GPI is pleased to announce that their office at 530 Gaither Road, Suite 100, Rockville, MD has been awarded LEED Platinum certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Interior Design and Construction category. GPI is the first engineering firm in the State of Maryland to achieve the highest level of certification for their own space.

“Our LEED Platinum certification demonstrates our commitment to the environment and sustainability to our clients and community. We understand the importance of a sustainable engineering design approach to HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems,” said GPI Senior Vice President Lew Brode. “I would like to congratulate our entire design and construction team for achieving this level of certification. It exemplifies our dedication to the design of high quality, sustainable spaces for GPI and for our clients.”

Lew adds, “It was important that we design our office as a ‘lab’ to showcase our sustainable features so that we could easily share this knowledge with our friends in the AEC industry. Education is extremely important to GPI. We have hosted over 30 educational presentations in our office in 2013 to both friends in the industry, as well as to our own employees.”

Site selection was the critical first step. GPI worked with Adam Schindler of Serten Advisors (formerly Studley), to find a location convenient to staff, that allowed for GPI’s preconceived vision of their space, and that was sustainable in its own right. First Potomac’s Redland Corporate Center proved to be the perfect fit, as the first generation space that GPI chose features proximity to the Shady Grove Metro station and multiple bus lines, carpool and fuel efficient vehicle designated parking, bicycle parking and locker rooms, and other excellent amenities.

GPI provided the engineering design for their own office, working with FORM Architects and Rand* Construction to complete the project. GPI utilized in-house 3D Laser Scanning to develop an accurately detailed 3D Revit model to allow for coordinated trade work. While most new tenants want to showcase finishes, GPI wanted to showcase the engineering systems they designed to make the space ‘work’. GPI desired an open ceiling structure to allow for display of the engineering infrastructure including fan powered VAV boxes, exhaust fans with fabric duct socks, a chilled beam cassette, ductwork, cable trays, control circuitry, and photo sensors. Employing a detailed model for overlay of trade drawings including the reflected ceiling plan allowed GPI to more easily determine how ceiling mounted systems could be showcased.

Relationships with product vendors proved to be invaluable. The design team did not just specify, purchase, and install equipment and systems. Manufacturers provided input on equipment selections and the installation was carefully coordinated with contractors. Design and construction teams had weekly construction meetings and the end results were unquestionably improved because of this open and constant communication.

To reach the goal of Platinum certification, green features implemented in the office include:

  • More than 80% of the office work areas have access to daylight and views
  • A high level of indoor air quality was maintained during construction and occupancy through the use of low emitting materials and high performance ventilation and filtration measures
  • Optimized energy performance of HVAC
  • Optimized energy performance utilizing a digital lighting management system with integrated occupancy sensors and lighting controls that automatically turns off lights and general purpose receptacles (plug load monitoring)
  • Utilization of electric submetering to measure electric power usage of kW used for lighting, HVAC, and convenience power (plug load)
  • High efficiency flush valves, waterless urinals, and low-flow water fixtures to achieve 41% water savings
  • More than 81.8% of construction and demolition waste was diverted from landfills through recycling and salvage measures
  • Materials for the office include 29% recycled content, 38.7% regional content, and 79.3% certified wood
  • A recycling program for paper, glass, aluminum and plastic
  • Use of 100% Green Power
  • Green Cleaning
  • Enhanced Commissioning provided by an independent Third Party

“We are proud to have achieved the highest level of certification. The LEED Platinum label validates our commitment to provide our clients with design of energy efficient, cost effective, and productive work spaces,” commented GPI Vice President Igor Livshin. “We are enthusiastic to share our LEED Platinum certified office and we continue to demonstrate our willingness to share our knowledge with the AEC industry through the AIA registered classes we present to architects, property managers, and building owners in the DC Metro area.”

For more information or for a tour of GPI’s office, contact Winona Leaman, LEED AP at

GPI has recently won the following awards:  2013 IIDA Silver Premiere Design Award: Gate Group North American Headquarters, 2013 Consulting-Specifying Engineer MEP Giant, 2013 Washington Business Journal Top 25 Engineering Companies, and 2013 Engineering News Record Top Design Firm.