The Cannon House Office Building is the oldest office building on the Capitol campus, dating back to 1908. Due to its advanced age will undergo a top-to-bottom renewal. Below are frequently asked questions about the Cannon Renewal Project.
Why is this work necessary now?
This iconic facility, built in 1908, is the oldest Congressional office building. The building structure and many of the building systems have not been modernized during the building’s existence. A critical stage has been reached in the life of the Cannon Building – the century-old building is plagued with serious safety, health, environmental and operational issues that are rapidly worsening. Without action, the essential systems housed behind the walls and in mechanical rooms will continue to crumble and fail, impacting Members, staff and constituents. To address these urgent problems and to ensure the Cannon Building provides an effective congressional workplace into the next century, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) plans a complete renewal of the building.
What are the benefits of the project?
Over the last several years, the building has experienced plumbing leaks, plaster ceiling failures and chunks of decorative stone dislodging from the building exterior and falling to the ground. The project will improve the functionality of the building for both Members and staff, making it far more efficient, comfortable and safer, while retaining the historic grandeur of building. The renewal project will replace or repair key building systems such as heating, cooling, lighting, plumbing, fire and life safety, accessibility and structural integrity.
How long will it take?
The renewal project is scheduled to take approximately 10 years, broken into five distinct phases of work. The duration of each phase will align with the Congressional move cycles. The first phase, Phase 0, is expected to begin in early 2015. The construction in Phase 0 will focus on the entire basement level. Tunnel access to adjacent buildings will remain open during this phase. Basement corridors will have limited closures and disruptions requiring minor detours at the basement level.
What is the current status of the project?
To allow construction to commence in early 2015, the contractor will begin site preparation during the summer of 2014. This includes closing a portion of Lot 1 just south of the Cannon Building; this section will remain closed for the duration of the project.
When will this impact Members of Congress and their staff?
Members in the Cannon House Office Building will not be relocated until December 2016 in advance of the Phase 1 construction, which is scheduled to start in January 2017. Phases 1-5 of the project will require that affected wings be vacated. Members and their staffs will remain in the upper campus, while some Committee and support staff will relocate to the Ford House Office Building or the O'Neill Federal Building (located next to the Ford Building).
When will this impact other offices?
During Phases 0 through 2, there will be work to prepare new Member suites in the Longworth and Rayburn House Office Buildings. These future suites are located in spaces currently occupied by congressional and support staff. In support of the renewal, occupant relocations began in 2014 to the Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Federal Building and other House Office Buildings.
How does this impact the Member office lottery?
Additional Member suites will be built out in Rayburn and Longworth and included in the existing election cycle lottery process. Offices in a section of Cannon closed for renovation will be excluded from the lottery process during each construction phase. Temporary member suites will be created by relocating certain House support offices and committee staff to the Ford Building and/or leased space in the newly renovated Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Federal Building, located next to the Ford Building. Final space use decisions will be made by House leadership.
How can AOC ensure the project delivers good value to the taxpayer?
The AOC is committed to maximizing taxpayer value, reducing the risk of cost overruns and delays and minimizing disruption to the work of Congress. During the initial steps of the project, AOC is working closely with the House to clearly define requirements now to avoid future changes that may cause cost increases and delays. Additionally, AOC is partnering with the Government Accountability Office and General Services Administration to incorporate lessons learned from other similar, complex projects and to implement risk mitigation strategies. Similar projects have been conducted throughout the executive branch including the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and the headquarters of the Departments of Interior, Justice, Treasury and Commerce.
What is the budget for the renewal?
The renewal process is scheduled to take approximately 10 years, with each of the five phases (0-4) aligned to fall between Congressional move cycles. The entire project budget is $752.7 million with allocations for planning, design, construction, management, furniture, information technology, security equipment and swing space build-out and moves.