When AGU embarked on its mission to renovate its existing headquarters, the goal was to completely transform AGU’s work space through state-of-the-art technologies and innovative design. Earlier this month, AGU began work on the building’s penthouse space, one of the most notable elements of the project. When the building is complete, what used to be a top floor equipment room and rooftop patio will be reimagined as a penthouse with an outdoor terrace.
The remodeled penthouse will be the new home to sustainable features key to achieving net zero. As the project team begins to demolish and re-envision the penthouse, let’s look at what is to come, and how its design truly embodies the project’s mission of reuse and replicability, and net zero energy goals.
The rendering above (left) gives an idea of how open and inviting the new penthouse and outdoor terrace will be. AGU staff and its members will use this space as an informal gathering area to meet and convene with sweeping views of our nation’s capital.
The remodeled penthouse will be shorter than the current structure, allowing the project team to create a level, even plane for the solar photovoltaic (PV) array. The height and even plane combats shadows on the panels and maximizes efficiency. The PV array will have spaces between panels to allow light to trickle through – designed based on feedback from the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) – so that the structure has a lighter look and feel from a street-level view.
There are several elements of the old 2000 Florida Avenue that will make their way in to the updated design. The brick from the existing penthouse structure is no different! The brick will be used to fill in the loading dock door and infill where the current penthouse structure currently sits, since this will be removed during the redesign. The project team is also demolishing certain areas of the prow and vitrines to make way for the new design. Salvaged brick from the penthouse will be used in those areas to replace anything taken out to complete the work.
New green roof, shown in the diagram above, will be placed on the roof level with planting carefully selected to be shade-loving, because of the PV array overhead, and native species. The penthouse will also be part of the net zero building tour, planned for when the building is complete, where the PV array equipment and SageGlass controls will be visible.