Federal Home Loan Bank Remodel/Retrofit

Project Information

  • Owner

    Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines

  • Location

    Des Moines, IA

  • Architect

    Substance Architecture

  • General Contractor

    Graham Construction

  • Engineer

    Baker Group

  • Square Footage


  • Baker Group Scope


  • Year Completed


Having outgrown its previous facility, Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) purchased an existing six-story commercial building in downtown Des Moines and launched a comprehensive remodel/retrofit of all interiors and mechanical systems. Baker Group provided design, prefabrication and installation of the Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing (MEP), Sheet Metal, Fire & Security and Building Automation systems. FHLB will occupy the building in early October 2018, just 10 months after the project began. 

Service Client Becomes Construction Client
“Baker Group has provided Security, Electrical and HVAC maintenance to Federal Home Loan for years. We wouldn’t have the luxury of doing a design-build project with them if we hadn’t built a high level of confidence and trust in our service and capabilities,” says Jon Jackson, Director of Service Business Development with Baker Group. 

This long-term relationship facilitated early discussions about how Baker Group could assist in their planning process. “Even before the bank had decided whether to build or buy an existing facility, we spent an entire morning with bank representatives answering questions about the construction process and discussing various delivery methods,” says Joel Veenstra, a Baker Group Project Manager. “Ultimately, the bank decided to purchase an existing building, which allowed them to maintain their presence downtown and transform the building into a space to match their culture.”

New Headquarters Plus Multi-Use Tenant Spaces
FHLB will occupy the building’s top two-and-a-half floors, which are combined by an open atrium/stairway “cut” into the center of the top three floors. Veenstra says, “We worked with the architect to design and modify HVAC systems to work around that opening.”

The building’s first floor will host a coffee shop, upscale restaurant and employee wellness center.  Other prominent tenants that have leased space in the building include LightEdge Solutions and Dwolla. Additional tenants are being planned for remaining unleased spaces.

Bringing the Building to the Level of New Construction
Veenstra says, “Virtually the entire interior of the building was stripped to its core and built back to the level of all-new construction, including most of the mechanical equipment.” Major systems that were replaced or upgraded include:

  • HVAC
  • Electrical
  • Building Automation
  • Fire alarm
  • Security
  • Lighting Controls

Baker Group designed the grease interceptors required by food retailers and installed them in the basement parking garage. All restrooms were demolished and rebuilt with upgraded plumbing fixtures and accessories. Baker Group also designed and installed “smart” voice/data services throughout the facility.

A key to the project’s success was the close collaboration with the owner, owner’s representative, architect, general contractor and Baker Group. “Getting all of this coordinated and done in a short amount of time took phenomenal teamwork. The right people were on the job – it’s amazing what you can do when you assemble a great team,” Veenstra says. 

Construction Client Returns as Service Client
“Naturally there will be ongoing preventive maintenance needed for all of these systems – HVAC, fire and security and building automation,” says Jackson. “We are honored that our Service relationship continues with Federal Home Loan Bank’s all-new facility downtown.”

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