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US Coast Guard Headquarters

The Challenge

Located on St. Elizabeth’s West Campus, the site of the future US Coast Guard Headquarters Building posed a significant design challenge due to a 120-foot change in elevation on the 176-acre project site making the management of stormwater a paramount concern. Additionally, the groundbreaking date of December 1, 2010 was a challenge considering the project final site design began in September of 2010; the team had only a short 3 months.

Soltesz is proud to be the principal civil engineer on the Clark Construction design-build team. When completed in the first quarter of 2013, the new US Coast Guard Headquarters building will feature an 11-story office building providing about a 1.2 million square feet facility for 3,900 employees, a separate central utility plant, and two 7-story parking garages.

The Soltesz Solution

The headquarters building’s design took advantage of the natural topography and stepped down the 120-foot change in elevation. Soltesz designed a central stormwater facility at the lowest portion of the site that collected and treated all of the drainage. Conveyance to this facility was critical and to ensure a non-erosive as well as sustainable design was achieved, Soltesz designed a series of stepped plunge pools leading to the central facility. The main building features approximately 400,000 SF of green roof – the largest green roof of its kind in the country. To achieve the scheduled groundbreaking challenge, Soltesz graded the entire site at one time taking into account possible future design changes to the building design (in September of 2010, the building was at the 30% design stage) and permitted a “rough Grading Plan” through the District of Columbia’s Department of the Environment in time for the critical groundbreaking.

General Services Administration
Clark Construction
Washington, DC