CFA 21/JUN/12-5


Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant
5000 Overlook Avenue, SW
United States

DC Water
Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant
New combined heat and power generation facility–Phase III
Review Type


Dear Mr. Hawkins:

In its meeting of 21 June, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed two submissions from DC Water for the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant: the concept design for a combined heat and power generation facility–the third phase of the new bio–solids management program—and an overall plan for exterior colors and materials of the buildings at Blue Plains.

The Commission approved the concept design of the heat and power generation facility with the suggestion that some of the small features and details of the complex should be accented with color to introduce a more human scale. The Commission members also recommended that the buildings be constructed with highly reflective or green roofs to achieve a superior level of energy efficiency, emphasizing that this new facility and its surrounding site should be an exemplar of low–impact design and sustainability. The Commission delegated review of the final design of this facility to the staff.

In considering the overall plan for the exterior character at Blue Plains, the Commission members were sympathetic to security concerns but suggested that the proposed strategy be reconsidered. They did not support the idea that drab buildings are less likely to be targets and advocated thoughtful design for even the most utilitarian of buildings, reiterating their support for the use of more color on the buildings and structures within the plant. Given DC Water's prominence in environmental management, they recommended the development of an overall landscape plan for Blue Plains to promote and achieve the highest attainable level of ecology, sustainability, and energy efficiency.

The Commission looks forward to the review of the comprehensive landscape plan. As always, the staff is available to assist with your next submission.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

George S. Hawkins
General Manager
DC Water
5000 Overlook Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20032

cc: Katherine Cahill, DC Water
Andi Adams, Goulston & Storrs