District Center

BACKGROUND

MetLife Investment Management’s District Center is a 910,000-square-foot commercial office building in the epicenter of Washington, D.C.’s east end. The building was originally constructed in 1994 (South Tower) and 1998 (North Tower), and underwent a replacement or upgrade of several of the building's major systems after being purchased by MetLife Investment Management in 2014. District Center is a first of its kind “smart” commercial office building with capability for smart tenant solutions, such as apps for personal control of lighting, HVAC, access control, and more.

The building is LEED® Gold EB certified, and MetLife Investment Management maximized energy efficiency and sustainability for lower operating costs and a higher LEED rating at the District Center. To achieve LEED Gold status, MetLife Investment Management targeted outcomes in energy efficient design, water use reduction, sustainable site selection and development, responsible materials selection and waste management, enhanced indoor environmental quality, energy efficient operations, and energy performance disclosure.

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MetLife Investment Management purchased the District Center in 2014 and embarked on a project to create one of the country’s first investor-driven, multi-tenant smart buildings. The acquisition budget included replacement or upgrade of several of the building's major systems, such as converting HVAC controls, replacing lighting panels, and upgrading the building electric meters and the access control system. MetLife Investment Management’s team researched options to leverage new technologies that would yield maximized return on investment, and commissioned a feasibility study which concluded that a holistic systems integration approach would offer opportunity for significant savings in energy and operations costs as well as direct benefits to occupant experience and productivity.

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SOLUTIONS

Phase 1 of the project was completed in December 2017 and consisted of the conversion for pneumatic HVAC controls to Direct Digital Controls (DDC), and the upgrade of the building’s access control and CCTV platforms. Phases 2 and 3 were completed in 2018 and incorporated lighting and submetering, as well as the development of the Supervisory Control Management System (SCMS). The SCMS was developed to aggregate the data from each of the systems into a common interface that provided a “single pane of glass” for various user groups to interact with all building technologies. Using a shared database for storage of all system data will take advantage of advance analytics tools to trigger actionable maintenance items based upon real time data. Because all systems have been connected to a single network, tenants will have the opportunity to support advanced workplace technologies that require interaction with previously unavailable building systems.

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The Smart Building systems architecture at District Center offers next-generation amenities not found in many comparable new builds. A secured IP facility network connects all building systems and provides advanced features only available when HVAC, lighting, access control and video surveillance systems are integrated and sharing data. 

The Smart Building features at District Center provide added value through:

  • Reduced O&M expense
  • More efficient control of HVAC and lighting
  • Real-time energy data for sustainability reporting/metrics
  • A smart building platform easily leveraged by tenant improvement (TI) project teams
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OTHER BENEFITS

The building's systems were designed to enable next-generation workplace solutions. District Center offers tenants the added value of greater comfort and convenience, improved worker productivity and employee satisfaction.

Overall, the project leveraged the knowledge of leaders in their field and selected a construction management team with the experience and understanding required for advanced systems integration projects. In addition, the building was able to identify installing contractors that were equally excited about the opportunity to demonstrate the value of full systems integration and willing to work through a plethora of technical challenges. Project team members donated a significant amount of time to make sure the project was a success and cost-effective.

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Annual Energy Use

(Source EUI)
Baseline (2014)
160 kBtu/sq. ft.
Actual (2018)
107 kBtu/sq. ft.

Energy Savings:

33%

Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2014)
$1,760,000
Actual (2018)
$1,210,000

Cost Savings:

31%

Sector Type

Commercial

Location

District Of Columbia

Project Size

910,000 Square Feet

Financial Overview

15% additional cost to make District Center a smart building

The District Center interior
The District Center interior

Rooftop of the District Center
Rooftop of the District Center

Basil growing in the rooftop garden
Basil growing in the rooftop garden