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Customer Story: The Wharf


Location:Washington, DC


The PN Hoffman development of the new Southwest Waterfront presented an opportunity for Washington Gas to expand natural gas to a redeveloped community in the District. The Wharf waterfront will stretch across 27 acres of land and 40 acres of water. Comprised of mixed-use buildings, hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes and a movie theater, the $2 billion Wharf project will revitalize the Southwest Waterfront.



Washington Gas was presented with the challenge of coordinating with the various construction, development and engineering firms to bring natural gas to the Southwest Waterfront. For the first phase of the project, we worked with plumbing engineering firms to design natural gas piping for each of the
five separate blocks. 

The removal of Water Street created a massive abandonment of Washington Gas’ distribution pressure gas main and proved to be an additional challenge. We abandoned approximately 1,700 feet of 6˝ and 8˝ piping to create the cityscape of Southwest Waterfront. This caused us to reevaluate our gas main piping and make adjustments to make Maine Avenue the main thoroughfare. The new Maine Avenue required a new 8˝ gas main along the entire front of both phases of the project. 

Posing another concern, the majority of this project’s individual gas loads were undetermined at the time of the Maine Avenue gas main installation, causing uncertainty for the individual gas service lateral sizes of each of the blocks.



In anticipation of sizable gas loads for the Southwest Waterfront project, Washington Gas’ System Planning Department sized the gas main to eliminate the chance of capacity issues. 

The first phase of this project has been broken into five individual projects where each is being uniquely designed for the available garage-level meter room space. Our Engineered Sales Team also worked with plumbing engineering firms to provide clarification on guidelines for standard and safe installations. 

After evaluating the Waterfront tenant schedule, the System Planning Department and Engineering Sales Team worked with Richter & Associates to install individual service lines. To protect piping during construction, we extended each service line to the new gas main on Maine Avenue. This proved to be critical for the owner/developer, as the service lines were greatly needed for traffic control purposes. We were able to reduce the potential cost to the developer by installing the gas main and service lines during this time.



Innovative pipe in-garage design was created so that tenants located in the rear of the project, closer to the Potomac River, would have shorter service lines from the natural gas meters. 

As part of the economic evaluation, the Engineered Sales Team was able to design piping for one meter to save the expense of doing the same with their houseline at the owner’s expense. This will be a great cost savings to the individual tenant owners located further from the gas main. The Engineered Sales Team designed over 800 feet of Washington Gas–owned piping to the opposite side of this project without a contribution from the owners, bringing instant cost savings. 

Through coordinated efforts and inventive piping design, Washington Gas was able to supply natural gas to the redeveloped Southwest Waterfront. Natural gas will be used throughout the Waterfront retail and hotel space for boilers, pool heaters, generators, cooking equipment, fireplaces and more.



"Washington Gas’ Engineered Sales Team worked hard to bring a natural gas solution to the Southwest Waterfront that was cost effective and efficient. With Washington Gas’ help, Hoffman-Madison is bringing reliable energy to The Wharf."

- Shawn D. Seaman, Principal and Senior Vice President of PN Hoffman

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