WASHINGTON, DC -  SmithGroup, one of the country's leading architecture and engineering firms, has been selected to provide full-service interior design and engineering services for the newly renovated building at 425 Eye Street, NW, in Washington, DC.

The General Services Administration recently signed a lease to take 285,000 square feet at the building on behalf of the Veterans Administration (VA). By June 2011, the VA will move nearly 1,000 employees into this "swing space" as its current home at the Lafayette Building undergoes a five year renovation. Cassidy Turley represented building owner Paramount Group in securing the 10-year lease.

SmithGroup recently completed a $20 million repositioning to the 1970s-era building, bringing it up to Class A standards. Renovations to 425 Eye Street include a new lobby, new restrooms, and a new glass and precast concrete façade. Paramount Group anticipated the growing tenant demand for eco-friendly facilities by investing in premium quality sustainable materials and systems and selecting SmithGroup's highly experienced team to execute its vision.

The building location affords immediate access to both downtown and Capitol Hill with multiple major arteries such as New York Avenue and 395, major bus routes, the Circulator and Metro just steps from the front door. Located in the heart of Mount Vernon Triangle, the unique contemporary design and first-class amenities of 425 Eye Street add to the vitality of this emerging neighborhood.

425 Eye Street is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council and is awaiting LEED Gold certification. Sustainable features include energy efficient mechanical and electrical systems including an energy measurement and verification plan for the zero ozone depleting central plant, energy recovery on the ventilation systems and variable frequency drives on all major HVAC equipment. Exterior wall systems are designed to minimize heat gain and restrooms feature low-flow plumbing fixtures.

Sustainable materials are used throughout the public spaces. The walls near the elevator core are covered in figured cherry wood paneling that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Construction was planned to divert the majority of construction waste to recycling plants. Amenities include a full service fitness center, and priority bike spaces in the parking garage along with priority parking spaces for energy efficient vehicles.

SmithGroup ranks as the 7th largest architecture and engineering firm in the U.S. (Building Design + Construction "Giants" survey, July 2009) and employs over 800. The firm is composed of client industry-focused practices serving the workplace, higher education, science and technology, healthcare, and cultural markets. With 346 LEED accredited professionals and 48 LEED certified projects, SmithGroup is a national leader in sustainable, environmentally intelligent design.

Source: SmithGroup, www.smithgroup.com

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