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Prefabrication in Government Buildings

The upfront expense of prefabricated construction might seem like a poor use of a facility improvement budget at first glance, but we know this is a wise investment. Don't believe us? The DC Water Headquarters building would beg to differ.

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DC Water provides water and sewer service to the people of Washington, D.C. Their headquarters (which they affectionately call HQO) is built over an old pump station that’s working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They didn’t want to leave that behind, but their building had been cobbled together over decades and their staff was spread out all over the city. It was time for a change.

To hold onto their history and upgrade their infrastructure, they wanted to create something new on the existing waterfront location. But DC Water is also playing the long game. They've been around for more than a century. That’s long enough to know that everything evolves. What works today won't work forever. This new building was going to be above the 500-year flood plain, so future-proofing the space was a priority.

Having worked with DIRTT before, DC Water knew that prefabricated construction could give them the sleek aesthetics today and the ability react to the needs of their 350 employees tomorrow. In the space you can see a modern glass look that lets in the light. What you can’t see is the DIRTT modular power and passive optical networks (PON) running through the walls and under the raised floor. They make installation easy. And because they’re quick-connect, it means reconfiguring is just as easy.

If an office needs to become a huddle room. If their boardroom needs a tech upgrade. If anything needs to change, DIRTT is ready to evolve. It’s like their executive vice president Maureen Holman says, “We’ve been here 100 years. We’ll be here at least 100 more.”

Read the Full Case Study

Read more about the goals of the DC Water Headquarters and why they chose prefabrication.

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