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4840 East Jasmine St., Suite 114 • Mesa, AZ 85205 phone: 480-776-6971 • fax: 480-776-6975 •

Custom Flooring for Every Walk of Life Providing customers with “feet-on” demonstrations, Robbins Sport Floors covers

from logo design to paint selections. Even when a project is completed, Robbins’ support remains, dedicated to longevity in design and commitment to customers.

everything from simple flooring maintenance to brand-new basketball courts — and has the experience to prove it. Robbins Sport Floors/Arizona LLC is a subsidiary

Artistry in Flooring

of Robbins Sports Surfaces, Inc., a world leader in the manufacturing of wood and

For a high-profile project such as Tempe Center for the Arts, Robbins Sport Floors

synthetic flooring. General Manager Erica Parker and Operations Manager Magnus

provided the material and installation for the gallery, the sub-floor for the multipurpose

Johansson bring more than 25 years of combined experience to the company.

room, and the stage floor for the studio and main stage. The team was able to supply the

Robbins’ objective is to create a total value for customers — not just the

construction and design team with sample flooring to test differences in quality, and was

glossy appearance of a finished product. This includes quality products used in

well suited to tackle the job with previous, similar work experience. The flooring systems

production, the performance of the sub-floor system, professional installation

had to be structurally sound and capable of supporting not only dancers, but heavy

and the maintenance/warranty programs that accompany the team’s work.

objects such as pianos while also ensuring longevity.

Using only top-of-the-line products, Robbins Sport Floors reaches far beyond its compe-

Both Robbins Sport Floors and Robbins Sports Surfaces met with theatrical

tition, offering premium design, comfort and performance on all flooring projects. With

consultants and architects to ensure they understood the center’s needs. To save money,

environmental concerns at an all-time high, the company addresses these issues head

some adjustments were made in planning and the team members introduced similar

on, trying to use as few natural resources as possible while still achieving

products that allowed them to save money while also producing the quality they needed.

a superior outcome.

Today, Robbins is able to offer clients maple that is structurally stronger than randomlength maple, providing dimensional stability to each system. Engineered maple is also

Stepping up Service

available, designed to conserve raw material without compromising the life expectancy of

The team ensures satisfaction by working step by step with all decision makers on a

the wood. Pre-sanded, pre-sealed and pre-finished maple helps minimize dust control

project. This includes educating them on the flooring process and assisting in what prod-

and save workers installation time, offering customers a top-quality product right away.

uct would work best for their specific facility.

No matter what type of flooring system you’re looking for, Robbins Sport Floors has

Robbins has learned there are numerous factors that are unaccounted for on all

a solution that will fit your needs while staying on budget. The company extends its

projects. That’s the main reason the company continues to communicate with clients

experiences to each new venture, contributing to green requirements and educating the

throughout the installation process and inform them on various conditions. Flooring is

owner on the floor’s life cycle cost, making sure you’re never standing on unstable ground.

typically the main focus of a facility, which is why Robbins specializes in every detail —

— Corporate Profile

Peoria School District — multiple projects

Arizona State University Student Recreation Center

The owner was very invested in the projects and counted on Robbins’ expertise to ensure every part was a success. The Robbins team met with the district’s construction manager each day to walk through the installation with him, reviewing every step of the process. Robbins went through each detail specifically, from the sub-floor to how the floor is sanded and finished.

Seeking a higher performance sports floor, the facility’s selected system did not meet height requirements for its existing conditions. An alternate system was introduced, and Robbins took special precautions altering the system height while maintaining the high performance that the university’s athletes required.

Facts & Figures Owner: City of Tempe Type of Project: A new creative and performing arts center Size: 88,000 square feet Cost: $65.7 million (total) Construction Time: May 2004 September 2007 The Need: A place to serve the thriving art community within the city of Tempe The Challenge: Constructing the intricate structure, and providing adequate acoustical barriers given the building’s location underneath an airport’s flight path

Tempe, Arizona

Tempe Center for the Arts Gold Medal Award-winning Team Members

Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) is a visionary communal space where the arts are celebrated and

Architekton Architect


Barton Myers Associates, Inc. Architect




patrons is born. The center opened in September 2007, providing

Kitchell CEM Construction Manager

Tempe with an eclectic cultural

Okland Construction Co., Inc. General Contractor

center and a host of dynamic programs that will educate citizens

Nelson-Holland, Inc. Architectural Openings Supplier

and visitors through the arts. Staying true to community spirit,

Robbins Sport Floors/ Arizona LLC Flooring Contractor

more than 75 percent of the overall programming at TCA is provided by local arts groups. In fact, the center was built to provide a performance home for several local organizations ranging from small dance and drama companies to the 100-piece Tempe Symphony Orchestra. Sitting on 24 acres along the south shore of Tempe Town Lake, the center houses a 600-seat proscenium theater, a 200-seat studio theater, a 3,200-square-foot multifunction room, a visual arts gallery, a small meeting room, a Photos courtesy of Michael Masengarb — Architekton

continued on page 5

arizona/nevada edition


The Owner’s Perspective with Don Fassinger, General Manager, Tempe Center for the Arts Q: What is the most innovative aspect of the project (or of the design/construction process, financing, environmental)? What could others learn from? DF: I believe that the most innovative aspect of the project is its funding mechanism — a voter-approved dedicated sales tax. The 20-year tax, passed in May 2000, increased local sales tax by one-tenth percent and is dedicated solely to the development, design, construction and operation of the TCA. The tax was initiated by residents who had a vision of an arts center for local arts organizations. This very small group of residents spent










convince them of the need for this institution. What others can learn from this is that it is, indeed, possible to pursue a dream and follow it to its materialization. Q: How did the strengths and experience of the project team contribute to the success of the project? DF: Greatly! We had a wonderfully talented and cooperative team on the TCA project. In one instance, the architects had intended for the outer roof structure to be constructed of precast concrete panels. Our GC, with substantial experience in concrete work, suggested that we take a different approach and investigate shotcrete application for the roof. In the end, the GC’s suggestion was used successfully and, ultimately, [it] saved some cost to the project. Q: Were there any innovative strategies involving improved quality, cost-effectiveness or cost reductions? DF: I think that the “buildings within a building” strategy certainly contributes to the quality of the facility in terms of aesthetics and functionality as an arts venue. In addition, use of a three-pane glass system throughout the building will help keep utility costs in check while providing a noise barrier. The use of shotcrete for the outer roof, as mentioned above, was a significant cost saver. Q: If another owner was about to commence work on a similar project, what advice would you offer from your experiences that he/she may not be aware of? DF: I would definitely encourage the person to carefully and thoughtfully examine the various potentials of the building and the location with revenue generation in mind. In the “if I had it to do over” scenario, the TCA kitchen space and banquet space would be larger. Our primary focus, of course, was on the performance spaces and not so much on the catering business. We knew that we wanted to have a café and…be able to supply some banquet space for arts fundraising events, etc. What we are experiencing











interest in the facility for corporate meetings, dinners and other catered events. The building is spectacular in a gorgeous location, hence attracting lots of interest. Q: In all your experiences as an owner, what were some of the best lessons you have learned? DF: …This is my first time on a journey of this type. What I have learned though is, be patient, remain focused, speak your mind — if you don’t tell people what you want, you won’t see it in the final product. Be flexible — there are many ways to arrive at the same end. And, as is true in so many walks of life, teamwork is a tremendously effective tool.

City of Tempe 31 E. Fifth St. Tempe, AZ 85281 480-967-2001

continued from page 3

café and a kitchen. Also located on

roof are individual structures con-


the site is an adjacent 17-acre pub-

structed of substantial concrete

aircraft noise.”

lic park that was developed as part

walls and lids and could stand

of the overall project.

alone in a different application.



Myers, the design was driven by an

The center is actually a collec-

Once inside the performance

Architekton and Barton Myers

understanding and interpretation

tion of intimate venues enclosed

spaces, in particular, it is highly evi-



of the building practices of local

by a protective outer shell. This is,

dent that the designers have creat-

Joseph M. Salvatore, AIA, executive

indigenous peoples as well as local

in part, due to it being located





architect for Architekton, and Peter W.

The design of the center was a effort Inc.






charge/site architect for Barton

continued on page 9

directly beneath the flight path for the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. The sculptural shed roof draws inspiration from a variety of elements such as nearby Hayden Butte, origami and even stealth fighter design. The roof was implemented not only for its acoustic protection, but also to serve as a shelter from the harsh desert sun. Its faceted form drapes over the two theaters and the visual arts gallery, which are clustered to form a lobby emulating a town square. “Each of the four primary rooms in the TCA is, for the most part, separated




roof structure,” explained Don Fassinger, general manager of the TCA. “The rooms under the outer Photos courtesy of Michael Masengarb — Architekton

arizona/nevada edition


The Architect’s Perspective Q&A with Joseph M. Salvatore, AIA, Executive Architect, Architekton and Peter W. Rutti, AIA, Associate in Charge/Site Architect, Barton Myers Associates, Inc. Q: Describe the project in relative detail, incorporating what you think makes the project unique, innovative, important or sets it apart. How does the design complement the overall mission of the facility/owner? JS & PR: The Tempe Center for the Arts is envisioned as a vibrant, innovative cultural and artistic venue serving the larger Tempe community. As the home for Tempe’s artists and Cultural Arts Administration, the center’s dynamic and inclusive programs will educate through the arts, continuing the tradition of Tempe providing an enriched quality of life for its citizens. TCA is truly a collaborative civic project incorporating extensive input from members of the general public, user groups, civic leaders, and the city’s executive, steering and technical committees. The design team incorporated monthly charettes to collect public input. Funding resulted from a sales tax proposition approved by voters. TCA is a facility built by the community for the community with local arts groups expected to provide more than 75 percent of the overall programming. The center’s size, scale and inti-

Photo courtesy of Architekton

macy were carefully considered to foster and nurture the arts in one of the valley’s most progressive cities. Along with its outdoor sculpture court, art park and lakeside café, the lobby was conceived as a dramatic city room, which is open daily to the public, allowing each venue to operate independently while sharing a public space. Back-of-house services were distributed so that a wedding could be happening in the lakeside room while simultaneously a gallery opening and symphony could also be occurring.

464 S. Farmer Ave., Ste. 101 Tempe, AZ 85281 480-894-4637 fax: 480-894-4638

Q: What were some of the drivers behind the design? What design materials or concepts were used? JS & PR: Design Inspirations: Historically, the design alludes to the organizing concepts of two indigenous desert builders, the Chocoan and Hohokam peoples. For instance, the Chocoan tradition of clustering rooms inspired the organization of the center’s internal space; meanwhile, the methods of the Hohokam people inspired the use of a series of meandering pedestrian paths within the park and linking to the building. Such native traditions, combined with the colors of the desert landscape, also inspired the use of a warm material palette in the building. The design is based on the Anasazis’ Chaco Canyon Pueblo Bonita Great House plan. An outer protective wall holds the rooms within. The spaces between the kivas (rooms) become the streets and plazas (corridors and lobbies) for the village. Design Innovations: Half of the floor area of the studio theater is formed by NIVOflex®Airstage platforms within a recessed pit. The platforms can be adjusted to a variety of heights,

Photo courtesy of Peter W. Rutti

from six feet above the surrounding floor to three feet below, allowing the theater to quickly and easily adapt to flat floor, thrust, arena, end stage or cabaret configurations. Unlike conventional solutions, the NIVO flex® platforms do not require additional storage, intensive labor or complicated machinery to change configurations. While it is typical for NIVO flex® platforms to be used as seating platforms, this application is innovative.

1025 Westwood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90024 310-208-2227 fax: 310-208-2207

Custom Doors with Personality Still open under the same name it originally adopted more than 50 years ago, Nelson Holland, Inc. provides customers with quality and service. Founded in Arizona in 1956 by Vic Nelson and Cliff Holland, Nelson Holland was initially a business that distributed architectural and custom door hardware. In 1986, the company became employee owned and is still run that way currently. Today, it specializes in security and life safety of doors and openings, and provides clients with the best products and services to meet the demands of an ever changing environment. High-profile projects the company has worked on, such as the Charles Schwab Data Center and the 91st Avenue Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP), required a high demand for life safety and security applications. According to Daniel Heinz, Distinguished Architectural Openings Consultant (DAOC), Fellow within the Door and Hardware Institute (FDHI) and President of Nelson Holland, the 91st Avenue WWTP required specialized products to meet environmental concerns as well as the many life safety and security guidelines.

Securing Beauty For its work on Tempe Center for the Arts, however, Nelson Holland had to utilize its technical expertise to the utmost degree. For the project, the company provided the architectural openings — doors, frames and all the mechanical and electrical hardware that goes along with it. Another aspect of the center that was unique was that many of the doors were required to be sound rated and electrically and mechanically operated while maintaining an aesthetic value. The doors had to be designed with sophistication and could not affect performances, but also had to abide by safety codes and meet security needs. The specialized technology that was used on this project required design and engineering to resolve extremely complex opening requirements. Tempe Center for the Arts is a unique entity, unlike most buildings. Hundreds of applications had to be met while still fitting each individual code. This was the biggest hurdle for Nelson Holland. The company also provided custom inlays in many of the doors to add a highly decorative appeal and still stay within ergonomic boundaries. In order to evolve with the ever advancing industry, Nelson Holland continues to evaluate its customers’ needs and furnish the products and expertise necessary to provide solutions to complex applications. In all Nelson Holland projects, simple or complex, it means providing clients with all aspects of a successful project — consulting, design, engineering, installation and service, both during and after construction.

Service Every Step of the Way President of Concord Companies, Inc., Dale A. Marr has worked with Nelson Holland on more than 50 projects, first meeting Heinz through the hard bid process. Most notably, however, he recognized Nelson Holland’s reputation for being service oriented and having skilled knowledge of the industry. After that, Nelson Holland became Concord Companies’ “number one choice for all negotiated contract manager at risk projects,” Marr says. Early on in the process, Nelson Holland has the dexterity and relational skills to work on the door and hardware schedules with the owners and architects, ultimately saving money along the way. “The ability to walk the team through a potentially confusing and expensive scope of work (if not done right) saves the entire project team time and money,” Marr adds. This, in turn, gives clients timely and reliable budget numbers, helping them to deliver “a more complete package” to customers, according to Marr. The exceptional quality that sets Nelson Holland apart is the team’s involvement in each step of the process. When issues arise, they are always there to assist in locating a quick solution. Most importantly, Marr says he admires Heinz’s “teamwork” approach to business, his affability and for “always doing the right thing.” — Corporate Profile

Nelson Holland, Inc. 5330 N. 16th St. • Phoenix, AZ 85016 Phone: 602-264-1841 • Fax: 602-230-0906 Branch 4677 S. Contractors Way Tucson, AZ 85714 Phone: 520-745-1221

The General Contractor’s Perspective Q: What is the most innovative aspect of the project (or of the

with Todd Smith, Project Manager, Okland Construction Co., Inc.

design/construction process)? What could other owners learn from for their future projects? TS: The most innovative aspect of the projand

Q: How did you work with the architect and owner to save time and/or

construction of the main theater dome. The

money on the project? How was value engineering applied to your




Photo courtesy of Okland Construction Co., Inc.









originally designed as precast concrete pan-

TS: Value engineering for the project was a key element for the project to

els. Through value engineering, and the con-

be built. The first six months of the project was spent value engineering the

tractor and design team working together,

structure, electrical fixtures, mechanical system and various other items.

the dome was constructed as a monolithic

Okland Construction was heavily involved with the design team and the

cast-in-place concrete dome. The interior

owner during this time. Working together throughout the value engineer-

face of the dome was designed as a series of

ing process helped not only save the project money, but it also gave us all

triangles, which after many hours of math

an opportunity to work together to find the best quality for the best price.

and design, was fabricated using fiberglass

forms. These forms were then assembled together on site over the top of

Q: What were some of the lessons learned from this project?

an elaborate scaffold shoring system. The dome [is constructed] of 125

TS: Throughout the life of this project, we learned many unique ways to

cubic yards of concrete and took months to form. The finished result of the

complete tasks that at first glance seamed impossible. We learned that

interior face of the dome is exposed concrete ribs with wood paneling in

through good communication and coordination, many of the conflicts can

the flat triangle segments.

be caught prior to them becoming catastrophes.

Q: What were the greatest challenges encountered on this project and how, specifically, did you overcome them? TS: The greatest challenge on the project was that due to the complexity of the project, and not one corner looking like another, each area was a new learning experience. The majority of the building has exposed concrete surfaces, exposed ceiling, exposed ductwork, exposed conduit and exposed structure. In order to get all the areas looking organized and aesthetically acceptable, many coordination meetings were held between the subcontractors so each knew where they were allowed to run their material and where they could not. This effort also required many hours of coordination with the design team so that we understood what they were

1700 N. McClintock Tempe AZ, 85281 480-990-3330 fax: 480-990-1633

looking for.

The Construction Manager’s Perspective Q: What is the most innovative aspect of the project (or of the design/construction process)?

with Edward J. Weis, Senior Project Manager, Kitchell CEM

EW: The use of dual-pane, double-glazed windows to provide sound insulation.

Q: How did you work with the architect and owner to save time and/or money on the project? How was value engineering applied

Q: What were the greatest challenges encountered on this project

to your responsibility?

and how, specifically, did you overcome them?

EW: Working with all parties required efforts to maintain teamwork

EW: Challenges included labor and material shortages, a complex

and develop consensus. Value engineering started early in the

building and working with multiple user groups and designers,

project and was continuously applied.

[which] required a combination of interpersonal skills coupled with construction management in developing consensus to get the project done.

1661 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. 375 Phoenix, AZ 85016 602-266-1970 fax: 602-285-1210

Photo courtesy of Peter W. Rutti continued from page 5

materials and landscape. The

offering visitors a strikingly spec-

organization of the center, with its

tacular visual.

“clustered venues,” resembles the

Todd Smith, project manager

Pueblo Bonito at Chaco Canyon,

for Okland Construction Co., Inc.,

the largest and best known Great

the project’s general contractor,

House built by the Pueblo people.

agreed that the roof was stunning

“An outer protective wall holds the

in conception and even more so in

rooms within. The spaces between

completion. Standard erection

the kivas (rooms) become the


streets and plazas (corridors and

he said, adding that in order to

lobbies) for the village,” they said.

erect many of the trusses, workers

The elaborate, asymmetrical

were lifted in baskets with a crane

roof comprises multiple layers,

to the truss connection points so

including steel decking, shotcrete,

that the trusses could be bolted to

rigid foam, a water seal and a

the structure.




Photo courtesy of Michael Masengarb — Architekton

standing seam metal roof. There

According to Smith, the lofty

plexity of the structure,” he said.

the company responsible for sup-

are approximately 115 trusses

exposed ceiling in the lobby is the

“You are able to see how each

plying all the architectural open-

magnificently supporting the outer

most unique feature of the overall

roofline ties together, and it

ings within the building, brought

roof of the building, more than

building. “When you enter the

amazes you how we got each

technical expertise to the job.

100 of which are unique trusses,

building through the lobby, this is

piece to fit.”

“This project used a lot of sound

according to Fassinger. The trusses

the first element of the building

Daniel J. Heinz, DAOC, FDHI,

are also visible from the interior,

that helps you appreciate the com-

president of Nelson-Holland, Inc.,

doors that were sophisticated and




continued on page 11

arizona/nevada edition


Photo courtesy of Michael Masengarb — Architekton


arizona/nevada edition

gold medal award winner

continued from page 9

performances weren’t affected, he said, which was a critical requirement for the multi-venue facility. Although it was difficult to adhere to all the codes and keep everything organized, Nelson-Holland was equipped with the knowledge and experience needed to help this elaborate project come together. Robbins Sport Floors/Arizona LLC provided much of the center’s flooring, including the material and installation for the gallery floor, the sub-floor for the multipurpose room, and the stage floor for the studio and main stage. According to Erica Parker, general manager




Floors/Arizona, the facility had different flooring needs for the various




“Robbins Sport Floors as well as Robbins Sport Surfaces met with the theatrical consultants and architect to ensure we understood the various needs,” she added. Thanks to Robbins Sport Floors, some adjustments were made that saved some money and enhanced the systems. One of the considerations involved the different uses for the flooring, which had to meet the needs of dancers and performers while also being structurally capable of handling anticipated loads such as pianos and other heavy equipment. Edward J. Weis, senior project manager for Kitchell CEM, the project’s construction manager, said the challenging part of the overall job was communicating with all Photo courtesy of Michael Masengarb — Architekton

the team members and staying focused on the task. “Working with

the building, not one corner

that we understood what they

integrity. According to Fassinger,

multiple user groups and designers

matches the other, and the major-

were looking for.”

the center could not have been

required a combination of inter-

ity of the building features exposed

Challenges aside, the Tempe

built anywhere else. “Mayor [Neil]

personal skills coupled with con-

surfaces, ceilings and structure. “In

Center for the Arts was successfully

Giuliano said it is Tempe’s Sydney

struction management in develop-

order to get all the areas looking



Opera House on Tempe Town

ing consensus to get the project

organized and aesthetically accept-

“wonderfully talented and cooper-

Lake. He is right. Its iconic design

done,” he said.

able, many coordination meetings

ative team,” said Fassinger. And

wouldn’t have fit anywhere else in

The intricacy of the design and

were held between the subcon-

the building is more than just an

the valley. The lake called for it and

complexity of the structure also

tractors…” he said. “This effort

architectural phenomenon; it’s a

it called for the lake…almost like a

presented challenges, according to

also required many hours of coor-

cultural retreat for visitors, locals

symbiotic relationship.” 

Smith. Anywhere you look inside

dination with the design team so

and anyone interested in artistic



— Megan Merritt

arizona/nevada edition


24445 Northwestern Hwy. Ste. 218 • Southfield, MI 48075 • 248-945-4700 • fax: 248-945-4701 •

Construction Communications Gold Medal Edition - Arizona's Tempe Center for the Arts  
Construction Communications Gold Medal Edition - Arizona's Tempe Center for the Arts  

Special Gold Medal Edition of the Real Estate and Construction Review features Arizona's Tempe Center for the Arts. The Gold Medal Building...