80 M Street SE, Washington, DC
Columbia Property Trust
Targeting LEED Gold
80 M, SE is located in Washington DC’s Navy Yard neighborhood. The project is a vertical addition/extension to an existing seven-story building. The project looks to add two full floors of trophy class office space with 17’-0” ceiling heights. An occupied penthouse level will add additional office density as well as a roof top terrace and building social space.
The design team is proposing the use of mass timber for the additional floors. Over the last couple of years, a group of architects, designers, and researchers at Hickok Cole, in partnership with Arup, have undertaken a number of design and structural studies to make the case for feasibility for a market in DC, Virginia and Maryland. Many designers are returning to natural materials such as wood for the inherent aesthetic benefits. Some of this is likely due to its biophilic nature: wood not only helps create a beautiful space, but research has found that it also improves productivity, health, and wellness. While these may seem like subjective benefits, mass timber office buildings on the West Coast are seeing average office rents increase $7 per square foot. On the sustainability front, mass timber is the only truly renewable construction material, as well as the only material that can remove carbon from the atmosphere for the lifetime of its usage. Increased demand for these new wood products can help revitalize local economies, as well as encourage responsible, sustainable forestry practices.