Located on Gardner Bay north of Seattle, the Port of Everett was in desperate need of a facelift. So in 2009, the owner began planning a $9 million remodeling and addition to the 38,000-square-foot former warehouse now known as Waterfront Center.

The mixed-use project includes the port headquarters, Port Gardner Yacht Sales, and Scuttlebutt Brewing Co., along with additional retail space and a community room. The interior entrance for all tenants is through a 12,000-square-foot common area and two-story atrium.

The Port chose Everett’s 2812 Architecture to design the expansion, stressing the desire to tie in the existing structure. The Waterfront Center lies adjacent to the largest public marina on the West Coast and was designed to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver designation.

The interior of the building reflects the steps the design team took to create a flow between old and new. “The original building was a tilt-up concrete structure, so it seemed natural to continue along those lines,” says Adam Clark, principal with 2812 Architecture. He achieved this look “by removing a corner of the existing building and placing the addition in that area. The existing mezzanine structure was added onto and utilized as well.”

The designer and owner considered both economics and function in choosing finishes for the project. After considering a variety of products and their costs, they decided on a portland cement-based, self-leveling overlayment (ASTM C150) specifically created and patented to be polished.

The product, Deco-Pour, is available as an overlayment, or as terrazzo (meeting the 70% minimum aggregate exposure requirement to be identified as terrazzo), and can be integrally colored or dyed. By being a true portland cement-based concrete, the overlayment achieves full chemical densification.

Polished concrete contributes more than just performance benefits, as can be seen by 2812 Architecture’s design focus. With the seamless transition from floor to stair (and overlayment to terrazzo) along with where the floor, stairs, and walls all meet, the designer accomplished a natural synergy and flow throughout the atrium.

In addition, though not needed to meet the LEED Silver requirement on this particular project, the overlayment provides potential LEED contribution for post-consumer waste, zero VOCs, regional manufacturing, construction waste management, thermal mass, light reflectivity, and maintenance requirements. The project was completed in December 2010.