The Washington Post profiles GSA Building 48 and its breakthrough sustainable design

Building 48 northwest basement rendering

October 12, 2023

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We are excited to share our work with the General Services Administration on Building 48 at the Denver Federal Center has been profiled as part of a feature piece in The Washington Post titled, "Old U.S. government buildings get a second life fighting climate change."

The article documents how the 2021 Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Industries and Jobs through Federal Sustainability directed the government to become carbon-neutral by 2050, with federal buildings to meet this target by 2045. More specifically, it set in motion a plan to transform "Building 48, once a World War II munitions plant, into a leading-edge workplace for the Department of the Interior."

Building 48 entry canopy rendering
Building 48 Forest rendering


  • To me, this is just an incredible opportunity for the government to lead by example. Think about it: Where do emissions come from? Buildings, cars, power production, manufacturing. And we touch a whole bunch of those things.”

    Robin Carnahan Administrator of the US General Services Administration

To achieve its ambitious transformation, Building 48 infuses sustainable design strategies focused on energy, operational and embodied carbon, daylighting, building site, adaptive reuse and sustainable transit. We've documented the project in more detail previously.

Moreover, Building 48 achieves all these goals with standard systems essentially available to everyone. The project is proof that standard systems strategically designed for optimal outcomes can lead to remarkable results.