Seattle Federal Building is a Sustainability Star

There are public buildings, and there are stars, and all sustainability measures indicate that GSA’s Federal Center South Building 1202 in Seattle is a star. Recently, the building — home of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Seattle District Headquarters — received a technology award from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and a LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC).

Seattle's Federal Center South
Seattle’s Federal Center South.

These recognitions highlight Federal Center South Building 1202 role as one of the leading energy-efficient buildings in the country, and GSA’s ongoing commitment to building and maintaining high-performance green buildings, while reducing operating costs, saving taxpayer money, and providing a healthier work space for federal agencies.

Facts About Federal Center South Building 1202

  • The design-build team, led by Sellen Construction and ZGF Architects, transformed a 1940s warehouse into a 209,000-square-foot, 21st century workplace for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District Headquarters.
  • More than 190,000 board feet of timbers and 150,000 board feet of 2×6 decking from the old warehouse were reused for the new building. This amounts to almost 75 percent of the lumber from the old facility.
  • Innovative elements include a rainwater collection system that captures water and stores it in a 25,000 gallon cistern for use in toilet flushing, thermal storage that ‘stores’ cold-energy for future use, an energy-efficient HVAC system using under-floor air distribution, geothermal energy wells that extend 150 feet below ground and loop water for cooling and heating, and lighting controls that adjust to maximize daylight.
  • The project diverted 99.94 percent of the on-site generated construction waste from landfill.
  • 28.4 percent of the total building materials value includes materials and products that have been manufactured and extracted within 500 miles of the project site.
  • 32.22 percent of the total building materials content, by value, was manufactured using recycled material. and 10.69 percent of the materials are salvaged, refurbished, or reused
  • The project has implemented the reuse of rainwater for toilet flushing and irrigation, resulting in a total potable water use reduction of 62.5 percent when compared to a baseline usage for other newly constructed buildings.

Visit to learn more about Federal Center South Building 1202, GSA’s sustainable design program, the LEED green building certification program. For more information about the ASHRAE Technology Award, visit