The new FBI South Florida Headquarters has recently been constructed and is an impressive combination of both striking design and sustainable engineering. Architects Krueck + Sexton, along with Design-Build contractor Hensel Phelps, with Architect of Record Gensler, designed the building through the GSA Design Excellence Program, which has three objectives: reducing energy and resource consumption, high performance weather, thermal, and air barriers, and access to on-site renewable resources. And it seems they’ve succeeded in all three.
“This building expresses the dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability of the United States government, while the landscape connects to the native environment by restoring wetlands and vegetation typical of the Everglades,” states Mark Sexton of Krueck + Sexton. The restored wetlands are located on the western courtyard and not open to the public while the eastern courtyard contains a reflecting pool and more traditional landscaping. The building spans over 20 acres of greenery.
The 375,000 foot structure’s exterior is built entirely of insulated window units which can withstand both hurricane and blast impacts. Not only does this feature provide excellent daylighting, the various glass coatings and metal sunscreens prevent excess glare for workers inside. The roof is adorned with photovoltaic solar panels, which contribute to 20% of the building’s overall energy use and will likely allow the construction to achieve a LEED Platinum Core & Shell certification. These elements, as well as plans for future sustainable additions to the facility, all add up toward to goal of being completely zero-energy by the year 2030.
The interior lobby captures the awe of visitors with its towering 23-foot sculpture made from cedar wood. The piece, designed by Ursula von Rydingsvard, found its home at the headquarters via the GSA Art-in-Architecture program. Climbing the staircase allows for an intimate look at the details of the sculpture, both inspiring and striking.
Federal employees in the new FBI South Florida Headquarters can rest assured that they are not only safe in their environment, but that their workplace is doing its part to join the future by using more sustainable and renewable energy resources.
Images via Nick Merrick / Hedrich Blessing