Integrated Teaming - Federal Center South Project

Federal Center South Building 1202Federal Center South Building 1202, a 209,000 gross square foot building located in Seattle, WA and built in 2012, is one of the highest-performing office buildings in the United States. This new construction project used a design-build delivery method with ZGF Architects LLP as the architect and Sellen Construction as the general contractor. The building transformed a 4.6-acre brownfield site into a highly flexible and sustainable regional headquarters for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Northwest District.

Atrium of Federal Center South Building 1202This $65 million dollar project began in July 2010 and was completed in September 2012. The project is a redevelopment/modernization of the existing 1202 warehouse located at Federal Center South and encompasses approximately 50% of the footprint of the old building.that originally stood at the site. 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. The project team was able to achieve a beautiful designed workplace using technically complex systems within challenging budget and schedule constraints. A major source of complexity on this project was potentially contaminated soil and proximity to complex natural hydrological forces. This risk was mitigated by the GSA engaging actively as the site owner, granting early site access to the project team and obtaining information in a timely manner.

Best Practices and Lessons Learned:

  • Use of an interactive RFP process that begins with a flexible approach to the scope of work. The open-ended scope encourages proposals that expand ideas on building performance and a variety of approaches for how these goals can be achieved. In the Federal Center South Building 1202 project, these ideas ended up being part of the "betterments list," a prioritized list of add-ons to the project that was tracked and included in the project scope as budget allowed.
  • Building performance verification was programmed into the Federal Center South Building 1202 project from the beginning. GSA withheld 0.5% of the project fee from the project teams until building performance goals were met. "I think [a verification phase] is really critical and something we would absolutely recommend for all future projects. The ability to react and understand how all the different components fit together and work together just can't be underestimated." – Federal Center South team member
  • The Federal Center South project benefited from situations that created the time for a deliberate pace in the early planning phase. This allowed the teams to develop a strong set of core values and identify problems to anticipate complexities in the project. While not always possible in every project, if time can be budgeted early on and used to build the team, the payoff provides a high return on investment.
  • A lesson learned at Federal Center South was that the lack of a designated person from the team to interface with the tenant's departments created unnecessarily complicated situations, such as schedule challenges created by late identification of specialized needs.

Commercial Strategies

  • Design-build project delivery
  • Performance-based firm fixed price contract that withheld 0.5% of contract until performance goals were met
  • Transparent contingency

Leadership Strategies

  • Used onboarding and leveraged project interactions to facilitate team building
  • Team selection based on trust
  • Alignment throughout

Logistical and Process Tactics

  • Betterments list to track potential project improvements against available funds
  • Design work packages matching construction stages

High Performance Green Building Statistics for Federal Center South Building 1202 [PNG - 74 KB]

Last Reviewed: 2022-07-14