Seattle’s Jackson Federal Building Recognized for Green Features

Our nation’s federal buildings are continuing to lead the way in efficient, green building standards. The latest to get recognized for its sustainability features was the Jackson Federal Building in downtown Seattle, Wa. At last week’s 2014 Design-Build Industry (DBIA) Conference and Expo, the building was honored with an Excellence in Teaming Recognition and named a National Award of Excellence winner in the Rehabilitation/Renovation/Restoration category.

Seattle's Jackson Federal Building gets recognized at 2014 Design-Build Industry (DBIA) Conference and Expo.
Seattle’s Jackson Federal Building gets recognized at 2014 Design-Build Industry (DBIA) Conference and Expo.

The 1970’s flagship Seattle building, the largest federal office building in GSA’s Northwest/Arctic Region, was outfitted with new electrical switchgear, heating/air conditioning and ventilation systems, and lighting and associated controls. The facility also underwent window and wall renovation. The $42 million project, completed by contractor Howard S. Wright, was started in March 2010 and completed in August 2012.

Project Facts

  • GSA cost-effectively replaced 3,500 windows by using the original company who still had the dies for the unusually sized and shaped windows.
  • GSA replaced all lighting and lighting control systems.
  • GSA used a Design-Build contract with a measurement and verification component to ensure the contractual energy goals were reached.
  • The project was completed while the facility was fully occupied and operational without disruption to tenant agencies and their mission. This was accomplished by an intense phasing and coordination effort.
  • The building earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Existing Building Operations and Maintenance Gold certification in May 2014.


The project is already saving taxpayers nearly $400,000 annually in operation costs and driving down greenhouse gas emissions highlighting GSA’s ongoing commitment to superior environmental performance and maintaining federal buildings that reduce operating costs and save taxpayer dollars.

Comparing Fiscal Year 2013 to Fiscal Year 2010, the building is showing a 30 percent savings in annual electric use and a 63 percent savings in steam energy use. Overall the energy use intensity has dropped 40 percent from the start of the construction to the end FY 2013. In addition, the project reduced the greenhouse gas emissions by over 40 percent in Fiscal Year 2013 and is on target to realize a reduction of 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions on average by Fiscal Year 2015.

The DBIA Conference and Expo highlights exemplary projects that not only achieve budget and schedule goals, but that also apply innovative design and build techniques and include integrated project management best practices.

Design Building Institute of America Award Winners

GSA Sustainability

JFB photos