Building With... Not For

U.S. Custom House

Historic Renovation


Originally constructed in 1931, this project required that Centerre preserve and protect the historic fabric of the building and coordinate all historic work with the GSA & State of Colorado Historic Preservation Officers, while also designing and renovating the U.S. Custom House to make it a high-performance USGBC LEED Silver building. Centerre achieved the energy goals by replacing the existing induction units with a modern HVAC system, replacing the lighting, converting the building to direct digital controls, installing isolation valves throughout the building and replacing all domestic brass hot & cold piping. Centerre preserved the historic fabric of the building by removing the acoustical ceilings throughout the building and raising them back to their original elevations, restoring the plaster throughout the building at walls and ceilings, adding historic transom windows in the corridors, adding historic light fixtures, restoring the existing original 1930’s windows in the three penthouses and restoring the historic lobbies back to their original design palette.

In addition to the historic renovations, Centerre updated and remodeled all of the tenant finishes and MEP systems for a majority of the 17 Federal Agencies that occupied the building. 750 windows were removed and replaced with energy efficient and blast resistant windows that met ATFP & State Historic Preservation Office requirements. A comprehensive data cabling overhaul was also included in the scope of work. All of data cabling backbone and horizontal distribution was removed and replaced. Extensive asbestos abatement was also in the scope of work, and special abatement design and construction procedures were utilized by Centerre on this project including educating occupants, extra monitoring, and staging & scheduling of work to eliminate occupant and worker exposure.

This project received a LEED-EB Silver rating. The funding for this project, with the exception of the window replacement scope of work, is through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Building information modeling (BIM) was utilized on this project. The building remained occupied and functioning during the construction.



U.S. General Services Administration


300,000 sf


Office Modernization
Historic Renovation
Façade Upgrade


Denver, CO


$40 million




LEED-EB Silver

A collaborative approach and creative thinking enabled Centerre and CannonDesign to deliver a distinctive and appropriate design for the U.S. Custom House that successfully modernized an existing 1930’s historic structure without significantly impacting the tenants during construction. This was a remarkable feat and Centerre’s commitment and team approach in resolving problems has resulted in an extremely successful project. Only the people who have worked on this project will completely understand the effort required to renovate this challenging historical structure with all of the significant challenges we faced along the way.
Don Grody, Principal / CannonDesign