Federal Center South Modernization

Federal Center South: Three-story rectangular glass office building concept

An American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Project

Federal Center South Building, 1202 Redevelopment
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters, Seattle District, Washington

Project Background

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) invested $72 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding to develop a state-of-the-art office building that meets the current and future needs of the Army Corps and its Seattle workforce.

The GSA received authorization to redevelop/modernize the 1202 warehouse building at Federal Center South into a high performing green office building for the Seattle Office of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in March 2009.

The 1202 warehouse building was constructed in the early 1940s by the US Army. It has subsequently been owned by the Boeing Company and the GSA. The building was a timber-framed single story warehouse with exterior concrete walls. It was a rectangular plan enclosing approximately 350,000 square feet. The building was supported on shallow timber piles.


The project is a redevelopment/modernization of the existing 1202 warehouse located at Federal Center South. The building is approximately 330 feet wide by 1100 feet long and is immediately to the west of the historic Albert Kahn-designed Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant (Building 1201) completed in 1932, at 4735 East Marginal Way Seattle, WA.

The project site encompasses approximately 50% of the footprint of the old building. The 1202 building has been determined to not be historic. This project provides for the future space requirements of the USACE and is the pivotal undertaking for a campus-like site redevelopment that can accommodate the 30-year expansion requirements for a number of other Federal Agencies. This project will help to revitalize the neighborhood and will receive an architectural treatment that is responsive to its context and due to its adjacency to the historic 1201 building.

This redevelopment of the 1202 Warehouse was accomplished through a strategy of structure and materials reuse to greatest practicable extent, introduction of modern building systems and use of innovative technologies to meet HPGB strategies. The work also included seismic upgrades, replacement of the existing foundation pile system, stabilization of liquefiable soils and any associated site development.

Pursuing aggressive energy performance targets, the new building is anticipated to be one of the most sustainable office buildings in the nation. The building is on track to earn an ENERGY STAR Score of 100 – putting it in the top 1 percent of comparable buildings.

In addition to the green features, the building has a unique design suited to the Army Corps of Engineers mission of “build strong.” The U-shaped floor plan is representative of the original course of the Duwamish waterway and maximizes daylight and flexibility. The building faces the water to reflect the Army Corps of Engineers work with our nation’s waterways.

A Design Build Contract was awarded to Sellen Construction on March 26, 2010. Sellen Construction teamed up with ZGF Architects as the lead designer. Abatement and demolition started in July 2010. The project was completed in October 2012.

Performance, Environmental and Energy Features

  • Achieve LEED New Construction GOLD certification, with a goal of achieving Platinum.
  • 100% filtered outside air.
  • Meet Energy Star Score of 100.
  • Energy performance is to be 30% better than ASHRAE 90.1 2007 edition.
  • Target energy usage for all utilities is 28,200 BTU/GSF-yr.
  • Restoration of large areas of hardscape to green space.
  • Use of innovative integrated mechanical systems.
  • A rainwater collection system that captures water and stores it in a 25,000 gallon cistern for use in toilet flushing, irrigation, cooling, and landscaping.
  • Geothermal energy wells that extend 150 feet below ground and loop water for cooling and heating.
  • Thermal storage that ‘stores’ cold-energy for future use in the chilled beams to cool the office space.
  • An energy-efficient HVAC system using under-floor air distribution.
  • Reuse of nearly 200,000 board feet of structural timber and 100,00 board feet of wood decking that was salvaged from the adjacent decommissioned warehouse.

For more information, contact:
Public Affairs Officer Christi Chidester
Phone: 415-816-8512
Email: christina.chidester@gsa.gov

Last Reviewed: 2023-01-19