801 17th Street, NW – Lafayette Tower
Lafayette Tower is a 324,500 square-foot office building notable for its high-nd finishes, impressive views of Washington, D.C., and sustainability. At the time of its completion, it was the fourth project in Washington, D.C., to have achieved Platinum certification and the first project certified under the LEED for Core and Shell rating system.
Located on the site of the former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Headquarters, Lafayette Tower is adjacent to the White House and Lafayette Park. The 324,500 square-foot office building, bound by height restrictions, stands 130 feet, but has only 11 levels, creating higher ceilings for each floor. Structural columns are set back 15 feet from the perimeter to allow maximum sunlight and expansive views of downtown Washington, D.C. Below grade, the building has a health club, office space, and three levels of parking with space for 119 vehicles.
Lafayette Tower’s intricate façade is a glass curtain wall system consisting of 1,339 full-height, floor-to-ceiling individual units with 221 different unit types. The exterior plane changes create 102 corner offices on just 10 floors of office space, including 12 on the fourth floor. The curtain wall system’s features include slab-to-slab vision glass, three full building height architectural resets, 16 intermediate roof service decks, 27 glass soffits, and 10-foot-wide units with stainless steel exterior accent tubes at the building’s corners.
Demolition of the existing building on Lafayette Tower’s site, and the subsequent excavation and support of excavation, was a large challenge. The project required the demolition of the existing 11-story office building and three levels of below-grade parking. Moreover, the site is bound to the north and to the east by a 15-foot public alley, which separates Lafayette Tower from three, eight-story buildings, ranging from one to four levels below-grade. Its location less than a half mile from the White House required the project team to coordinate certain activities with the Secret Service.
The building's urban site and re-use of existing materials was integral to earning 48 credits in the USGBC's LEED for Core and Shell rating system. During demolition of the FDIC building, the project team recycled 92 percent of demolition waste including concrete, rebar, and aluminum and salvaged the existing foundation walls. Amenities designed to take advantage of the building's proximity to the White House and Washington, D.C. landmarks have sustainable elements; scenic outdoor decks, constructed with Forest Stewardship Council Certified ipe lumber, are surrounded by green roofs. Lafayette Tower's structural columns are set back 15 feet from the perimeter to allow for unobstructed views and maximum daylighting.
According to the USGBC, only three other projects in Washington, D.C. have achieved Platinum certification. Two interior spaces reached the milestone under the LEED for Commercial Interiors rating system and a school earned Platinum certification under LEED for New Construction rating system. Lafayette Tower is the first project certified under the LEED for Core and Shell rating system.