Falls Church, Virginia

Co|Lab is a space dedicated to bringing ideas to life and aims to serve as a hub for research and testing of emerging materials, approaches, and technology that will rapidly transform the construction and real estate industries. HITT Contracting and Co|Lab are dedicated to setting a new industry standard for productivity and efficiencies, elevating the business of building, and engaging the next generation of builders with educational opportunities. 

The two-floor, state-of-the-art facility is LEED v4 Platinum certified, and targeting ILFI’s Petal and Net Zero Energy certifications. With a focus on healthy, red-list-free material selection, the building will meet the most rigorous environmentally sustainable standards. Some critical sustainable features of the project include the mass timber structure using cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glulam, high-performance concrete rainscreen façade, the roof-mounted solar panel array, and its ultra-efficient MEP design. The CLT is a prefabricated, engineered timber product that provides design flexibility and limits environmental impacts compared to traditional structures. The Co|Lab facility is the first CLT structure in Virginia.

The rooftop photovoltaic solar array has over 2,800 sf of space using SunPower 360w panels. These solar panels are designed to provide the building’s annual power usage. The MEP design includes variable refrigerant flow HVAC systems, a modern version of a traditional heat pump system where localized fan coil units are leveraged to create multizone systems. Additionally, the facility houses water-based Radiant Heat Flooring, a hydronic system that uses a liquid in a closed loop recirculating system to flow under and through flooring for efficient and consistent warmth. At Co|Lab, it is a hot water system that leverages electrical energy from the solar array to provide cost-effective hot water and to heat the bay areas year-round. Lastly, the facility utilizes a BAS Controls + Dashboard, a critical component in achieving efficient building operations and Net Zero Energy. Monitoring the building systems will provide crucial data analytics in real time on building performance, as well as reporting on trends over time. To achieve net zero operations, the rooftop solar array is projected to produce 118 percent of the building’s anticipated annual energy needs. Certification will be earned upon review of 12 months of performance data. Co|Lab’s energy performance will be tracked on the BAS Controls + Dashboard to closely monitor energy production and consumption.

Now open, Co|Lab will continue to rely heavily on collaboration with our industry partners to improve the way we build. Learn more on Co|Lab’s website:

Project Highlights
  • AIA DC, Partnership for the Planet Award, 2020
  • AIA DC, Chapter Design Award, Architecture, 2020
  • NAIOP Northern Virginia Award of Excellence, Buildings R&D / Industrial / Flex, 2019
  • U.S. WoodWorks Wood Design Award, Regional Excellence, 2020