Washington, DC

American Geophysical Union

Service Type

Project Type

62,000 SF


WBC Craftsmanship Awards, Finishes, Ceramic Tile and Terrazzo; ABC Metro Washington and Virginia Chapters Excellence in Construction Awards, Award of Excellence; Department of Energy and the Environment, Clean Energy DC Award (first ever recipient)

18AGU is an organization dedicated to advancing science and ensuring a sustainable future. Their headquarters–built in 1993–required replacement of all of the building systems. AGU seized upon the opportunity to address the direct connection between climate change and use of fossil fuels to heat and cool buildings. The organization chose to design and engineer the modernization of the building to meet net zero energy goals. In so doing, AGU will be able to showcase real-world scientific advancement through innovative sustainable technology. The project is expected to be a model for reducing the carbon and environmental impacts of business operations by testing and implementing new technologies.

AGU also sought to use their headquarters to better connect with the public and their membership. The interior spaces are created as a welcoming and collaborative environment that facilitates the exchange of scientific findings related to Earth and space science. The workspace design further enables collaboration via multiple meeting spaces and shared facilities. It also fosters wellness with daylight spaces, an inviting communicating stair and an upgraded fitness center.

The Board approval represents a significant milestone capping off an 18-month-long multi-step approval process. Throughout, AGU’s and Hickok Cole Architects’ goal has been to respect the historic values of the surrounding area, and ensure public understanding of the project and its potential impacts. The project has received unanimous endorsements from Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B (ANC 2B), and unanimous approvals from the Historic Preservation Review Board and the Board of Zoning Adjustment. The organization, which has been part of the Dupont Circle neighborhood for nearly 40 years, also has strong support from the surrounding community, and the Dupont Circle Citizens Association.

AGU received the very first DOEE Clean Energy DC Award in April, 2019 to honor its commitment to sustainability through our newly renovated headquarters building. In recognition of this commitment, Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 at AGU’s renovated building. This historic piece of legislation requires electricity in the city to come from 100% renewable sources by 2032, among other sustainable initiatives and incentives.

Below is a video produced by Saint-Gobain North America and SageGlass where Janice Lachance, Executive Vice President for Strategic Leadership and Global Outreach for AGU, Chris McEntee, Executive Director and CEO of AGU, and Hickok Cole’s Guilherme Almeida, Project Designer for AGU discuss AGU’s journey to NetZero and the use of SageGlass products in the renovation.

Visit AGU website.