4TH STREET LIVE!

GSA Fit-up | Louisville, KY

The Project

When selecting a location for a new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USCIS) Office, the General Services Administration looked to 4th Street Live! as an ideal spot. This office serves as a regional location for federal services related to immigration and naturalization. Therefore, 4th Street Live’s centralized downtown location with conveniences for both employees and users of the field office was the perfect location to meet the goal of increasing access to USCIS services for applicants in the Louisville regional area. Along with specific program needs, the GSA required certain sustainability requirements, specifically a LEED certification for the fit-up.

4th Street Live! had not completed a LEED project before and asked Paladin to support the design and owner teams in strategy development, credit documentation, and certification support. The 18,500 sq. ft. interior fit-up consists of new air terminal units, lighting, reworked plumbing, and electrical. The floor layout is efficiently organized into public and semi-public spaces; interview, customer services and supervisory areas; FO director offices and analyst open workstations; and back of house support and security functions. The project takes advantage of large, glazed openings and tall ceilings in the public waiting room, tenant teaming, and break rooms. Ceremonies, seminars, and other large events are held in the Natz Room directly adjacent to reception. While maintaining a quiet internal environment, employees have access to numerous nearby urban amenities in the downtown business district.
The Work

During planning, the project chose to pursue LEED Certification v4 Commercial Interiors. Additional project goals and objectives identified and carried throughout the project included:

  • Meet the fit-up requirements as provided by the GSA.
  • Maintain the existing project budget.
  • Utilize the efficiencies inside the existing Central Utility Plant.
  • Complete building by winter 2021.

For this project, Paladin completed both LEED Administration/Sustainability Consulting and Commissioning. The project team’s first LEED for Commercial Interiors project had a particular early goal of optimizing design credits to reduce documentation burden on anticipated contractors. Repurposing a food court presented its own design limitations, such as the one exterior-facing façade and an existing centralized heating and cooling plant. Therefore, the “traditional sustainability features” like daylighting, views, and enhanced mechanical designs were not available to the project.

However, the location and amenities made this project a promising LEED candidate. Out of the 19 available Location and Transportation credit points, the project was awarded 17 points for its location in a densely occupied urban environment with excellent transit opportunities, and its parking infrastructure managed to encourage use of readily available transit. Paladin addressed efficiency and indoor environmental quality by fully revamping the plumbing layout and fixture/fitting selection to reduce consumption and focusing on minimizing energy consumption through process loads as well as connected loads. Without the availability of daylight, emphasis was placed on the quality of the interior lighting to improve the occupant experience.

The Impact

During commissioning, the project focused on ease of operations. Construction during the pandemic impacted supply chain and labor availability, so the attention to detail and continuity brought by commissioning testing was very important to closing installation and integration gaps. Consistent follow-up revealed that items identified during testing were resolved successfully leaving USCIS, GSA, and 4th Street Live! with improved maintainability and tenant satisfaction.

Combined, the project was able to deliver on all defined objectives within the scope of control: LEED Certification, tenant fit-up requirements satisfied, project budget maintained, and utilization of the Central Utility Plant infrastructure. The pandemic forced the scheduled occupancy to shift from February to July.