Transformation of 20 Mass. Featured in ENR MidAtlantic

July 28, 2023

Rather than razing the site and starting over, developer The RMR Group opted to reuse the trapezoidal-shaped structural skeleton for the new mixed-use development called “20 Mass.”  In the ENR MidAtlantic article “Team Performs Surgery to Transform Former D.C. Federal Building,” Irene Savakova, a design principal with architecture firm Leo A Daly, explains how the team “cut out large sections of floor plates to create atriums—one full height and another rising three stories” in order to produce the desired interior environment. The transformation of the building at 20 Massachusetts Ave. also involved adding three floors and a full-height eastward expansion for a total addition of over 100,000 square feet (Parsons, 2023).

Image from ENR MidAtlantic article linked below, listing credit to Leo A Daly

SK&A Structural Engineers was pleased to take part in this project’s transformation, working together with The RMR Group, Leo A Daly, and DPR Construction. SK&A’s work at this site began early on, in 2019, with testing and inspection services to investigate the existing structure. Later, in 2021, we performed a garage condition survey and developed specifications for potential repairs. We then went on to serve as the Structural Engineer of Record for the massive addition and renovation.

After spending most of its 50-year history as office space for the federal government, the new 425,433 square foot mixed use development will feature a 274-room Royal Sonesta Hotel, ground floor retail, and Class A office space. Leo A Daly Project Architect Andrew Graham commends the design and construction team on their collaboration throughout the project’s execution, saying “as challenges arose, all of us have worked together to solve them.” Likewise, the developer praised the “collaborative effort to mitigate issues that might have delayed progress” (Parsons, 2023).

SK&A recognizes the members of our team who have worked on this project: Hakan Onel, PE, SE, Monika Crandall, PE, LEED AP, and Anda Shi, PE (Engineering Design); Charles Mitchell, Tony Ivory, and Oscar Lopez (Testing + Inspections); and David Klein, PE, Karan Gowda, EIT, and Loyan Hashi (Garage Condition Survey).


Parsons, J. (2023 Feb 14). Team Performs Surgery to Transform Former D.C. Federal Building. ENRMidAtlantic.