Navy League Building


Arlington, VA


Navy League Building LLC, Arlington, VA


Page Southerland Page LLP, Arlington, VA

Engineer of Record:

E.K. Fox & Associates Ltd., Fairfax, VA

Structural Engineer:

ReStl Designers Inc., Gaithersburg, MA


James G. Davis Construction Corp., Rockville, MD

Project Scope

Sq. Footage:

212,947 (including four levels of parking)

Architectural Precast Elements:

691 total pieces including spandrel panels, wall panels and columns covers
Navy League Building
Navy League Building
Navy League Building
Navy League Building
Navy League Building
Navy League Building

The seven-story Navy League Building provides 212,947 square feet of Class A office space, with extensive street-level retail space and four levels of underground parking. The owners use about 10% of the space, with other tenants using the remainder, making it a speculative office project.

Architectural precast concrete panels were chosen for cladding due to their inherent design flexibility and sense of dignity and permanence, he says. “It was necessary to give the building a great deal of architectural detail and character due to its extreme prominence within an active, energized community. We were admonished not to create ‘flat’ façades, because many of the buildings around us had taken that approach, and they wanted to avoid that. They really raised the bar on the façade design.”

As a result, the design features a significant level of dimensional focus, including heavy vertical projections. Three mix designs were used with two finishes: white precast with embedded granite panels and a light acid-wash finish at the lower levels, with two buff-colored mixed with medium acid-wash finishes above. Four spandrel panels have molded lettering showing the building name and address.

“Precast concrete offered the ability to create a rich architectural vocabulary of façade elements establishing the appropriate scale and image sought by the community, the local governing authorities and the owner,” he says. The speed of construction also was a benefit, as the owners wanted to minimize construction time in this highly congested area. “We worked closely with the precaster to minimize the number of pieces that were needed, which sped up casting and erection, and saved money.”

The precast also reinforced the project’s sustainable strategy in a variety of ways, he says. In addition to offering locally manufactured materials, the precast panels worked in conjunction with windows outfitted with low-emissivity film to reduce energy costs. “Precast’s thermal mass makes a fabulous insulator. The sun keeps it warm at night and maintains the heat to take load off the mechanical system.” Analysis of the building showed that energy requirements will provide more than a 25% improvement over the standard represented in ASHRAE 90.1, “largely due to precast concrete’s insulating properties.”

The project also features an innovative water-detention system that captures storm water and ground water for reuse in bathrooms and for landscaping. Potable water use for sewage conveyance was eliminated, and water-saving plumbing fixtures will reduce water usage by more than 77%.

All of those elements worked together to help the project achieve its high Silver—and possibly Gold—LEED rating and allow increased density in a congested area. “Precast concrete gave the project a sense of permanence, durability and dignity that was important in this area, as well as helping to meet LEED criteria,” he says.

These projects show the creative ways that building owners are boosting the energy-saving and sustainable-design aspects of their projects. Precast concrete components are one element in those savings that can ensure the structure meets all of its functional, aesthetic and budgetary goals for today, as well as for generations to come.

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