National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Washington, DC
Completed 2011

Reorganization of 161,500-sf headquarters office, including workspaces, laboratories and conference center.


As the National Transportation Safety Board’s mission evolves to support the advancement of transportation safety, its space responds. Increased staffing, changes in organizational structure, and a new emphasis on technology spurred a rethinking of how workspaces could be reorganized to support mission-critical functions. To support the agency’s increased transparency, a public reception area for press conferences was added.

Renovating the office included significant challenges, including a tight budget, constraints inherent to the existing building, and the need for specialized spaces, including testing laboratories and secured areas. The NTSB team also needed to remain "in place" as the facilities were renovated, and with very little swing space. It was imperative that the renovation not disrupt continuing operations; a core function of the NTSB is to respond swiftly and efficiently to transportation emergencies, with 24/7 operations such as the Communications Center and on-call "go-teams."

The design solution began with a conducted a detailed site survey, which evaluated pertinent architectural and engineering infrastructure elements and systems. Next, a study examined NTSB’s current and projected future space requirements. Three phased alternatives were devised for each floor, ranging in cost and level of intervention; this helped the NTSB make an informed decision that best suited its needs. Phasing improved efficiency while minimizing staff disruption, essential to the agency’s operations. It also enhanced cost and schedule control.

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