Washington, DC

American Geophysical Union

Service Type

Project Type

62,000 SF


AGU 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.

With approval secured from the proper agencies and regulatory bodies, Hickok Cole Architects and project partners are now preparing for the first phase of construction to begin in March 2017.

Visit AGU website.