close contact with owner, development manager, contractor, and precaster to keep the work on budget and on schedule. “By getting early input from all disciplines, revisions to the construction documents were kept to a minimum, preserving the aggressive construction schedule.”

The project indicates that it isn’t necessary to sacrifice economic and environmental sustainability to accommodate development and growth, Bhide stresses, even in existing, long-time neighborhoods with sensitive design needs.

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