Net Zero Hero

Net Zero Hero

The American Geophysical Union Headquarters

As the first net zero energy office renovation in the Mid-Atlantic, American Geophysical Union’s new headquarters delivers a collaborative, contemporary workplace environment that embodies the organization’s mission to advance earth and space sciences and serves as a transparent data resource to catalyze more high-performance buildings of its kind.

Located at 2000 Florida Avenue, this milestone of a project represents a new path forward for high-performance buildings in the District and beyond. AGU’s new headquarters showcases real-world scientific advancement through innovative sustainable technology, serving as a model for reducing the carbon and environmental impacts of business operations by testing and implementing new technologies.

AGU is committed to serving as a living lab and designed its new home to engage with and educate the public. The resulting design transforms the ground floor with an interactive exhibit showcasing member research with expanded street-level vitrine bays that invite pedestrians to peek inside.


A welcoming lounge and shared workspace provide a home away from home for AGU’s visiting members to connect with and collaborate among their peers. A flexible, state-of-the-art conference center allows AGU to host internal events, social functions for members, or educational programming open to the public.

Regularly offered public tours allow visitors to explore the building and increase awareness around high-performance design. Throughout, informational graphics highlight AGU’s mission and indicate points of interest, including an open command center and systems room on the concourse level.


A custom mix of workplace strategies address both high-performance and wellness to deliver a modern and collaborative environment staff can enjoy. A new open office, supplemented with flexible huddle and conference rooms, replaces opaque perimeter rooms to foster collaboration and maximize daylight into the building’s core.

Seeking to unite staff across three working floors, openings cut into existing slabs make way for a new central connecting stair, promoting physical activity and providing easy access to a new café and shared amenities.

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) Net Zero Energy Headquarter Renovation

AGU’s headquarters combats limited square footage in an urban environment with a custom mix of sustainable strategies–including the country’s first municipal sewer heat exchange system, PV arrays, a green roof, and a radiant ceiling cooling system–that together meet net zero energy standards.

Going the Extra Mile

Doing something for the first time can be challenging. That’s why AGU hired the owner’s representative, architect, engineer, and general contractor to work together from the start. The project launched with a two-day charette, including AGU facility management and leadership. Representatives from the DOEE, NREL, and DC Water were invited to anticipate any obstacles and gain a holistic understanding of the project goals and sustainable systems. Together, they navigated an extensive entitlement process to gain approvals from the local Board of Zoning, Historic Preservation Board, and ANC. AGU’s transparent approach kept the neighborhood informed throughout, securing their support and approval through regular communication about the project’s purpose and milestones.

History Made

AGU received the first DOEE Clean Energy DC Award in April, 2019, honoring their commitment to sustainability and were recognized by Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser when she signed the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 at their headquarters. A large component of the historic legislation will require electricity in the city to come from 100% renewable sources by 2032.


2000 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC


American Geophysical Union


Interface Engineering
HITT Contracting
Tadjer-Cohen-Edelson Associates
Eric Laignel


61,471 SF


Office, Workplace