Merging innovation and sustainability, the six-story elliptical “Unisphere” in downtown Silver Spring represents the third phase of the expansion of United Therapeutics’ (UT) headquarters. The 210,000 sf smart building is the largest net zero commercial building site in the U.S., housing clinical operations for pulmonary disease, heart failure, and organ transplantation.

The building, which connects directly to UT’s laboratory, has increased office space, added structured parking, and 10,000 sf of retail space. It also houses a virtual drug development lab, In Silico molecular biology.

UT has worked with Schnabel Engineering DC (SEDC)* on several projects over the years, including the 2013 geotechnical engineering report for this project. Due to this established relationship and our knowledge of the subsoil characteristics of the site and Montgomery County’s Special Inspections program, UT hired SEDC to provide observation and testing services in support of construction by Whiting-Turner. Our involvement encompassed detailed tasks within the major construction activities of sheeting and shoring, shallow foundations and drilled shaft foundations, cast-in-place concrete for foundations, and general earthwork.

*SEDC is an affiliate of Schnabel Engineering, Inc.
Photo: © Kevin Weber