Construction is underway on Portman Holdings' new 750,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use complex project, Coda. Overlooking Atlanta’s Downtown Connector and flanking Georgia Tech’s campus at Tech Square, Coda will feature a 630,000-sq.-ft., 21-floor Class “T” Office Tower, an 80,000-sq.-ft. high-performance computing (HPC) data center, 50,000-sq.-ft. office, retail and lobby space, and 330,000-sq.-ft. parking garage. Coda will occupy a full city block. DPR is working with the development team of Portman Holdings (Office Tower) and NextTier HD (Data Center) to complete the project.
The project includes a unique preservation of the historic Crum & Forster building. DPR will clean and restore the 1927 exterior, while giving new life to its interior as restaurant and entertainment space. With five levels of underground parking, the center includes a challenging mass excavation of 140,000 cubic yards.
Georgia Tech will serve as an anchor office tenant—taking approximately half of the project with a long-term lease—housing academic and leading-edge research programs in computing and advanced big data analytics. The remaining space will be available for corporate entities and partners, fostering collaboration with private industry through interdisciplinary research “neighborhoods.”
The project includes a high-performance computing (HPC) data center which will engage new corporate partners, faculty with research interests in modeling and simulation, network, computer and infrastructure providers, sensor network providers, and students and entrepreneurs from young start-up companies. This eclectic group of hosted companies and programs will constitute a new social model of the “research to commercial” path. This center will model the best practices of these concepts.
The urban streetscape and ground-floor retail space will be an extension of the highly energetic “main street” feel of Technology Square. Designed to inspire, the building will facilitate a sustainable, innovative ecosystem that integrates the existing assets of Technology Square with new opportunities in interdisciplinary research, economic development, commercialization and sustainability. Green features include waste heat recovery, rainwater harvesting and smart grid for utility infrastructure.
When DPR was brought onboard during the design development stage, the project already had a fixed budget and architectural design excellence expectations. One particular challenge was a 330,000-sq.-ft. curtainwall system which was 30% over budget. After estimating the cost drivers in the curtainwall systems, DPR was able to implement a design-assist approach to bring on a trade partner to engineer and manufacture cost-effective details and profiles. Leveraging national relationships, DPR solicited bids and selected a subcontractor in eight weeks. Ultimately, the selection saved $11 million.
The building has multiple unique sustainability features including chilled beams, twin stack elevators and is targeted for LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.