American Water Headquarters

Camden, NJ, USA

A new home for the largest public water and wastewater company in the USA. The new headquarters for American Water is a five-story, 220,000ft2 waterfront building, bringing together more than 600 employees from several locations in southern New Jersey.

The building lies on the Delaware River and features a four-story transparent atrium, illuminated by a skylight and crossed by upper-level bridges. The complex also contains a water-themed learning and innovation centre for visitors.


The client was keen that the building design focused on collaboration, efficiency, and keeping occupants active. Recognized as stewards of the environment, American Water wanted to achieve LEED Platinum certification. As such, reducing energy use was a key aim, with a focus on monitoring and assessing performance wherever possible. Good indoor air quality was a key driver as a way to protect the health and wellbeing of occupants.


Buro Happold helped the project achieve LEED certification by incorporating resource efficient solutions such as the rainwater capture for reuse for toilet flushing and irrigation, waterless urinals, motorized solar shades to maximize the use of natural light, and a highly efficient heating and cooling system.

Iterative energy modelling was used to optimize the energy performance, and a 30% reduction in lighting power achieved through the use of LEDS and daylight and occupancy sensors. The efficient HVAC system realizes a 37.18% reduction in total heating, ventilation and air-conditioning costs. Overall, the project achieved 30% energy cost savings as compared to a minimum code compliant building.

The new American Water Headquarters viewed from outside
Increased access to natural light and the promotion of employee activity levels through clever design are just two ways that the building is helping to promote occupant wellbeing. Image: Halkin Mason

The integration of energy metering equipment ensures that the building is responsible and efficient in its consumption of energy. The project also committed to offsetting electricity demand with Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for a minimum period of two years, with the option to renew.


A myriad thoughtful, sustainability-focused design aspects ensure that the new American Water headquarters is a welcoming, light-filled building with a focus on energy efficiency and occupant wellbeing.

Light-filled atrium inside the new American Water Headquarters
This new energy and resource-efficient headquarters reflects American Water’s commitment to the environment. Image: Halkin Mason

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