The Washington D.C. Water Building

While visiting Washington D.C. for the SMPS Build Business conference I had the pleasure of photographing the D.C. Water Headquarters, designed by SmithGroup. This project has been on my radar as it’s been touted as another one of SmithGroup’s excellent executions of sustainable design.

The beautifully planted green roof reduces stormwater runoff and contains a lush native planting to absorb rainwater.

Estimated to be one of the most energy efficient buildings in the region, the treatment plant utilizes an innovative wastewater thermal recovery system that will capture heat from the flowing influent in the winter while providing a heat sink in the summer months. A heat-recovery chiller in the building is run by the heat transfer between wastewater piping and a separate clean-water loop. This system is then connected to a series of fan-powered thermal units to provide space heating or cooling as necessary.

This unique building was a pleasure to photograph. Located on the banks of the Potomac River, it’s curvilinear design is unlike any structure I have photographed. I really enjoyed the play of light and reflection on the glass and metal panels which made for fun opportunities to capture abstract details.

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