Photo of the San Francisco Federal Building. A progressive blast resistant building in a busy metropolitan area.

Is it possible to conform to General Services Administration (GSA) C-level security standards and build an aesthetically pleasing, LEED certified building? GSA discovered it is.

Hinman used their proprietary GreenBlast™ design techniques as they worked with designer, Morphosis, to consolidate scattered agencies and build a four-section, 575,000 sq. ft. developmental cornerstone in San Francisco’s mid-market and Civic Center area. The building includes an 18-floor reinforced concrete shear wall structure, a childcare center, a five-story, structural steel-braced frame bar building; and a freestanding, reinforced concrete café pavilion.

Hinman is especially proud of its GreenBlast™ design, the integration of blast-resistant and sustainable design concepts that protect both built and natural environments. For instance, Hinman designed this building to use natural ventilation while engineering a way for them to slam shut in case of an explosion.

The GSA wanted security features to be transparent--functional yet unseen--so Hinman and the design team collaborated early on to reach an invisible but effective level of security. A passer-by would never know, but the building’s layout intentionally maintained distance between critical and occupied spaces and high-risk entry-points while site architecture and plaza furniture provide innate anti-ram perimeter protection. 

The  building’s blast-mitigating design for each section, loading scenario, and structural type ensured its ability to stand under any number of disasters.