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March/april 2011

Peter Gluck Rebuilds New York, p.76

Great Coasters, p.96

The

Gary Player’s Golf Courses, p.106

futureof prefab Blue sky homes, p.159


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feature

Feature

76 No Building Stands Alone Architecture firm Peter Gluck and Partners designs and builds modern structures that serve their surrounding New York communities, and allow residents to actively engage in those areas. Pictured: Peter Gluck and Partners' East Harlem School.

Photo: Erik Freeland, freelandarch.com.

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Contents

58

4

Briefs

Departments

6

Editor's note

8

american spaces

17 Conservation & Development

14

abq building excellence awards

issue announcement

18

Dimension iv

159

american homes

21

jair lynch development partners

162

materiality

23

wyoming land trust

march/april 2011

25

dover, kohl & partners

27

windsor/aughtry company

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contents

29 Public Structures 30

Puchlik design associates, inc.

32

Tokarski milleman architects

34

perspective, inc.

37

desmone & associates

40

tcf architecture

43 hkt architects 47

meister architects

49

mark cerrone, inc.

53 studio2g

57 Building for Education 58

noll & tam architects

60

ikon.5 architects

64

rktequ, inc.

66

domenella architects ltd.

68

roth & moore architects

72

williams design group

134

87 Niche Resources

123 Residential Construction

88

plugged in, llc

124

ÂŻesch environmental design

90

baschnagel brothers inc.

127

design avenues

92

jrt mechanical, inc.

129

stephen vitalich architects

94

se group

132

thayer hopkins architects

96

great coasters international, inc.

136

zung design

99

r.l. millies & associates, inc.

138

stonecreek works

101

intercon building corporation

141

tilde design studio

104

lcg fa‚ades

143

morpugo architects

106 gary player design

145

whitten architects

108

winderlumen Led

110 T&T Tinting tinting specialist, inc.

147 Commercial Construction 113 Hospitality Design

148

mcauliffe + carroll architects

150

poon design inc.

114

das architects, inc.

152

interplan incorporated

118

stark wilson duncan architects

154

mike koenig construction

120

vitalini corazzini architects

156

tipps architecture

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editor’s note

The Yucca Valley house, built for desert living by Blue Sky Homes. Photo: Nuvue Interactive.

I

n this issue of American Builders Quarterly, we explore not only how buildings work as stand-alone structures, but also how they work within the larger contexts of their community and landscape. The feature that appears on our cover is part of our “American Homes” series where we explore an architect or a designer’s own home (p. 159). This particular home belongs to the founding principal of Blue Sky Homes, David McAdam. His home clearly exemplifies the future of the American building market in that it is, as ABQ says, the future of prefab. According to McAdam, “Everyone has always focused on structural steel. Our steel partner, FCP, Inc., found a way to securely join elements of light-gauge steel. That is the big breakthrough here because light-gauge steel offers substantial advantages—not the least of which is lower cost.” This structure stands firmly in the future-looking niche of sustainable building. In our feature department, we cover another type of forwardthinking construction—a niche that is concerned not only with how a building is constructed, but with how that structure will work within its community and neighboring landscape. In “No Building Stands Alone” (p. 76), architect Peter Gluck discusses the responsibility that designers must take to ensure that each building they create is timeless, functional, and service-oriented. “Particularly with inner-city buildings, there is no time allocated to investigate anything beyond function,” Gluck says. “No one considers the social component of the structure: How does it fit into the community? Does it look institutional? Is it too defensive? Does it only use materials kids can’t hurt?” His firm, Peter Gluck and Partners, strives to eliminate that ambivalence and contribute to each community within which it builds. As you explore this issue of ABQ, we encourage you to think about your own contributions to the construction community. ABQ has always covered builders who embody excellence in their fields, and as we approach our first-ever Building Excellence Awards issue, we continue that tradition proudly. I look forward to featuring the best of what the American building community has to offer. As always, we hope the articles in this issue motivate, inform, and inspire your work. Enjoy.

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americanbuildersquarterly.com • View the latest issue of American Builders Quarterly® in a full-sized readable format • Get inspired by featured projects, builders, architects, and designers • Discover what’s in store for upcoming issues, and how your company can get involved • Find out what events the American Builders Quarterly® staff will be attending and more!

Molly Soat Features Editor 6

march/april 2011

american builders quarterly


contents

Editorial editor-in-chief Christopher Howe

Research director of editorial research

Publishing bowen, guerrero + howe, llc

features editor

George Bozonelos george@bgandh.com

Cory Bowen,

Molly Soat molly@bgandh.com

copy editor Geoff George

correspondents Cristina Adams Zach Baliva Daniel Casciato Chris Cussat Julie Edwards Joyce Finn Annie Fischer Karen Gentry Sandra Guy Dave Hudnall Frederick Jerant Russ Klettke Kelli Lawrence Ladan Nikravan Kelly O’Brien Laura Williams-Tracy Brigitte Yuille

Art creative director

editorial research managers

President

Holly Begle Genevieve Bellon Ashley Brookes Amanda Bush Deidre Davis Laura Heidenreich Shelley Hickey Ryan Jones Elizabeth Kim Amanda Kirven Molly Potnick Heather Matson Bronwyn Milliken Matt O'Conner Brian Panezich Issa Rizkallah Natalie Taylor Erin Windle

Pedro Guerrero, COO

sales managers Stacy Kraft Krista Lane Williams

CEO & Publisher

sales representatives

www.bgandh.com

administrative controller Andrea DeMarte

accounting assistant Anya Hostetler Mokena Trigueros

hr generalist Greg Waechter

Katherine Lazaroff

designer

editorial research assistant

circulation manager

Caroline K Thompson

Adam Castillo

Lee Posey

Samantha Hunter

James Ainscough Jessica Barker Blake Burkhart Michael DiGiovanni Drew Dimit Jackie Geweke Michelle Harris Justin Joseph Heather Matson Rebekah Mayer Rudy Rodriguez Lee Warren William Winter Brendan Wittry Daniel Zierk

senior account manager Cheyenne Eiswald

human resources assistant

Karin Bolliger

photo editor

Titus Dawson titus@bgandh.com

Christopher Howe,

Dawn Collins Anthony D’Amico Gerald Mathews Carolyn Marx

editorial researchers

advertising director of sales

account managers Kim Callanta Lindsay Craig Megan Hamlin Amy Lara

assistant to the publisher Brittany Miranda

administrative assistant Jacqueline M. Lowisz

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For a free subscription, please visit americanbuildersquarterly.com/sub/ Offices production 53 W Jackson Blvd., Suite 315, Chicago, IL 60604 sales & research 28 E Jackson Blvd., Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60604 American Builders Quarterly® is a registered trademark of Bowen, Guerrero & Howe LLC.

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american spaces

355 11th Street AIdlin Darling Design successfully landed on the American Institute of Architect's 2010 Top Ten Green Projects list with 355 11th Street, a 14,000-square-foot bastion of sustainable ingenuity in the heart of the SoMa district in San Francisco. An adaptive reuse of a historic industrial building, 355 11th Street boasts LEED-NC Gold certification and carries a host of sustainable-design elements, including a 30-kW rooftop solar array, a living roof for insulation, and drought-resistant vegetation that requires little to no irrigation. Aidlin's design team encased the building in a perforated metal skin, the holes of which can be widened or narrowed by computer to control the amount of light and natural ventilation running through the building. This cuts down on cooling costs without eliminating views or turning the former factory building into a non-descript blight on the evening skyline. Aidlin accomplished all of it while retaining 80 percent of the building's original wall, floor, and roofing materials. Matarozzi/Pelsinger, the contractors for the project, were also the clients, and now occupy the building's second floor, while a full-service restaurant occupies the first floor. With on-site showers, locker areas, and ample space for bike parking, the employees of both businesses can continue the green practices that inspired the project. abq

A minimized number of parking spaces is meant to encourage biking among users of the building.

Existing Structural Frame

Restored Historic FaÂ?ade

Project Details Location: San Francisco, CA Completed: 2008 Client: Matarozzi/Pelsinger Builders Architect: Aidlin Darling Design Owner/Developer/Contractor: Matarozzi/Pelsinger Builders Structural Engineer: Berkeley Structural Design Mechanical Engineer: CB Engineers Photography: Richard Barnes; Matthew Millman

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New Operable Window Wall New Perforated Metal Skin New Steel/Glass Apertures

The diagram shows 355 11th Street's unique building envelope, which allows natural ventilation throughout the structure, thus reducing cooling costs.

american builders quarterly


contents

Opening the holes in the zinc cladding at night turns the building from a solid-gray block into a warmly lit addition to the larger cityscape.

LIMITING LIGHT The building's perforated shield doesn't destroy the view of San Francisco, but it does allow for additional privacy from prying eyes. Additionally, the reduction in direct sunlight reduces indoor cooling costs and overall electricity use.

From a distance, the building's perforated metal skin almost looks uniform. The holes can either be closed for complete opacity (shown here), or opened, allowing as much as 50-percent sunlight inside.

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contents american spaces

The waiting room of Matarozzi/Pelsinger, the building contractor for 355 11th Street, located on the building's second floor. A restaurant occupies the first floor, and the third floor can be leased to new tenants.

Daylight sensors automatically adjust the output of 355 11th Street's light fixtures to keep electricity use to a minimum.

1 12

The Plans 7

6

1

4 3

3

TRANSFORMATIVE TRIM Perforated siding and natural ventilation are not the only environmentally sound elements of 355 11th Street. A look at the detailed building plans reveals numerous strategies for sustainability, including a living roof for insulation, drought-resistant vegetation that doesn't require irrigation, light-colored building materials that reflect the California heat, and a host of recycled and repurposed materials, including wood from the original structure.

2

15 6

8 3

11 2

5 13

5

3

3

4

Grass Paving) 7 Recycling

1

2

7

Panel Array

4 Living Roof 5 Deck 6 Parking (Cellular

10 Sustainable Strategies 1 30-kW solar array 8 50% planted area reduces 2 Operable windows and runoff 9 50% of wood is FSC-certified skylights 3 Reused timber and concrete 10 20% drought-resistant 4 Living roof for insulation vegetation 5 Perforated front for ventilation 11 High-albedo roof reflects heat 6 Bamboo floors 12 20% fly-ash concrete used 7 Light-colored pavers reflect 13 50% of steel is recycled 14 Workstations are MBDC heat

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14

9

1 Planting Bed 2 Dining Court 3 Photovoltaic Solar

4

certified

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contents

The original, historic building lives on in 355 11th Street's timber frame. The beams were salvaged from the original structure and upgraded to modern standards.

The office's workstations and task chairs are MBDC gold- or silver-level certified by Cradle to Cradle, which means they are made predominately from recyclable or renewable materials and do not contain any harmful chemical components.

Bamboo floors are both trendy and more environmentally conscious than standard wood. Technically a grass, bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource.

american builders quarterly Photos: James Steinkamp

march/april 2011

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contents american spaces

Exeter School Multipurpose Building

In order to avoid the traditional issues associated with acoustics in gymnasiums, the wood ceiling was suspended to allow sound to dissipate above. The camouflage pattern is both a reflection of the local interest in hunting and a means of directing sound further. In addition to controlling sound, the wood ceiling was carved out to reveal skylights above.

The Exeter School Multipurpose Building has done more than bring this small town in southwest Missouri a new practice gym, cafeteria, and performing-arts venue—the design has brought national attention and acclaim from the architectural community. The project, designed by DAKE WELLS architecture, created 11,600 square feet of new space for the school with a minimal cost of $2.2 million. Where in a typical school the gym, cafeteria, and performing-arts venue get their own space, this building is unique because it incorporates each feature into one space without sacrificing functionality. The difficulty was a matter of acoustics. The rectangular nature of typical gyms muddles all noise as it reverberates off the walls. To avoid this, Dake Wells aimed to create a "sweet spot" in front of the stage that captures and focuses the sounds of a performance. All residual sound is absorbed and disappears into the space. In addition to innovative design, the project also focused on sustainability. Translucent glass and skylights were used to provide illumination through ambient daylight and decreased the need for electric lighting. abq

Project Details Location: Exeter, MO Completed: 2009 Client: Exeter Schools Architect: DAKE WELLS architecture Photography: Gayle Babcock, Architectural Imageworks

Sound Check The acoustic capability of the space is impressive. The folds in the ceiling contain sound and reflect it to the audience below. Each fold was carefully calculated for optimum sound performance. Not only does the stage provide a perfect venue for school productions, it was also designed as a drama classroom. During the day, a door is lowered to separate the drama kids from the jocks. The door acts as a stage curtain to limit sounds of basketballs and falsettos from transferring back and forth.

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march/april 2011

american builders quarterly


contents

A gymnasium requires durability. Impact-resistant lights were used in the wood ceiling, and strip fluorescents were mounted in the web of the beams to protect them from athletic activities. Electric lighting is minimal, as strategically placed skylights provide daylighting.

small-town resource For a small town, the multipurpose building provides impressive design and functional capability when compared to its big-city counterparts. The structure has created a new community gathering place for Exeter and has really energized the community. The space goes beyond interesting design and is functional right down to the floor. Made of rubber, it serves both as a durable athletic surface and an easy-to-clean cafeteria floor. The wood ceiling doesn't end in the rafters. Instead, the wood wraps down the back wall and becomes a bench. Situated away from the main floor, this "off-court" area serves as a rest stop during practice or as a hangout for students before and after school.

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THE

ISSUE

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 Honoring development, innovation, and a commitment to excellence American Builders Quarterly速 is celebrating the best in American building and design with the 2011 Building Excellence Awards


RECOGNITION: The first annual ABQ Building Excellence Awards have been launched to recognize achievements in architecture, design, and community planning. Winning projects will receive featured coverage in the November/ December 2011 issue of ABQ. CATEGORIES: One residential and one commercial project will be designated as the Project of the Year, and awards

and honorable mentions will be given in over 15 categories across all residential and commercial building sectors. APPLY TODAY FOR THE 2012 AWARDS PROGRAM: Registration is now open for all categories in the second annual ABQ Building Excellence Awards. For more information on registration deadlines, a complete list of categories, and downloadable entry forms, visit americanbuildersquarterly.com/awards


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Conservation & Development

Dimension IV ........................................................... 18 JAIR LYNCH Development Partners............................ 21 Wyoming Land Trust ................................................ 23 Dover, Kohl & Partners.............................................. 25 Windsor/Aughtry Company ....................................... 27 Pictured: Dover, Kohl & Partners' I'On Village in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

Photo: Bruce Damonte.

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conservation & development

Dimension IV. Creating synergy through strategic urban redevelopment The passions of architecture firm Dimension IV—susAt a Glance Location: Green Bay, WI Founded: 1999 Employees: 8 Specialty: Sustainable architecture and community development Above: Working on the redevelopment of the historic industrial buildings along Broadway, Dimension IV is bringing partners together to develop unique residential units.

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tainability and community—drive each of the Green Bay firm’s projects but are especially visible in the master plan for a unique development in Wisconsin known as Larsen Green. When Larsen Co., a vegetable-processing company, shuttered a 22-acre facility in Green Bay, it left behind the shell of a 100-year-old factory. Daniel Roarty, owner of Dimension IV, was one of a handful of community-minded people that has stepped in to help redevelop the area as a vibrant and unique mixeduse project. Roarty started Dimension IV in 1999 after stints with an architectural firm and a construction company. Even then, he fully embraced the emerging principals of green building. Dimension IV was established around the philosophy of creative, functional design, which lends itself to sustainable architecture and planning. “Architects trained in the ’70s and early ’80s were already thinking sustainably,” Roarty says. He learned to apply wind direction to naturally ventilate buildings, to examine flex-

ibility and function to increase a structure’s lifespan, and to use daylighting to limit energy consumption. “When you combine the problem solving of an architect with the function demanded by the client, you naturally design sustainably,” he says. Although his firm completes a wide array of projects, including commercial units, office spaces, government buildings, and religious structures, Roarty is focused on the common threads of urban redevelopment and green architecture. “We view ourselves as problem solvers,” he says. “We purposefully attack new building types each year to keep things alive and interesting.” The strategy helps Roarty and his staff provide stronger designs. A church that incorporates an office space, for example, will benefit from the firm’s corporate experience. Involving the local community helps Dimension IV complete effective and viable solutions. This was the case at St. John the Baptist Parish in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The 150-year-old community had a church of 400 seats,

american builders quarterly


conservation & development

and could no longer accommodate its 5,000 members. Dimension IV spent 18 months discussing the job’s details with parishioners. During the construction phase, Roarty and his colleagues held weekly site tours after

When you combine the problem solving of an architect with the function demanded by the client, you naturally design sustainably. Daniel Roarty, Owner

mass. The approach brought the community a 1,200-seat church with impressive acoustics that still retains the original’s intimate nature. Because the community was actively involved, the project engendered much enthusiasm, and the parish expects to repay the building loan in just five years. A similar credo governs the in-progress Larsen project. Dimension IV was retained in 2005 to develop a feasibility study and master plan for Larsen Green, through which every project in the development will be eligible for LEED certification. In 2007, On Broadway, Inc., a Wisconsin Main Street program, purchased the site. Dimension IV halved demolition cost estimates of $750,000 by crushing existing concrete for reuse as

american builders quarterly

gravel, recycling copper wire for savings, and repurposing existing structures. Now, Dimension IV is working with On Broadway to identify partners for further development of the site to address issues raised by area residents. Condos, loftstyle living, and a year-round market will create a bustling atmosphere connected to local services. The first floor of a structure now known as “Building A” will hold the public market. A permanent deli vendor in Building B, the adjacent property, will purchase from the market and provide a hyper-local menu. Another site, Building C, is expected to accommodate residential, educational, or retail tenants while a final building will consist of offices and artist studios. As the 10-year plan is completed, other existing streets will be incorporated—housing retailers on the first floor and a mix of small offices and residents above. “We want to create the kind of old-fashioned community where someone can buy property downtown, build a business, live above, and then rent out their unit after a few years of success,” Roarty says. The community also asked for the creation of a strong creative atmosphere. Much of Larsen Green will cater to artists, artisans, and design professionals and culminate in a new art museum. Roarty hopes a strong bond with local technical schools and colleges will help this creative class strengthen the economic means to sustain their passions. True sustainability, Roarty has discovered, only happens when developments feed the community. “If residents haven’t demanded something, the ability for it to sustain itself is diminished,” he explains. “When the basis of a development is the community, there is a core that will help the project stand the test of time.” By focusing on a community-driven model, Dimension IV is building neighborhoods that will thrive well into the future. —Zach Baliva

Above: Sanctuary of Saint John the Baptist Parish in Green Bay, WI. To keep the community involved, Dimension IV spent 18 months discussing the project with churchgoers and held weekly site tours during construction.

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JAIR LYNCH Development Partners . Urban regeneration exemplifies the art and science of transforming the face of cities At a Glance Location: Washington, DC Founded: 1998 Employees: 12 Specialty: Transformation of urban markets

Many former athletes enter the business world as restaurateurs, auto dealers, or sportscasters. But Jair K. Lynch—a silver medalist on the parallel bars at the 1996 Summer Olympics—took a different route. He founded JAIR LYNCH Development Partners (JLDP), headquartered in Washington, DC. This was not an unusual choice for Lynch. After earning a bachelor of science in civil engineering and a bachelor of arts in urban design from Stanford University, he joined the real-estate department of Silicon Graphics, Inc., in Sunnyvale, California. “Good real estate was a key part of SGI’s business model,” he says. “They were convinced that well-designed facilities could help attract and keep top engineering talent.”

american builders quarterly

When Lynch returned to Washington in 1998, he decided to apply the SGI approach to his home area and looked to the European process of urban regeneration as his inspiration. “When you talk about urban renewal, it generally means tearing down an old neighborhood and completely rebuilding it, which effectively replaces the neighborhood you set out to revitalize,” says Mark Taylor, executive vice president and chief development officer of JLDP. “But urban regeneration focuses on revitalizing neighborhoods without displacing their original residents.” “It’s a more skillful approach to rebuilding and maturing a neighborhood,” Lynch says. “You get what’s needed to make it resilient, exciting, and diverse. It takes time,

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conservation & development Previous page: A rendering of 3Tree Flats in Washington, DC. The project became LEED Gold-certified before construction was even completed. Right: Paul Lawrence Dunbar Apartment building in Washington, DC. Whereas other builders might have demolished it, JLDP refurbished the structure into a 171-unit senior housing complex.

and it’s very complicated; it’s not a quick fix like urban renewal was supposed to be. But it works; it creates sustainable, diverse neighborhoods.” JLDP accomplishes this through its three lines of business: sponsored investments, development services, and advisory services, and it plans its projects by evaluating the stage of a neighborhood. “We see them in five stages,” Lynch says. “Stage I (neglect) is the lowest, and stage V (prosperity) is the highest. In a stage I or II area, we look at long-term tasks that are five to 10 years out.” At that level, a neighborhood might have seen little

Urban regeneration focuses on revitalizing neighborhoods without displacing their original residents. Jair Lynch, president

or no investment in several decades. “We try to bring in whatever’s needed to establish and preserve the area’s integrity,” Lynch says. “This includes assets like affordable and market-rate housing, medical centers, schools, libraries, and recreation centers.” Maturing neighborhoods (the upper stages) benefit from JLDP’s efforts to bring in sponsored real estate investments such as office buildings, retail stores, and hotels. “At that point we have it a little easier than some developers,” Lynch says. “Because we were there from the beginning, investors see us as long-term partners; we’re not there just to make a fast buck.” One such project is 3Tree Flats, 130 units of affordable housing in Washington’s emerging Petworth neighborhood. “We’re helping mature the market by providing a new style of housing—mid-rise urban,” Lynch says. The ground-level floor of the 3Tree Flats is also home to a 26,000-square-foot primary healthcare center, which is owned and operated by Mary’s Center, a local provider. Certified LEED Gold even before construction was finished, the complex should be the gateway for bringing institutional equity and projects into the area.

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Similarly, the Paul Laurence Dunbar Apartments, also in the District and named after the prominent African-American poet, provide 171 units of affordable senior housing. The complex was purchased in June 2010 through a joint venture of JLDP, the community’s Resident Association, and MacFarlane Partners of San Francisco. “We came into an emerging stage IV neighborhood and helped the Tenants’ Association to exercise its first-refusal rights to purchase the building,” Lynch says. The residents can stay in their homes, but another developer might have razed the building. A side benefit to the communities is the walk scores they attain. The hundred-point scale indicates whether stores, schools, restaurants, or other neighborhood facilities are easily reached on foot. “The better places have high scores,” Lynch says. “Our projects usually score above 90.” —Frederick Jerant

A Message from Holland & Knight Holland & Knight is proud to represent JAIR LYNCH Development Partners in their urban development projects. As one of the nation's largest real estate practices, our lawyers assist corporate owners, developers, contractors, investors, property managers, tenants, lenders, pension funds, and REITs in all types of real estate matters. Learn more about Holland & Knight at www.hklaw.com.

american builders quarterly


conservation & development

Wyoming Land Trust. Balancing the needs of ranchers and wildlife As communities expand in the west, wildlife-conservaAt a Glance Location: Pinedale, WY Founded: 2000 Employees: 5 Specialty: Land conservation

Above: The Corridor Conservation Campaign fence crew runs wire on a soon-to-be-modified fence in Wyoming.

tion issues arise. Although communities need growth to survive, community members often worry about stabilizing this growth. Over a decade ago, ranchers, teachers, and small business owners in Sublette County, Wyoming, formed a private, nonprofit land trust to stem the loss of Wyoming’s private land and help ranchers conserve their agricultural and natural resources. In Sublette County, there are more than 250 working ranches, and of these, more than 100 are recognized by the state of Wyoming as centennial ranches—ranches owned and operated by the same family for over a century. This territory is also used by migrating herds of elk, moose, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and white-tailed deer. The pronghorn migration route from Grand Teton National Park to southern Sublette County, for example, is the third longest non-avian migration route in the western hemisphere.

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“The Wyoming Land Trust offers a way to conserve what landowners love about their land—agricultural viability, wildlife habitat, open space, and scenic view,” says Jordan Vana, director of conservation. “We do this through conservation easements that restrict or prohibit certain types of developments in order to conserve the property’s agricultural and natural values. It’s a voluntary, incentive-based way for landowners to convey some or all of their development rights in perpetuity.” With five full-time employees and a board of 16 directors, the Wyoming Land Trust has already conserved 28,564 acres of ranch land. These easements can be donated or bought, and they follow survey boundaries (not geographic or geological landmarks). On average, these easements are from 1,000 to 2,000 acres, but some have been as small as 40 acres or as large as 5,000 acres. “We don’t talk about our work in terms of protecting or saving land; we talk about conserving the land,” Vana says. “We

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conservation & development

Above: The Wyoming Land Trust is working to modify 500 miles of existing fences in key western Wyoming wildlife-migration routes to make them passable for wildlife and workable for ranchers at no cost to landowners. Right: The Corridor Conservation Campaign fence crew measures wire spacing on a fence brace in Wyoming.

conserve land for our communities, our families, and for our grandkids.” In 2009 Wyoming Land Trust began the Corridor Conservation Campaign, also known as the Wildlife Friendly Fence Program, to modify fences that facilitate wildlife migration. The Trust does not construct or tear

The Wyoming Land Trust offers a way to conserve what landowners love about their land: agricultural viability, wildlife habitat, open space, and scenic views. Jordan Vana, Director of Conservation

down boundary fences but modifies the existing barbedwire fences to make them wildlife friendly. The bottom wire is removed and replaced with smooth wire 16 inches from the ground. Fences are also checked to make sure they are no taller than 42 inches, with 10-12 inches

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between the top two wires. The smooth bottom wire allows antelope to scoot under the fence, and the lowered height allows mule deer to hop over. If fences are too high, migration is restricted, and if the two top wires are too close together, animals become trapped and die. When elk and moose become tangled in the fence, they can rip it out, which increases the risk of livestock escaping. “By the end of 2010, wildlife will find 280 miles of previously prohibitive fencing now passable, and ranchers and landowners will have 280 miles of modified fence that won’t impede their operation,” Vana says. “We modify these fences at no cost to the landowner, and if they agree, we hire a qualified contractor through a bid process to go out and do the work. The landowner agrees to maintain the fence in good condition for typically 20 years. It’s our organization’s responsibility to pay the contractor and the landowner’s to maintain the fence.” The project has garnered support from many nontraditional groups such as oil and gas companies, federal agencies, environmental groups, hunters, and sportsmen. All these see the project as a common-sense solution to a problem. The Corridor Conservation Campaign is specific to Sublette County and was designed to be a five-year project to modify 500 miles of fencing. With permission from landowners, the Wyoming Land Trust hires surveyors to identify key migration routes and to make an inventory of all existing fences within that route to determine whether fences impede migration. Since phase one of the project started in 2009, over 107 miles of fence has been inventoried, and 82 miles has been modified. For phase two, Wyoming Land Trust is in the process of modifying fences for the mule deer migration route, which covers over 86,000 acres at the foot of Wind River Mountains. —Joyce Finn

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conservation & development

Dover, Kohl & Partners. Determining parameters for LEED Neighborhood Development At a Glance Location: Coral Gables, FL Founded: 1987 Employees: 15 Specialty: Urban planning

Above: Aerial view of a transit-oriented development designed for downtown Kendall in Miami-Dade County, FL.

Long before architectural software became commonplace, the firm of Dover, Kohl & Partners (DKP) thrived in the field of photorealistic digital renderings. In the late 1980s the firm expanded its reach into urban planning, and since then the firm’s clients have included private developers, municipalities, counties, and government agencies—both nationally and internationally. Victor Dover, one of the founders of DKP, recently served on the core committee for LEED Neighborhood Development. Alongside other companies, the firm helped create the rating system for the U.S. Green Building Council’s latest LEED certification program. The rating system established metrics for better use of resources—whether water, electricity, or fossil fuel consumption—at the neighborhood level; such matters had been previously covered by USGBC only at the level of individual buildings. Andrew Georgiadis, LEED AP and a project director at DKP, believes that climatic, demographic, health, and local economic challenges can all be addressed by better, more sustainable urban planning. “So much of our foot-

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print, as individuals and as a nation, goes back to the way we organize our human settlements,” Georgiadis says. The convergence of a poor economy and a demographic shift in population has pushed a need for more sustainable, better-designed cities. “In the old days, there was a drive-until-you-qualify mentality where you drove and drove until you found a house you could afford,” Georgiadis says. “It’s extreme commuting, and that’s starting to wither away. Some of those far-flung suburbs are now really suffering.” The high cost of oil dependency has also recently become a national issue, and alternative transportation networks have increased in importance. “We’re not going to see gas as cheap as it was for many decades, so rather than let resource constraints dictate how we live, we would like to be ahead of that and help make enjoyable lifestyles possible in an environment of constrained resources before it happens,” Georgiadis says. “We haven’t been planning our cities or organizing our nation as if fossil fuels are a finite resource. Our land-use patterns are auto-oriented rather than transit-oriented and pedestrian-friendly. When we plan any commu-

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conservation & development Left: Like parts of Downtown Charleston, high density is achieved at I'On with two- and three-story buildings. Houses have very shallow setbacks, are close together, and feature raised-finish floors that provide privacy. Dignified proportions and narrow streets create a high degree of spatial enclosure and a comfortable walking environment.

nity at any scale, we ask ourselves how we can address the need to have our neighborhoods, towns, and cities remain livable even with reduced oil availability. One of the fun parts of our practice is to work out how regional transportation systems work with smaller-scale supporting systems, and with walkable and cycle-friendly streets at the neighborhood and town level.” One example is downtown Kendall in Miami-Dade County, Florida. This large suburban mall with huge parking lots has a commuter rail stop. Unfortunately,

So much of our footprint, as individuals and as a nation, goes back to the way we organize our human settlements. Andrew Georgiadis, LEED AP, Project Director

Hall Planning & Engineering, Inc.

Purveyors of the Pedestrian Perspective Walkable thoroughfare design for professionals creating livable places.

322 Beard Street Tallahassee, FL 32303

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850-222-2277 www.hpe-inc.com

once a transit rider got off the train, they were confronted with acres and acres of asphalt parking. DKP, in partnership with Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, redesigned the district and produced a form-based code for the area. The result is an urban village that has taken shape within walking distance of the train station. There are landscaped public plazas, places of employment, residences, and a variety of retail establishments where at one time there had only been parking lots. Another example of their expertise is a master plan for Glenwood Park in Atlanta, Georgia. The former industrial site is over 75 percent built-up. The 28-acre site offers homeowners a whole range of building types including inexpensive apartments, row-houses, live/work units, cottages, and a variety of detached houses. There are also ample areas of public gathering space including green parks and urban plazas. Residents have also taken over some of the vacant spaces for organic gardening. “Part of what we enjoy most is the idea that we can learn from the past so when we’re designing towns and cities, we can rescue some of the principles that were perfected over hundreds, even thousands, of years by our predecessors and see how these time-tested principles can be used to create high-quality places of enduring value that are a joy to live in,” Georgiadis says. —Joyce Finn

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conservation & development

Windsor/Aughtry Company. A unique, multifaceted perspective on real estate gives company a competitive edge At a Glance Location: Greenville, SC Founded: 1988 Employees: 30-40 Specialty: Commercial and residential development and brokerage

Above: Windsor/Aughtry takes on many largescale projects, such as Poinsett Corners, a multiuse structure that takes up an entire block of Greenville, SC.

It was a match made in heaven. Windsor Properties was a well-respected homebuilder in Greenville, South Carolina, and The Aughtry Company had equal standing with the commercial-development and brokerage side of the market. By joining forces in the late 1980s, the two companies not only managed to cut down on overhead costs and improve their margins, but the resulting firm, Windsor/Aughtry Company, has now been serving nearly every sector of the real estate market for 20 years. “The two niche firms combined to become a full-service real estate firm,” says Bo Aughtry, president of Windsor/ Aughtry's commercial division. “Now we're able to offer a broad array of real estate services.” Charles Reyner, development manager and brokerin-charge for Windsor/Aughtry’s commercial division, joined the company in 1998, long after the merger, but he can still see the fluid unification in the company’s day-today approach to real estate. Windsor/Aughtry buys and sells, designs and builds, develops, markets, and manages properties in both the residential and commercial sector. Offering such a comprehensive range of services gives the company an unusual perspective on the market, which has become a beneficial asset, according to Reyner. “Having the blend of the development roles with the brokerage roles really gives our developers a knowledge

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base of what the market is looking for,” he says. “It works both ways; our brokers can also help the buyers make the decision to purchase the property based on the brokers’ market knowledge.” Windsor/Aughtry isn’t the only one to play a lot of real-estate roles—Reyner does as well. In addition to being the commercial broker-in-charge, he’s also the development manager for one of the company’s biggest developments. Reyner has been in charge of managing the $45 million Main@Broad development for Aughtry in downtown Greenville since it began in January 2006. Typically, after the company has been awarded a contract, the oversight of the project would go to a separate construction manager, but due to some internal reorganization, Reyner has seen the project all the way from the bid through the construction to the leasing of the retail and office spaces. Although it’s unusual to have one person carry such a large project through from beginning to end, Reyner says it’s been a great experience. “I’ve gotten to wear lots of hats on this one,” he says. Main@Broad is a 235,000-square-foot mixed-use development in the heart of Greenville's downtown area. The project is built around a 135-room Marriot Courtyard hotel, incorporates both office space (55,000 square feet) and retail space (10,000 square feet), and is rounded

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conservation & development

Above: A Simpsonville, SC, shopping center, a model of practicality. Right: Hampton Inn & Suites in Greenville, SC, part of a larger downtown development known as RiverPlace.

out by a public plaza that boasts grass in the summer and ice-skating during the winter. This project, selected through a municipal RFP process, is the fourth development that Windsor/Aughtry has done for the city of

We chase the markets where we see the opportunities are. We’re able to adapt and ramp up quickly wherever we need to.

Creating the places where you want to be since 1988.

Charles Reyner, Broker-in-Charge

Greenville. Reyner says this relationship has served both the company and the community well—in addition to revitalizing downtown, they have also brought jobs to the community and turned an under-used site into taxable property for the city. Not just a municipal-cooperation success story, Main@Broad is also the most upscale of twelve hotel projects Aughtry has developed. Five or six years ago, the company was doing mostly retail developments, according to Reyner, but as the market shifted, they began to see a better return on investment in the hospitality sector, so they refocused their energy. This flexibility is another of Windsor/Aughtry’s strengths. “We’re a bunch of entrepreneurial minds,” he says. “We chase the markets where we see the opportunities are. We’re able to adapt and ramp up quickly wherever we need to.” Although no one can predict where the market will go next, Windsor/ Aughtry’s unique position in the industry will no doubt keep them ahead of the curve. —Kelly O’Brien

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WINDSOR AUGHTRY COMPANY Home Building, Residential & Commercial Real Estate and Development 800.487.5241 | www.windsoraughtry.com

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Public Structures

Puchlik Design Associates ........................................ 30 Tokarski Milleman Architects .................................... 32 Perspective, Inc. ...................................................... 34 Desmone and Associates .......................................... 37 TCF Architecture ...................................................... 40 HKT Architects ........................................................ 43 Meister Architects ..................................................... 47 Mark Cerrone ........................................................... 49 Studio 2G ................................................................ 53 Pictured: The Mosque of Nasreen, designed by Studio2G.

Photo: Thomas Esser, Studio2G Architects.


public structures

Puchlik Design Associates. Institutional architecture firm is known for its sustainable design strategies At a Glance Location: Pasadena, CA Founded: 1948 Employees: 20 Specialty: Institutional-architectural services in health care, senior housing, education, and clerical facilities

Above: Puchlik Design Associates specializes in redesign services, such as the catheterization lab at Irvine Regional Medical Center in Irvine, CA.

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Puchlik Design Associates (PDA) knows all about buildings. As providers of architecture services, they deal with buildings every day, from the programming, design, and planning of a new facility to the renovation of an existing one. But there’s also another type of construction the firm is known for: building client relationships. In addition to their architectural talents, the staff and principals at PDA pride themselves on their ability to nurture and maintain long-term relationships with their clients. According to Bruce Macpherson, one of the firm’s principals, it’s not only good for business, it also helps to inspire the creative process—and helps them tailor a design to a client’s needs. “We work to develop long-term relationships such that a client can pick up the phone and request something as simple as placing a door in a hospital corridor—or as complex as designing a replacement tower,” Macpherson says. PDA’s long and successful history dates back to 1948, when it first began as Orr, Palmer, Inslee, Huber & Strange in Los Angeles, California. Since then the firm has been governed by several partnerships, including its most recent—PDA, established in 1999—and moved its headquarters down the road to Pasadena, but its handson approach to business hasn’t wavered. Indeed, one

of the firm’s two principals oversees all projects. Many larger architectural firms can’t do that because of their size, Macpherson points out, which is why PDA has made a conscious decision not to grow its staff beyond 25. “Our size and setup allow us to provide principal direction over every project in our portfolio,” Macpherson says. “That guarantees our clients the utmost leadership and expertise.” Equally unique is PDA’s client-based approach to projects. For every new project, the firm launches an extensive, in-depth interview process with the client to determine what kind of design will best suit their needs. There’s no whipping out a stock design from a filing cabinet; instead, the client is involved from the very beginning. For a hospital project, that would mean interviewing those affected by the design, including executives, medical staff, and IT engineers. “We are enthusiastic about our clients being part of the design team,” Macpherson says. “It promotes the right results at the right cost, and [it promotes] the most effective design for client satisfaction.” The health-care industry accounts for nearly 90 percent of PDA’s work; the rest is spread across the educational, senior housing, and religious arenas. In addition to its architectural expertise, the firm provides programming, planning, construction administration,

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public structures

Above: PDA's awardwinning nurse's station at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Right: Floor plan for the new Rancho Mirage Physical Rehabilitation Facility, a sustainable structure.

and architectural interior design services. What’s more, sustainable design plays a role in every project. In fact, PDA has been incorporating sustainable design elements into its work long before it became fashionable to do so. At the outset of each project, the design team considers all the factors that can potentially impact the environment, such as location, site utilization, energy consumption, and environmental orientation. PDA also makes the effort to educate its clients about the advantages of sustainable design strategies—permeable outdoor paving, daylighting interiors, and sourcing local and recycled materials are just a few examples. One particular project that’s slated to wrap up at the end of 2011 highlights the firm’s commitment to sustainable design. The $20 million Rancho Mirage Physical Rehabilitation Facility is a 56,000-square-foot, 50-bed acute-care rehabilitation hospital in the California desert, an ideal site for implementing sustainable strategies. According to Macpherson, PDA’s design includes high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, daylighting, and sun control shades. And to address the facility’s water use—a key issue considering its desert location—the designers have planned for native, droughtresistant landscaping throughout. “We view sustainable design as much more than a popular trend; its principles inform what we do as designers,” says Macpherson, who is LEED accredited. “Achieving a responsible interaction with the environment is a goal for every project.” —Cristina Adams

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N.A. Cohen Group is proud to support Puchlik Design Associates and help them achieve highly efficient and sustainable designs. Our company has provided engineering services to healthcare, university and colleges, entertainment and hospitality projects, in the past five decades. Our qualified staff is equipped with most updated engineering tools to produce quality projects in timely manner. Our services include concept studies, master planning, due diligence reviews, construction documents, system analysis and construction administrations.

N. A. COHEN GROUP INC. Consulting Electrical Engineers 15720 Ventura Blvd., Suite 500 | Encino, CA 91436 Phone: (818) 461-1420 | Fax: (818) 461-1424

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public structures

Tokarski Millemann Architects. Elegant and enduring design solutions At a Glance Location: Brick Township, NJ Founded: 2000 Employees: 6 Specialty: Architecture of institutional, educational, retail, automotive, and clerical buildings

Above: Tokarski Millemann Architects' family-center addition to The Church of Grace and Peace in Toms River, NJ, was the project that led to the founding of the firm.

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Providing creative design solutions that are elegant, executable, and enduring, Tokarski Millemann Architects (TMA) serve a diverse range of industries including educational, retail, automotive, and religious clientele. “We view the creation of architecture as a team sport, and as the ‘coach’ of the project, we carry out the owner’s desire to successfully accomplish a goal,” says Richard Tokarski, one of the firm’s principals. “We collaborate with contractors, subcontractors, engineers, surveyors, and consultants to generate the best solution for the project.” Tokarski founded the firm in 2000, and Michael Millemann joined the firm in 2005 and became a principal in 2007. The firm quickly outgrew its original office space and relocated to its present location in Brick, New Jersey, and then expanded its regional presence by becoming licensed in New York, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. As TMA’s size grew, so did its reputation. The firm received back-to-back awards in 2006 and 2007 when each principal received the New Jersey American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Shore Chapter Young Architect of the Year Award. Tokarski and Millemann met during their formal training at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. After

college, Tokarski, who planned to someday open his own firm, traveled throughout Europe studying many great works of architecture, while Millemann went directly into the field and quickly rose to principal at his prior firm. The pair wound up working together at one of the largest K-12 educational firms in the Northeast, where much of their technical foundation was laid. The goal of having his own firm never left Tokarski, however, and he took a “leap of faith” when the Church of Grace and Peace in Toms River, New Jersey, called. “They asked if I was interested in designing a 15,000-square-foot addition to their facility,” he says. “The call came as confirmation, so I started the firm and a decade later we’re still designing churches—among other building typologies.” Tokarski says the firm’s inspiration comes from its clients. “We’ve trained ourselves to be great listeners because through communication our client’s dreams and passions are revealed,” he notes. “We feel it’s our job as architects to transform their dreams, however abstract, into an artistic integration expressed in a built form.” The principals hesitate to name a specialty and point out that their specialty is diversity—the firm’s work spans numerous typologies such as K-12 schools, universities, churches, automotive dealerships, retail spaces, offices,

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public structures Right: The Savoca Residence in Brick, NJ, offers an example of the intricate, smaller-scale residential work TMA is capable of.

municipal buildings, restaurants, and custom and waterfront residential. “The world thinks of specialization as becoming an expert in one thing, but we believe diversification propagates creativity in architecture because the lessons learned from one building type enrich the next project,” Millemann says. Tokarski says one of the most memorable projects the firm was involved with was The Hope Center, a faith-based organization in New Jersey, which ministers to inner city kids through the arts. “We spent several

We view the creation of architecture as a team sport, and as the ‘coach’ of the project, we carry out the owner’s desire to successfully accomplish a goal.

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Richard Tokarski, Founder

years analyzing numerous sites to find a new home for the Hope Center,” he says. “We then transformed an old 10,000-square-foot brick building into auditorium, which also serves as an art gallery during the week, a cafe, dance studio, classrooms and offices. The adaptive reuse project is now a beacon of hope in Jersey City Heights.” Currently, TMA is working on a $3 million solar installation for the Keyport School District, a project that will generate $250,000 in revenue for the district per year. The firm is also finishing the construction phase of the DNA Repository for Rutgers University and plans on expanding its higher-education clientele. Both principals became LEED-accredited professionals in 2009, and the firm hopes to increase its number of LEED-certified projects in the future. As far as reaching out to new clients, Millemann says referral is the firm’s main source for new work—with contractors comprising TMA’s largest referral base. “Satisfied clients make a great marketing department, and our team approach to architecture is well respected among the trades,” he says. —Julie Edwards

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Perspective Inc. A personalized design aesthetic serves local community "Both my father and grandfather were carpenters,” says At a Glance Location: Sioux Falls, SD Founded: 2007 Employees: 6

Above: Working in a smaller market has pushed Perspective Inc. to adapt its services to any sort of building project, including The Lodge at Deadwood in Deadwood, SD. Photo: Ken Peterson.

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Larry Crane, founding partner at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, architecture firm Perspective Inc. “And I remember seeing my father one summer on a hot roof in Iowa and him telling me I should go to school so that I could be on the other end of the hammer.” Crane heeded his advice, enrolling at Iowa State University, receiving a BA in Architecture in 1991, and setting off on a career in design. That career took him to Chicago, Wyoming, and finally Sioux Falls, where he cofounded Perspective in 2007. “I had worked for a variety of firms and learned from them, but I felt like I had a better idea of how to deliver architecture to clients—a more purposeful, clientfocused approach,” he says. “I’d seen too much of firms looking at bottom-line factors before client needs, and I wanted Perspective to be different.” Sioux Falls isn’t a small town, exactly, but it’s not necessarily a thriving market for designers, either. “We don’t really have the luxury of focusing on just one niche area,” Crane says. “So we take on a fairly wide variety of projects—commercial, institutional, healthcare, and hospitality. We don’t get much into residential, but otherwise I’d say we’re versatile.” That adaptability has served Crane’s firm well. Perspective has seen a consistent uptick in business through

the recession, its staff of six working on somewhere between two and five large-scale projects a year ranging between $5 million and $20 million in construction costs. The Lodge at Deadwood, a South Dakota gaming resort Perspective designed that features a 140-unit hotel, casino, restaurant, and convention center and that opened in early 2010, was an especially prominent recent job. But Project Safe Home, a Sioux Falls facility that will be occupied by chronically homeless persons, provides perhaps a more telling glimpse into Perspective’s approach. The facility aims to be a place where individuals can establish a physical address from which to reconnect with their families and society as a whole as well as receive treatments for mental and physical problems. “It’s meant to be a safe place, so a warm and inviting—but also durable—interior design was our concept,” Crane says. “In terms of quality, the finishes are what we might do in a detention center or prison, but they’re more detailed and not so hard and cold. We wanted it to look and feel as comfortable as any other place in the city.” For the education and visitor’s center at McCrory Gardens in Brooking, South Dakota, Perspective gradually incorporated sustainable elements into the design. The new building is the first central gateway threshold to the gardens, which have been around for thirty years. “We

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public structures

wanted to blend in and connect with the gardens,” Crane says. “There was a strong focus on traditional shapes and forms and natural stones. We wanted the indoor and the outdoor to become extensions of each other.”

We’re always trying to stay current with [sustainable design], looking for new ways to save on energy and costs. Larry Crane, Partner

LEED Silver was the goal from the outset, so geothermal wells were installed, which improved building performance and cut down on overhead. Rainwater collection, daylighting, and the use of regional materials with high recycled content were among the other green features. Crane says he expects to continue designing with sustainability in mind. “So far, we’ve designed four projects that have been certified in various ways,” he says. “McCrory was the first where the clients were eager to certify. But if the client isn’t interested in certification, we can still blend those good practices into our process. And we’re always trying to stay current with that, looking for new ways to save on energy and costs.” —David Hudnall

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Top: Conceptual rendering of Project Safe Home's front entrance in Sioux Falls, SD. Perspective, Inc. designed the home to blend durability with overall comfort. Above: Perspective Inc. takes interior design heavily into consideration as well, and you can see the intricacies of the firm's work in the guest sitting area of The Lodge. Photo: Ken Peterson.

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public structures

Desmone & Associates Architects. Bringing passion, client service, and three generations of design expertise to every project Three Desmone-family generations ago, John At a Glance Location: Pittsburgh, PA Founded: 1957 Employees: 17 Specialty: Architecture, LEED, interiors, marketing design, and feasibility studies Above: Faade of Saints John and Paul Church in Wexford, PA. Photo: ©2010 Ed Massery.

Desmone set up an architecture practice in his garage in Springdale, Pennsylvania. His first project was an elementary school, which was followed by a church and then a high school. Almost 53 years later, his legacy lives on in Desmone & Associates Architects, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based firm of 17 full-time architects, designers, and staff with enough awards to make a medalwinning Olympic athlete blush. The tradition of the family-owned enterprise has endured since the company was founded. Charles L. “Luke” Desmone, a principal at the firm, went to work for his uncle, John Desmone, in 1958, one year after the business opened. Two decades later, his son, Charles L. “Chip” Desmone, joined as a full-time architect for the company after studying architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. However, he initially started working

american builders quarterly

for his father in high school—first in field measuring and drafting and then in design and construction documents. These days, Chip is a firm principal, a member of the American Institute of Architects, and a LEED-accredited professional. The firm has expanded its services from solely architecture to include interior design, sustainable design, feasibility studies, planning, graphic design, and marketing materials. This wide range of talents and services is what keeps the design team at their creative best, according to Chip. “The diversity of projects we work on helps keep our people excited,” he says. “They aren’t pigeonholed into working on the same type of project year after year.” As the nature of the firm’s projects varies, so does their size. The company’s portfolio ranges from small graphic design projects to large hotel and condominium ventures worth over $100 million. Although most

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projects typically fall into the range of $1 million to $7 million, larger projects are not uncommon for the firm. The company’s One Grandview project is a prime example of their large-scale work. A huge mixed-use development with 163 hotel rooms and 59 condominiums, One Grandview is slated to go up in a prominent spot on the top of Mt. Washington, which overlooks downtown Pittsburgh. This project is significant in several respects: it will be a LEED building and incorporate sustainable design, its multiuse aspect will help jumpstart economic activity in the community, and it is being constructed in an area of the city that has traditionally been opposed to development. “We spent several years

The diversity of projects we work on helps keep our people excited. They aren’t pigeonholed into working on the same type of project year after year. Chip Desmone, Principal

enrolling the city and the neighbors in the design and development process,” Chip says. “That allowed us to gain overwhelming and unanimous support during the lengthy approval process.” Although the majority of Desmone & Associates’ business is concentrated in western Pennsylvania, the firm has worked both nationally and internationally. Thanks to Pittsburgh-based clients, the company has completed projects in 17 states and Southeast Asia, West Virginia University, the State System of Higher Angola, the Caribbean, and Guam. Most recently the Education, and the University of Pittsburgh, but the firm team has been working in Haiti for the Hôpital Albert is looking to increase project sizes and scope with these Schweitzer. institutions and others. Health care is of particular interest to the company Also in the plan over the next couple of years is more these days. Although the firm has designed many growth. Chip would like to see his staff increase to 31 hospital and health-care projects before, it was not a members and revenue to $6.7 million. Such growth, major focus until now. A number of recent hires boast and continuing the family tradition of innovative, costsignificant hospital and health-care work in their effective design solutions and world-class service, will be portfolios, and the company hopes to utilize their the key to the firm’s continued success. As Chip puts it, skills. Education is another area in which Desmone & “We have a passion to serve our clients in the best way Associates is increasing its profile. Higher-education clients have already included Carnegie Mellon University, we can.” —Cristina Adams

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Top: View of the sanctuary in Saints John and Paul Church. The stained-glass windows were carried over from the original structure and reframed. Bottom: The narthex of Saints John and Paul Church.

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TCF Architecture. Good design complements commitment to service and sustainability To TCF Architecture, the inhabitants of a project are At a Glance Location: Tacoma, WA Founded: 1960 Employees: 18 Specialty: Designing educational, municipal, and nonprofit arena buildings

Above: Front entrance of the TCF-designed VA Community Living Center in Tacoma, WA. Photos: Eckert & Eckert Photography.

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as important as the infrastructure. The 50-year-old Tacoma, Washington-based company goes beyond simply designing a facility to meet the client’s specifications; its principals go on-site with the workers who will be using the buildings to delve into the details of how people get their jobs done. “Any time you become very good at a particular project type, it’s the result of understanding the nuances,” says Randy Cook, managing principal of TCF along with partner Brian Fitzgerald and fellow principals Dean Willows and Chris Johnson. “We distinguish ourselves by working directly with a facility’s users in a very collaborative process that strives to go deeper than most processes, including spending time with the staff and crew in the field, watching how their industrial processes work, and finding out whether there is a more efficient method.” An example that illustrates TCF’s method is its design of a new way for the Pierce County, Washington, Central Maintenance Facility to store and set up its snowplows.

Since each plow has its own unique blade, chains, hitches, and sander box, TCF designed a crane system and a canopy-covered storage area that enables each driver to quickly and safely hook up the correct accessory to a truck within a fraction of the time of the old system. The $26 million facility, completed in May 2008, comprises seven buildings totaling 150,000 square feet, including a main building to house the management and administrative functions, locker room, crew rooms, a lobby, meeting room, and restrooms available to the public. The project includes maintenance shops and storage buildings for the vehicles, equipment, and materials needed to keep the Pierce County road system in top condition. TCF’s attention to a client’s inner workings and visions for the future has helped the firm build a strong reputation in several project types. “We’ve always had a strong diversity of work that includes a mixture of housing and health care in addition to nonprofit, educational, and municipal maintenance facility work with roughly

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Top Left: The living room in Heather’s Home is filled with natural light. Photo: Bjorn Wallander. Bottom Left: The upstairs bedroom in Heather's Home is ready for guests. Photo: Terri Glanger Photography. Top Right: The Zero Energy Casita combines cuttingedge technology with turnof-the-century aesthetics. The kitchen (bottom right) is fitted with Energy Star appliances.

We help our clients get the most out of their investments by integrating multiple sustainability standards within a context of creative design. Randy Cook, Managing Principal

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80 percent of projects in the public sector market,” Cook says. TCF considers itself a service firm with good ideas and offers clients high value with an eye on creative and sustainable design solutions. “We help our clients get the most out of their investments by integrating multiple sustainability standards within a context of creative design,” Cook says. “We work hard to provide our clients with high value and buildings that endure.” Two projects best exemplify TCF’s multipronged approach. First, TCF helped the Public Utility District (PUD) in Mason County, Washington, decide to relocate its administrative and field-work buildings onto the same site, which increased communication and synergy among the PUD’s managers, staff, and maintenance crews while eliminating the travel time and costs that come from decentralized buildings. The $25 million, 132,000-squarefoot, 17-acre campus project near Shelton, Washington, comprises a professional office building with field crew facilities, a warehouse building, covered storage for vehicles and equipment, a fleet and maintenance building, and a fuel-and-wash building. Sustainable strategies include a campus-wide geothermal heat-exchange system, extensive daylighting, natural ventilation, and high-performance, building-en-

Left: The green roof of the VA Community Living Center provides insulation, reducing energy costs. Right: The Public Works & Utilities building for Pierce County, WA. Large windows provide ample daylighting.

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Left: The dining room of the VA Community Living Center. The glass follows the angle of the ceiling to further maximize the daylighting.

velope systems. The integration of these systems makes the projects more than 50 percent more energy efficient than conventional buildings. Additionally, the roofs of the steel, pre-engineered storage and maintenance buildings are designed to be PV ready, allowing future photovoltaic panels to be installed. A full installation of panels enables the campus to be a net generator of electricity. The project is designed for eligibility for LEED Gold status. Another project, The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Living Center at American Lake in Tacoma, Washington—A new, contemporary nursinghome building for veterans on a historic medical-center campus—shows off an eco-roof with generous daylighting that floods the rooms and circulation areas with natural light, glazing, detailing, and insulation systems that create a high-performance building envelope. The one-story, $31 million, 80,000-square-foot Community Living Center building allows the sloped roof to be seen by staff, residents, and visitors. The green roof reduces storm water runoff, integrates the building into the natural forest setting, and acts as a sound barrier to reduce noise from aircraft flying in and out of nearby Joint Base Lewis-McChord. TCF is proud of such projects and accredits the success to its vibrant staff. The company prides itself on developing young architects who become active participants in the award-winning firm’s leadership. “Because our firm is small, upcoming architects have an opportunity to be involved in all phases of a project,” Cook says. —Sandra Guy

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HKT Architects, Inc. Sustainable building principles lead to successful community structures

At a Glance Location: Somerville, MA Founded: 1976 Employees: 14 Specialty: Schools, cultural centers, housing, medical facilities, and recreational centers

Above: Main entrance of the Cambridge Annex. HKT renovated the 19th-century building after excessive pollutants were found. Photo: Dan Gair/ Blind Dog Photo.

Founded in 1976, HKT Architects, Inc., a full-service architectural firm in Somerville, Massachusetts, is a strong player in the region’s sustainable-design arena. “All three of the firm’s principals and all of our registered architects are LEED-certified,” says principal William Hammer, AIA. “We entered the sustainable field in 2002 when an unexpected opportunity appeared. We picked up the ball and ran with it.” Since then, HKT has completed many buildings including schools, cultural centers, housing, medical facilities, and recreational centers using sustainable approaches. Although the company is based in the New England area, it has also completed projects in New York, Pennsylvania and China. Annual billings are roughly $3 million. HKT employs about 14 people. In past years, he says, the roster has been as high as 30. “We all have to work a little harder,” Hammer says, “ but we’re going to get through this economic downturn reasonably well.” Hammer was personally involved in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, City Hall Annex project in 2002. Excessive pollutants in the 19th-century building prompted an extensive renovation. Concurrently, the council determined that all capital projects had to be sustainable. “That was our entry to sustainable design,” Hammer

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says. “We felt like pioneers back them. It was a great learning experience for everyone.” Some of the key green aspects are: a ground-source geothermal system in three 1,200-foot-deep wells that provides all heating and cooling; solar panels that produce about 10 percent of the building’s energy needs; water-efficient landscaping that reduces water usage by 50 percent; wood from sustainable woodlands; and recycled steel framing, carpet, and ceiling materials. “When we restored the windows to their historic large size,” Hammer adds, “we were able to bring natural daylight to 90% of the annex’s workspaces.”   The annex has received many awards, including LEED Gold certification and the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council’s First Place Exemplary Sustainable Building Award in 2006. HKT Architects also brought its skills to the $26 million Samuel Hadley Public Services Facility in Lexington, Massachusetts. Completed in 2009, the LEED Silver-certified structure houses Lexington’s Department of Public Works and Department of Public Facilities. “We designed a storm water management system that really cut back on the facility’s water requirements,” project manager Mike Lawrence says. “Roof runoff goes to underground storm water infiltration chambers and

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to a rainwater harvesting system, and parking lot runoff enters nearby bio-basins. There’s no irrigation, and the stored water is used for street sweeping and vehicle washing. We’ve attained water usage that’s 42 percent below the USGBC baseline case.” Proper insulation and a highly reflective roof eliminate the need for air conditioning in the operations areas. Lawrence says, “During construction, we checked the temperatures of the white top layer and the black base layer. The white part was 30 degrees cooler.” The building’s southern exposure provides natural light and heat via windows and skylights; a high-efficiency HVAC system and room-light sensors also reduce energy needs. The building also uses recycled ceramic tile and carpet, bio-composite windowsills, and FSCcertified lumber. The Doyle Conservation Center in Leominster, Massachusetts, is owned and operated by the Trustees of Reservations, the oldest land trust in the nation. Funding for the 13,600-square-foot facility came from an anonymous $5 million donation that included a gift of over 100 acres of woodlands. “We worked with the donor to plan and design a

We entered the sustainable field in 2004 when an unexpected opportunity appeared. We picked up the ball and ran with it. William Hammer, principal

Opposite top: The Doyle Conservation Center in Leominster, MA. HKT fortified the building with roof-mounted PV panels, which supply about 30 percent of the building's power. Photo: Frank Siteman. Opposite bottom: Annex of the Cambridge, MA, City Hall, a 19thcentury building redesigned for sustainability. Photo: Dan Gair/Blind Dog Photo. Above: The arched interior of the Doyle Conservation Center enhances the building's open atmosphere. Photo: Dan Gair/Blind Dog Photo.

building that would reflect her dream of a non-intrusive research and educational facility that was environmentally sustainable,” principal W. Eric Kluz says. “For that odors. Sawdust helps the composting process, and the bin reason, we chose to redevelop a portion of the site that is emptied every two or three years. “Even then, there’s had other existing structures rather than destroy the only a couple of wheelbarrow’s worth of material left,” surrounding virgin forests” Kluz says. Kluz says. The Center achieved LEED-Gold certification Sustainable features of the Center include geotherin 2004. mal wells that reduce reliance on fossil-fuels and 2,000 “The Doyle Conservation Center actually laid the square feet of roof-mounted PV panels supply about 30 groundwork for our project in Shanghai,” Hammer says. percent of electrical needs. The Center uses many green “Through the efforts of the founder and principal owner materials, including bamboo and cork floors; desks and of Clevus Multrum, a group of Chinese businessmen shelving made from sunflower seed by-products; recyand political leaders were invited to the DCC where they cled-glass countertops; and siding that uses by-products learned first-hand the benefits of composting toilets as of hardwood timber harvesting. “We even applied stones we found on-site to landscaping and the foundation.” well as the other sustainable design features. As a result of that visit, HKT was invited to develop a demonstration Kluz adds. project in Shanghai that was based upon the sustainable The center also features Clivus Multrum compostfeatures of the Doyle Center and located within a 2,000ing toilets. Waste products from the units drop to a 5’ x unit housing development.” —Frederick Jerant 8’ x 5’ bin in the basement; negative pressure eliminates

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Meister Architects. A successful approach to contemporary architecture fuses art and design with sustainable measures At a Glance Location: Wyomissing, PA Founded: 1975 Employees: 6 Annual revenue: $750,000Ñ$1 million

Above: This Berkshire Bank facility challenged Meister Architects to work within a preset aestheticÑthe bank's already-built branches. To make it their own, the designers included a two-story, glassenclosed atrium.

35 years ago, Bill Meister founded Meister Architects. they are sharing their outlook with a new marketing plan. Joined by Tim Cox in 2000, the duo has since been “In the past, we worked strictly on repeats and referrals,” designing inspired architecture, and both swear that Meister says. “We’re now trying to identify clients who there has never been a dull day in the office. What keeps are looking for creative, contemporary, sustainable archiMeister Architects innovative is its unique portfolio and tecture, and we are using our newly redesigned website passionate approach to new concepts in design. “We and printed materials to show the potential clients what don’t specialize in any one field of architecture, and that our positives are and what we bring to the table.” The works for our benefit because when you’re doing a lot of company’s website outlines its distinct purpose, services, different things, you stay fresh,” says Cox, architect and and portfolio, and their new slogan, “Unique challenges, part owner of the company. “It never gets stale to work here.” Unique solutions,” underscores their commitment to The company’s portfolio is diverse: from churches, ho- creativity and problem solving. tels, and automobile showrooms to medical, commercial, Meister Architects infuses sustainability into every and government facilities. As a smaller firm, every client project by implementing environmentally friendly has an intimate, direct relationship with the architect features in their architecture and helping to educate that is working on his or her project. Both Meister and clients on sustainability. “We design sustainability into Cox have a knack for contemporary design and are always all of our projects regardless of whether or not the clients on the prowl for creative projects. “I don’t look at any are seeking LEED certification because we think being building type as the kind I like to work on,” says Meister. environmentally responsible is the right thing to do, and “I like to work on projects that a client brings to us where it is our job as architects to be environmental stewards,” they are looking for a fresh and creative approach.” Cox says. The firm’s first foray into the LEED arena was “The particular geographic area we’re in can be someas the design firm on the LEED-certified Stryker Brigade what conservative,” Meister says. “Some clients tend building, a 21,800-square-foot GSA project, in Graterford, to favor buildings with more traditional character over Pennsylvania. contemporary design.” Both Cox and Meister, however, Recently, Meister Architects completed a corporate are confident about their ability to meet client demands office building in Berks County, Pennsylvania. This and still provide a fresh, creative outlook to projects, and 40,000-square-foot space and showroom features large

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public structures Above: The Purcell Residence showcases Meister's minimalist capabilities. The columns surrounding the entire structure create a wraparound overhang that allows for constant shade, and the floor-to-ceiling windows keep the home's interior and exterior more connected.

overhangs,and vertical projections to protect the building’s interior from overheating in summer. Vast expanses of high-efficiency glazing, coupled with low-height office partitions, take advantage of natural daylight and provide views to the outside for most occupants. Along with natural daylight, the building uses occupancy centers and a sophisticated geothermal heating system to reduce energy use. Such environmental conservation is where Meister Architects wants to help lead their clients. Currently practicing in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, Meister Architects hopes to expand its geographic footprint in upcoming years. The company has several projects in the design stages, most notably a project currently on the drawing boards known as the

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Allon Professional Building, which is to be constructed in Wyomissing, Pennyslvania. This project will showcase the more contemporary design abilities of the firm. This three-story, cantilevered design contains 40,000 square feet of leasable office space, and the architectural firm hopes to provide it with a LEED Silver rating under LEED for Core and Shell. The building is designed to maximize daylight and views while reducing energy use through the use of high-efficiency reflective glazing, large overhangs and high-efficiency HVAC systems. The design team hopes to further offset energy use by installing a photovoltaic system for on-site energy generation. Projects have been getting larger and more abundant for the company, and they hope to keep the growth cycle alive. The future is big, colorful, and environmentally friendly for this small firm with big ideas. —Ladan Nikravan

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Photo: Lee Meier

Mark Cerrone, Inc. A civil firm excels at earth-moving At a Glance Location: Niagara Falls, NY Founded: 1999 Employees: 35 permanent, 90 seasonal Specialty: General contractors and remodels

Above: Workers finish the first phase of construction on Old Falls Street by removing the final pieces of the Winter Garden. The Seneca Niagara Casino can be seen just beyond.

In the northwest corner of New York State, Niagara Falls isn’t the only force that moves and shakes the earth. Since 1999, Mark Cerrone, Inc, a family-owned firm of heavy contractors, has specialized in demolitions, roads and paving, railroad services, site remediation, site utilities, trucking and hauling, etc. According to vice president George Churakos, “We do a number of different earth-moving projects. We’re a complete turnkey company, and we can take a job from start to finish. We can demolish the existing site and landscape it on our way out.” Mark Cerrone completes 80-100 projects each year ranging from $10,000 to $7 million. Some of their clients include the State of New York; the cities of Niagara Falls, Buffalo, and Tonawanda; construction firms LP Ciminelli and Scrufari Construction; and Occidental Chemical, Dupont, and Goodyear. Revenue in 2009 was $17.8 million, and Churakos states that the company is expecting an even stronger return for 2010. The firm is also a certified New York WBE (Woman-owned, Business Enterprise). The firm excels at challenging projects and has a wellmaintained fleet of equipment and field-service vehicles, and it has a full truck-and-heavy-equipment repair shop in Niagara Falls. Over 90 percent of the company’s projects are municipal or government work with the remaining percentage

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coming from local industries. The rail division of Mark Cerrone Inc is currently working on a $650,000 project for Olin Chemical to rebuild and upgrade its Niagara rail yard. Mark Cerrone recently completed the restoration of Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls. The $6.7 million project involved reopening the street that had been turned into a pedestrian way during urban renewal in the 1970s. The pedestrian mall never captured the business, and it became increasingly more difficult for traffic to navigate around the Niagara Winter Garden, which was a fixture on the pedestrian way. According to George Lodick, safety manager at the firm, the Winter Garden had to first be demolished before work on restoring the street could be completed. This steel-and-glass structure erected in the 1970s housed a year-round greenhouse for public use, but it fell into disuse and became an abandoned structure. Unfortunately, the Winter Garden provided the exterior walls for two adjacent structures—The Rainbow Centre, a shopping mall/parking structure, and a Quality Inn. The project included restoring their exterior walls. Lodick continues, “Though the building was basically only steel and glass, taking it down was a bit of a challenge because each glass panel required abatement, and the shared walls made mechanical excavation more difficult. As we completed the removals, the four-story hotel

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looked like a honeycomb with all the rooms exposed on that side.” The company completed the new streetscape with rebuilt sidewalks, planter units used for water drainage, and a fountain system installed as a decorative device. The replaced cobblestones were a modular cobble product imported from Italy known as Eurocobble, used across the U.S. to give an old-world feel. Lodick goes on to say, “As a demolition contractor, we recycle most steel and wood. We’ve worked on LEEDcertified projects, and we’ve turned some wood waste into biomass for energy generation; all of the metals recovered get recycled. We reclaim as much as we can. We’ve also work with clients to find beneficial reuses for their waste streams to minimize their environmental impacts." According to Lodick, “When Mark Cerrone founded the company, he said he’d been rewarded for his hard work and wanted give back to the community that provided those opportunities. So he was a frequent contribu-

We do a number of different earth-moving projects. We’re a complete turnkey company, and we can take a job from start to finish. We can demolish the existing site and landscape it on our way out.

“Thank you, Mark Cerrone for letting South Buffalo Electric, Inc. participate on this project. Congratulations on your great success!”

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tor to local causes.” When Cerrone passed away from stomach cancer in 2007, his brother, Vincent, and George and Stephanie Churakos took over the firm and followed his example of giving to local charities. One major sponsorship for the company is The Ride for Roswell, a bicycle rally put on yearly by the Roswell Park Cancer Research Center. The team, organized by Mark’s daughter, who works for the company, is one of the top twenty fundraisers for this event, Lodick says, “We sponsor a number of local groups from hospital groups to youth sports leagues to veterans groups. Mark’s dedication to the community is a philosophy that is still being honored.” Churakos says, “We’re a family-orientated business, and we do a quality job. We bring it home on budget and on time while caring for others. That’s why we have such a good reputation.” —Joyce Finn

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Studio2G. Green-minded architecture in a wide spectrum of projects Architects are considered a dime a dozen in San Luis At a Glance Location: San Luis Obispo, CA Founded: 2005 Employees: 5 Specialty: Commercial, residential, industrial, and mixeduse architecture

Above: The multilayered exterior of the Mosque of Nasreen in San Luis Obispo, CA. Studio2G faced many challenges on the project. Photo: Thomas Esser, Studio2G.

Obispo, California. The town of about 44,000 hosts 2,000 students in California Polytechnic State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design. In such an environment, it’s tough for a firm to stand out. And yet, Studio2G is doing just that. Founded by partners Heidi Gibson and Laura Gough in 2005, Studio2G combines an approachable, thorough process with a strong desire to enhance a client’s needs— all while remaining as environmentally responsible as possible. With numerous awards, dynamic projects, and great referrals accrued over the five years Studio2G’s been in business, Gibson and Gough are clearly doing something right. Studio2G has found success by not only selling clients on great ideas, but on great ideas that happen to be green as well. Buildings are orientated to make the maximum use of daylight, and windows can open as necessary, in lieu of air conditioning. Even flooring choices get into the mix. “Some would look at a polished concrete floor and say ‘ooh, that’s so industrial,’” Gibson says. “But if you get a nice environmentally friendly stain on there, they end up saying ‘that looks great’ rather than throwing on a carpet or another finish … which costs more money anyway!”

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Studio2G parlays its great ideas into a wide spectrum of styles, which can be seen in some of the firm’s recent projects. Shale Oak Winery/Aesculus Vineyard, is a work-inprogress in Pasa Robles, California. The winery boasts the ability to produce up to 5,000 cases of wine at a time as well as capture 50 percent of site-water runoff. Panels made from recycled steel, lumber reclaimed from a barracks at Vandenberg Air Force Base, and a parking lot utilizing crushed stone rather than asphalt all allow the winery’s design to meet what Gibson calls the “avantgarde” requests of the client and put it in line for LEED Gold certification. Another project, Rooney’s Irish Pub, is an 8,000-square-foot bar and restaurant in Orcutt, California, that opened in the summer of 2010. The client was looking for something “authentic and Victorian–looking.” This aesthetic is reflected most in the millwork, the bar, and the pool room isolated from the bar. Orcutt Union, another project finished in 2010, demonstrates Studio2G’s ability to adhere to strict architectural guidelines. “[The client] wanted to keep it historically accurate,” Gough says, “So it’s basically a Western theme. These buildings would’ve existed, but

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public structures Top: Studio2G's design of Rooney's Irish Pub included a "snug," a small, private room with access to the bar. It was used by well-off visitors and those who preferred not to be seen in a public bar. Photo: Dennis M. Swanson. Bottom: An artistic rendering of Shale Oak Winery's tasting room. The facility was designed to capture 50 percent of site-water runoff. Rendering: Laetitia Cop, Studio2G.

Studio2G’s range reached a new level when they took on the design of a local mosque—a project that faced opposition from the post-9/11 San Luis Obispo community. they would’ve existed in a larger town; there’s a lot more brick involvement. So it’s a little more upper-end, you might say.” Studio2G’s range reached a new level when they took on the design of a local mosque—a project that faced opposition from the post-9/11 San Luis Obispo community. The project required seven separate hearings before getting the go-ahead to build. Once in progress, Gibson and Gough found an interesting mix of city regulations and Islamic requirements keeping them on their toes. “The city requires that commercial buildings be ‘public art,’” Gibson says. “Instead of having an artist plunk down a statue, we actually had one do a metal screen that’s part of the façade of the building—with some sort of Islamic geometric equation on it. Overall, it’s a more contemporary take on the traditional elements of a mosque.” In this case, the project is forward-thinking right down to the architects’ gender. “Having females designing a mosque is pretty rare,” Gibson adds.

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No matter what project crosses Studio 2G’s path, it remains paramount to its owners to be as available to the clients as possible. “There’s a rule of thumb around here: all clients and contractors need to be called back within one hour,” Gibson says. “We just think a good response time makes them feel important.” —Kelli Lawrence

A Message from J.W. Design & Construction, Inc, J.W. Design & Construction, Inc. is proud of its affiliation with Studio 2G. Having successfully completed several projects with Studio 2G, we can attest to their professionalism, work ethic, and the outstanding product they produce. In the past few years, we have completed over 850,000 square feet, in a variety of construction types from wood and steel frame to tilt-up and masonry buildings. Our rigorous supervision and systematic management techniques assist our clients in successfully achieving their project goals.

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photo credits [left to right] zA –KoeNJi LIGHTING DESIGN: Hiroyasu Shoji, IALD; Yumiko Tanaka, Associate IALD; LightDesign Inc | ARCHITECTS: Toyo Ito & Associates PHOTOGRAPHY: © Toshio Kaneko StePheN M. roSS SChool of BUSiNeSS At the UNiVerSitY of MiChigAN LIGHTING DESIGN: Keith J. Yancey, IALD, AIA, LC, P.E.; Carlene M. Geraci; Nathanael C. Doak; Jennifer Pieszak, IALD; Lam Partners Inc | ARCHITECTS: Kohn Pederson Fox Associates PC PHOTOGRAPHY: © Barbara Karant / Karant+Associates, Inc; © JJR LLC / Ken Cobb; © Lam Partners Inc; © Michael Moran

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Building for Education

Noll and Tam Architects ........................................... 58 ikon.5 architects ...................................................... 60 RKTEQU, Inc. ........................................................... 64 Domenella Architects ............................................... 66 Roth and Moore Architects ....................................... 68 Williams Design Group ............................................. 72 Pictured: The refectory of Tempe, AZ's Interior of Dining, designed by ikon.5 Architects for Arizona State University's Barrett Honors College.

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Noll & Tam Architects. Sustainable designs for civic and educational structures At a Glance Location: Berkeley, CA Founded: 1992 Employees: 22 Specialty: Civic, higher-education, and animal-care facilities

Above: The Valley Hi-North Laguna Library in Sacramento, CA. Noll & Tam's design received LEED Gold certification. Photos: ©David Wakely Photography.

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Noll & Tam Architects has been designing with green consciousness since its founding by principals Christopher Noll and Janet Tam in 1992. Noll and Tam were college classmates at University of California–Berkeley in the 1970s. According to Noll, the two were always thinking green and knew they would eventually go into business together. “With the rise of LEED, we’re not only focused on getting buildings certified for LEED, but [we] are looking beyond in terms of performance goals,” Noll says. About half of the Berkeley, California-based architecture firm’s projects are community-focused buildings, including libraries, recreation centers, and civic structures such as municipal office buildings, gymnasiums, and swimming pools. The remainder of its work mostly consists of higher-education projects. The firm has also created a specialized niche in designing animal-care facilities such as a recently completed marine-mammal rescue center. The Valley Hi-North Laguna Library in Sacramento, California, completed in 2009, is an example of a LEEDcertified project by Noll & Tam. The 20,500-square-foot, single-story, energy-efficient building received LEEDGold certification and exceeds California’s Title 24 energy code by 34 percent. Noll says the building was designed to bring in lots of natural light with plenty of glass. The firm used deep

overhangs over the south-facing windows to reduce direct sunlight while still allowing for energy-efficient daylighting. “It’s all about bringing in light on a sunny day, and even on a cloudy day there’s often no need to turn the lights on in the building,” Noll says. Additionally, the library features cement floor slabs and insulated concrete walls, which work together to cool the building. “It keeps the building cool even on a hot day through the thermal mass of the building,” Noll says. Since many of the building’s systems are interconnected and dependent on each other, integrating them was a challenge on this project. “The ventilation system distributes air at the floor level, which is quite efficient from an energy point of view but quite tricky to fit into a building without a raised floor,” Noll says. The new Castro Valley Library in Castro Valley, California, was also designed to let in a lot of natural light. The 34,000-square-foot building is also scheduled to receive LEED Gold certification. According to Noll, the project includes an efficient building envelope and a raised floor system for better air distribution and efficient electrical and telecommunications systems. The Castro Valley project has a large photovoltaic array covering most of its roof surfaces. Noll has seen several shifts in the industry, especially with building information modeling (BIM), which is how architecture is conceived by architects. “It’s a real change

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in how a building is designed and documented,” Noll says. “You’re not drawing per se; you’re digitally building a three-dimensional model, and every building element contains a wealth of parametric information that can

We care deeply about our clients and make sure their functional needs are met. Relationships are terribly important to us. christopher noll, Principal

be used in many ways. It’s really useful for LEED; when we use recycled materials. we can account for those materials through the capabilities of the BIM software.” Additionally, Noll has noticed that design-build is increasing as a preferred delivery method in public sector projects in the industry as architects begin to use more materials with higher recycled and sustainable content.

Noll has seen and used these types of products in his own designs, including recycled-paper ceiling tiles, carpeting with recycled content, and meaningful reuse such as countertops made of post-consumer milk bottles or benches milled from fallen trees at the building site. To compete in a tough economy (annual sales for the firm are slightly down compared to years passed), Noll & Tam works to provide a very high level of customer service. “We really care about design and strive to have award-winning designs,” Noll says. “However, we don’t sacrifice client service for design. We care deeply about our clients and make sure their functional needs are met. Relationships are terribly important to us,” Noll says. —Karen Gentry

Above: The sprawling back view of the Valley Hi-North Laguna Library. The wallto-wall windows allow for ample daylighting, which cuts energy costs.


building for education

ikon.5 architects. Creatively and inventively designing sustainable higher-education facilities nationwide At a Glance Location: Princeton, NJ Founded: 2003 Employees: 20 Specialty: Higher-education and public projects

Above: The holistic meditation room cantilevers over a sloping landscape at the Center for Wellness, a part of The College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, NY. Photo: ©Peter Mauss/Esto.

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It has been said that everybody has a story, and ikon.5 architects believes it is its profession’s chief duty to discover the client’s narrative and expand it creatively and inventively. Specializing in higher-education architecture, the company designs projects that inspire and reflect each client’s history and journey. “Most universities and colleges want what is built to be an expression of themselves historically; it doesn’t mean they want a building to look like it has always been there but rather that they want it to be part of the continuing narrative of who they are,” says Joe Tattoni, a principal of ikon.5. Since 2003, Tattoni and 19 other staff members have been working on projects nationwide and infusing sustainability into their work whenever possible. Almost every project completed by the company has LEEDSilver certification or better, and the company accredits such success to guiding by example with their own internal initiatives. There are five LEED APs on staff, the company’s headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, has showers in the building to encourage biking to work, and

most employees attempt to carpool to the office whenever possible. To ikon.5, such environmental consciousness is nothing new. “If you look at it historically, up until the beginnings of the 20th century, buildings were built extremely sensitive to land,” Tattoni says. “The importance of sustainability is that it has been brought to the forefront again so we can again be good stewards of the earth.” Tattoni believes that right now we’re in a period where it’s important that buildings outwardly express their sustainability, and he hopes that we’ll get to the point very soon where buildings reduce energy consumption but don’t necessarily outwardly slow it. Although ikon.5 encourages clients to become LEEDcertified, they never want the clients to feel pressured. “We don’t want to push a client in a specific direction because they have to love it as much as we love it, or it will never succeed, but we like to lead them toward LEED certification and give them as many options as we can,” Tattoni says. Surprisingly, Tattoni has never had a client

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who didn’t seek LEED certification because they’re glad to be saving money in the end despite high initial costs. Recently and notably, ikon.5 created a new branch library, Kirkwood Public Library in Wilmington, Delaware, which won a Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award in 2010. Located along a commercial shopping strip highway, this project came with several obstacles. “The client really wanted to embrace sustainability, but the complexities of the site, the program, and the fact that they had a modest budget made it very difficult to be aggressive with sustainability,” Tattoni says. “We had to do whatever we could do within the budget we had, and we did it very effectively.” From the highway, the building’s horizontal cement board siding looks like the edges of books piled up on their side—a prime example of ikon.5’s content-driven design. Such themed architecture is not foreign to ikon.5’s portfolio, either. Recently, the firm worked with the New York State College of Ceramics to create the McGee Art Pavilion, which incorporates a solar and rain screen and

american builders quarterly

Above: The Kirkwood Public Library in Wilmington, DE. The ikon.5 team made the facility sustainable despite several obstacles at the site. Right: The children's storytelling area in the award-winning Kirkwood Public Library. Photos: James D'Addio.

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is constructed with ceramic materials itself. “The uniqueness about our firm is how we find the client’s unique quality and then create architecture, visions, ideas, and concepts that belong to them,” Tattoni says. “The architect is merely a tool or extension of who the client is.” Additionally, the company’s work with the College of New Rochelle’s Center for Wellness recently became

The importance of sustainability is that it has been brought to the forefront again so we can again be good stewards of the earth. Joe Tattoni, Principal

LEED Silver-certified for its environmental awareness. The building's pool was recessed into a hill to incorporate a pool garden above that the students can walk on while conserving energy in the process. Similarly, the company’s two large projects for Arizona State University— Vista del Sol Housing Community and Barrett Honors College—are sustainable, the Honors College even receiving a LEED Gold certification. ikon.5’s forward-thinking creativity will certainly follow this same visionary path in projects to come. Most importantly to the company’s principals, the future is technical for ikon.5. “Architecture is an expression of the embodiment of the values of the people that becomes a historical record of a particular people at a particular time,” Tattoni says. “Our company wants to find out how to take new technologies and weave it into an artistic piece.” —Ladan Nikravan

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Top Left: A model of the Business Commons rotunda and classroom pavilions to be built at Louisiana State University's College of Business. Top right: The exterior dining area of Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University. Middle: The campus Commons at the State University of New York. Bottom: An exterior view of ikon.5's addition to the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center. Photo: James D'Addio.

american builders quarterly


ARCHITECTURE | PLANNING | INTERIORS Our mission is to foster happy, fulďŹ lled lives and environments through strong relationships and beautiful buildings.

1205 J. Street Suite C San Diego, California 92101 www.rktequ.com 619-804-3962


rktequ, Inc. Setting standards for military youth centers At a Glance Location: San Diego, CA Founded: 2008 Employees: 5 Specialty: Architectural services

Above: The Youth and Teen Center at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, CA. The lounge includes areas allocated for quiet study, recreation/ video gaming, and socialization at a smoothie bar.

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rktequ, INC., pronounced arc-key-tek, was founded in 2008 by partners Michael Yopp, AIA, and Paul Geldbach. Their first large project, the Youth and Teen Center at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California, won the 2010 Project of the Year Award for Sustainable Buildings, presented by the San Diego/Imperial Chapter of the American Public Works Association. rktequ, based in San Diego, California, specializes in national designs for military installations, commercial works, and hospitality projects. With four full-time employees and one part-timer, the firm completes approximately ten projects per year, ranging from small tenant improvements under 1,000 square feet to projects costing over $10 million. When the firm first opened, over 90 percent of their designs were for the military; now the firm has a larger portfolio range, as illustrated by current designs for three P.F. Chang’s China Bistro restaurants. Their award-winning LEED Gold Youth and Teen Center is a 19,000-square-foot facility built as an oasis and refuge for military children; it provides facilities for kids of all ages, from infants to teenagers. “Each military installation has a very strict guideline of what colors and materials can be used because they’re trying to create a cohesive community, but the director of the facility wanted us to push it a little bit farther since it was for the children,” says Michael Yopp, a principal of the company.

“It was designed to reflect the kids’ youthfulness and whimsy by playing on shapes and color,” says Paul Geldbach, another principal of the company. rktequ designed exterior clerestory roof elements with deep overhangs and exterior solar shades to protect the interior from direct sunlight while flooding the building with natural light. Each of the two main classrooms has four huge skylights. “We staggered the window heights based on the ages of the children in each of the classrooms,” Yopp says. “Along one facade, the windows zigzag around as the children get older. The windows get taller and wider as the age progresses. Very small children can walk up and look out windows that are perfectly sized for them. It brings the scale of the room down to their size.” Each age bracket has a different color scheme and different furniture. Other energy efficient processes include rainwater diverted from the roof to a bioswale with native vegetation at the front of the building. The facility has no operable windows, which helps make it highly insulated and energy-efficient. rktequ’s design in this project was so successful that it is now the model for all military youth centers across the country. When rktequ first started designing military installations, LEED Silver certification was required, but now the standard has been raised to Gold. The firm is cur-

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Left: The Youth and Teen Center's skylight-lit classroom for children aged 8-11. The classroom includes dedicated areas for reading, science, art, quiet study, and snacks. Below: The Youth and Teen Center's clerestory elements provide additional natural daylighting to the teen lounge, lobby, and multipurpose room. Bottom: The Youth and Teen Center's drop-in daycare room for infants. The design-build contract for the facility included the selection and procurement of all fixtures, furnishings, and equipment to ensure a cohesive, age-appropriate design for the entire facility.

rently working on a LEED Gold classroom building for the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. A 50 kW photovoltaic system will account for 25 percent of its energy use. “The military’s number one requirement these days is energy savings because it’s the largest consumer of energy in the country,” Yopp says. “If we can reduce that cost, then that money can go elsewhere.” “There are some architects that say they specialize in sustainable buildings, or LEED, but we design all of our

It was designed to reflect the kids’ youthfulness and whimsy by playing on shapes and color. Paul Geldbach, Principal

projects to be highly sustainable and energy-efficient, which results in an enhanced quality of life for the building’s occupants,” Yopp says. In the future, Yopp and his firm would like to design a zero-impact power installation. “I would love to do a project with wind,” he says. “As PV panels become more prevalent, and as technologies grow in leaps and bounds, this year’s efficiencies will be dwarfed by what is coming in the next couple of years.” —Joyce Finn

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Domenella Architects Ltd. Clients with unique needs rely on firm for culturally sensitive buildings At a Glance Location: Chicago, IL Founded: 2003 Employees: 5 Specialty: Institutional and clerical architecture

Above: The St. Francis of Assisi Religious Education Center at dusk. Projection screens on the exterior of the building are changed to coincide with the liturgical seasons. Photos: Bruce Van Inwegen.

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Dante Domenella grew up in the Chicago area and studied architecture in the United States before accepting a job in Italy. There, mosaics, murals, plastering, frescos, and aesthetics from classical elements of design crept into his professional repertoire. Today, Domenella is the president and senior architect of Chicago’s Domenella Architects Ltd., where he focuses on institutional and religious architecture. The company performs a wide variety of work within those markets, including historic renovations, educational facilities, churches, and parish centers. Because his clients and occupants will use their buildings for very specific and unique purposes, Domenella must take extra steps in the design process. “The functions an owner performs are very dependent on how a building looks, how it functions, and how it feels,” he says. “Lighting, ceiling height, entry placement, and acoustics all take on extra importance.” The niche in which Domenella operates comes with some very precise mandates. A 16-year-long relationship with the Archdiocese of Chicago has taught Domenella Architects how to design and build appropriately while

meeting requirements set forth by Vatican II. Architects of religious buildings must also be sensitive when defining how worship will occur within a finished structure. “We analyze how liturgy happens and how it is executed within the physical constraints of alter placement and pew configuration,” Domenella says, adding that a church layout should be welcoming and reinforce the celebrations and rituals taking place. Located in Orland Park, Illinois, the Domenelladesigned St. Francis of Assisi Religious Education Center spans 22,000 square feet and stands to personify the architect’s philosophy. The building, whose round and redbrick façade recall Rome’s Castel Sant’Angelo, was completed in 2004 for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Because the building is one of the only religious education centers dedicated to teaching children, Domenella worked to make the space especially inviting. The layout consists of a series of small and flexible classrooms where kids between kindergarten and eighth grade can understand the evolution of religion in different formats. An offset atrium-area with an aquarium holds niches with interactive religious artifacts operated by mo-

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tion sensors. The educational recordings inside each piece can be changed in synch with liturgical seasons. Domenella used a Tree of Life and separate water feature to simultaneously represent the virtues of St. Francis and create a respect for the nature of religion. A large elliptical space adjacent the atrium leads upstairs to the chapel, placed above the main floor for a particular purpose. “By the time a kid gets up to the chapel, they have a clear understanding of where they are and why they are there,” Domenella says. The chapel’s complex geometry won a gold medal from the Illinois Masonry Institute; its columns draw from classical ar-

We analyze how liturgy happens and how it is executed within the physical constraints of alter placement and pew configuration. Dante Domenella, President

chitecture and reflect Domenella’s history, training, and experience in Italy. In Lisle, Illinois, his company’s approach proved successful at Giant Steps. The training center for autistic children was once a standard boxy building. Domenella Architects has transformed the space into a responsive training center that fosters an ability to learn. A series of canted walls whose soft colors represent different environments break up long, straight corridors, and muted patterns soothe occupants who have cognitive challenges. As he does for clients in the religious realm, Domenella worked to provide designs tailored to the occupants’ unique needs. The firm remains versatile and frequently works outside of the religious sector. “Our ideas apply to all project types, and we implement them on houses, corporate interiors, and any other building type,” Domenella says. “We work best with clients who have specific ideals and are looking for the best way to achieve them.” At Domenella Architects, the line between specialized and general markets is blurred—a building can succeed only when an architect understands his client’s cultures, perspectives, and goals. —Zach Baliva

american builders quarterly

Above: The angled walls identify the varous classroom grades based on color and provide areas for the children to personalize the space by displaying artwork.

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Roth and Moore Architects. Designing institutional and educational facilities to last At a Glance Location: New Haven, CT Founded: 1965 Employees: 8 Specialty: Schools, universities, and cultural buildings

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Harold Roth and Bill Moore, partners of Roth and Moore Architects in New Haven, Connecticut, enjoy working with building committees, digesting a set of information, and translating it into a finished project. “Rarely do we have the opportunity to work with developers or do anything speculative,” Moore says. “We actually prefer institutional memory and find that most rewarding.” Roth and Moore have been practicing architecture in New Haven since 1965. They typically complete school projects in the $30–35 million range and handle the entire project to maintain close control of the design and construction. Many of the buildings the firm designs within existing neighborhoods look as if they have been there for years. The firm is known for its steadfast attention to quality materials that are low maintenance, sustainable, and durable. “All of our build-

ings pay attention to their immediate environment and are built in a way to be compatible,” Roth says. “We’re not distracted by current aesthetic trends. We want our projects to wear well and don’t want to do something provocative at a given moment and then have it feel dated in five or ten years.” Roth and Moore have completed projects all over the East Coast including Yale University’s Seeley Mudd Library, Arthur Watson Hall, and the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life. Other endeavors include projects at Vassar College, Drew University, Connecticut College, and a number of projects for Cummins Inc. in the Midwest and throughout Europe. An example of a recently completed project is the Marcus Hillel Center at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. The one-story, 10,000-foot structure is a center

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for Jewish students, faculty, and staff with a café lounge, library, resource center, chapel, multipurpose room, meat and dairy kosher kitchens, and an outdoor terrace eating area. The building is well-insulated with a stucco exterior, a pitched roof of red clay tile, and an entryway of Jerusalem stone. The building’s mechanical systems and zoning respond to changes in the number of occupants in the building, according to Moore. “All the systems respond to daily staff use. On various holidays when the building is filled with hundreds of people, it requires different responses from the mechanical systems,” Moore says. “The outdoor space allows portions of the building to open up on fair-weather days.” Moore says the building is on a curved site that follows the street lines and produces an unusual form within the zoning setback requirements. “This resulted in a beauti-

american builders quarterly

Opposite: The exterior materials of the Marcus Hillel Center relate to the campus' existing palate of stucco, marble trim, and red-clay tile roofs. Above: Worthington Hooker School's new academic building includes an open entry arcade for students. Right: A carved marble medallion with flanking flagpoles marks Worthington Hooker School's entry on the main street. Photos: Christopher Gardner.

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Right: The outdoor terrace at the Marcus Hillel Center includes a redwood garden pavilion that is also a ritual Sukkah for the Sukkot holiday. Below: The lobby/rotunda of the Marcus Hillel Center, with oak strip walls and an illuminated plaster dome, provides easy access to program areas.

Moore says the two buildings face each other with a connecting bridge that passes between two 200-year-old European beech trees. “These two magnificent trees that some counseled should be taken down were saved,” Moore says. “The shading factor was important, and now they’re at the center of the school complex.” An Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ that was part of the church building has also been refurbished and is now part of school life. Roth and Moore have consistently employed architects such as associates Barbara Fabiani and Torin Thurston who enjoy exposure to all aspects of the profession and are excited by such an array of projects. —Karen Gentry

fully graceful curve to the entire building. It gives it a wonderful character,” he says. Another unique project for Roth and Moore is the Worthington Hooker School on the main thoroughfare in New Haven. The project, on an urban site, contains an existing church structure that was built in 1950. A major part of the project was the renovation and adaptive reuse of the original church building. The sanctuary is now a 350-seat school auditorium. Adjacent to the renovated building is new construction for the academic spaces, which includes classrooms, the media center, art and science rooms, and administrative areas. The three-story building has a poured-in-place concrete frame with masonry walls and a standing-seam aluminum roof.

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Rarely do we have the opportunity to work with developers or do anything speculative. We actually prefer institutional memory and find that most rewarding. Bill Moore, Partner

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building for education

Williams Design Group. Business heats up for New Mexico-based architects following LEED-Gold certification At a Glance Location: Las Cruces, NM Founded: 2001 Employees: 9 Specialty: Commercial, retail, education, and multifamilyhousing design

Above: Phase One of construction on Doña Ana Community College's East Mesa Campus in Las Cruces, NM. Lighting from inside helps the sidewalk lamps to keep the path fully illuminated.

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Founded in 2001, New Mexico-based Williams Design Group (WDG) focuses on commercial and public work all over New Mexico and Texas. The firm fared reasonably well through the recession, due in part to a strong balance of public and private work—including commercial, retail, and multifamily residential—as well as a standing on-call relationship with the area school district and university. It was in 2009, though, when WDG cemented its status as a quality provider of sustainable designs, that people really began to notice. The firm’s $4.75 million addition to the New Mexico State University–Alamogordo Health Services building, designed to achieve a LEED Silver rating for sustainability, instead achieved Gold—one of only 12 buildings in the state to earn the second-highest rating offered by the US Green Building Council’s system. The 16,000-square-foot building (which houses nursing, medical, and technician laboratories; EMT training classrooms; and student-support spaces and offices) was constructed on an already-developed site and with waterefficient landscaping. It encourages alternative transportation such as bicycles and hybrids, controls storm-water runoff, and utilizes local and recycled materials. And a combination of good decisions and good luck allowed WDG to actualize more eco-friendly objectives than previously thought possible. According to founder and president Gary Williams, the architects choose at the beginning of each project

which points of certification seem feasible—filling out a rating chart with a system of “yes,” “maybe,” and “no”— and set the budget with those goals in mind. In the Alamogordo addition, WDG achieved all the points in the “yes” column and a substantial number of those in the “maybe” column; the firm also achieved a rating of six out of 10 on energy conservation after setting a goal of four. The contractor, too, was also integral to the process, Williams says. “They were able to divert 95 percent of waste material from the landfill,” he explains, “which is considered exemplary performance.” The surprise upgrade from LEED Silver to Gold noticeably increased the firm’s visibility within the state. “I did find that a certain amount of notoriety followed,” Williams admits. “It’s surprising how many people find and pick up on that information.” And then comes the small matter of maintaining that reputation—particularly as the US Green Business Council continues to evolve and adapt its guidelines. Following last summer’s program update, Williams explains, Silver certification is now more difficult than Gold was in earlier years, and regional understanding is increasingly considered. For one of the firm’s latest education projects, the fourth building to go up on the Dona Ana Community College East Mesa Center, close attention is being paid throughout the design process to the documentation of green strategies. Scheduled to be completed by August 2012, the 70,000-square-foot building employs water-

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conserving fixtures, daylighting, storm-runoff management, low-water landscaping, and LED lighting, and it is designed with LEED Silver certification in mind. But the $14 million project also includes a high-efficiency mechanical system new to the WDG menu—one of many innovative approaches to recently hit the market, with countless more to follow. So how does the company stay up-to-date on the latest technology? “It can be a little overwhelming,” Williams says. “We’re inundated with literature from manufacturers, and we have to discern what is best for our particular use. I rely heavily on my engineers to make those decisions.” Williams attends monthly AIA seminars, including some on wind and solar energy development; meets with materials representatives for new strategies; and determines what latest approaches might work best for the company’s typical client. The firm also stays current on the products offered by a rash of new companies devoted to bringing good design to sustainable materials and to making eco-friendly systems and finishes that still look modern and cool. Throughout the process, the firm keeps the client in the loop, allowing him or her to insert decision-making input to whatever degree he or she likes. With public development, Williams explains, the client is highly involved, as in the case of a recently completed 75,000-square-foot, $12 million elementary school for 600 students—and for those projects, the team provides several options. “They’ll have to maintain it,” he says, “so they certainly want to understand it.” On private work, though, the client more often hands over control to WDG.

We now incorporate energy-saving concepts even when we aren’t trying to achieve certification. In the end, those concepts just lead to better design.

Above: The third phase of the East Mesa Campus. Williams Design Group often achieves sustainability in its designs even when it is not a requirement. Right: The solidly built study tower located within Chamisa Village at New Mexico State University. Bottom: A sweeping campus apartmenthousing project at New Mexico State University.

Gary Williams, Founder & President

And when the firm isn’t working toward the USGBC stamp of approval—such as in its work for the Pik-Quik chain of convenience stores—it’s still mindful of the architectural strategies adopted for environmental health. “We now incorporate energy-saving concepts even when we aren’t trying to achieve certification,” Williams says. “In the end, those concepts just lead to better design.” —Annie Fischer

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Green Building & Design

gb&d

A comprehensive look at the buildings and designs of tomorrow, and the masterminds behind them For your FREE subscription visit gbdmagazine.com


Feature /

02.03 2011

Peter Gluck and Partners Architects ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Photo: Erik Freeland, freelandarch.com.

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Photo: Erik Freeland, freelandarch.com.

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Client: The East Harlem School Location: East Harelm, NY Completed: 2008 Architect: Peter Gluck and Partners Architects

structure

context

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No Building Stands Alone

social effect

The socially conscious architects at Peter Gluck and Partners reface underserved New York neighborhoods by annie fischer

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no building stands alone

P

eter L. Gluck, the founder and principal of New Gluck is concerned that the word “responsible” has York-based Peter Gluck and Partners Architects become a synonym for something good. “Responsible (PG+P), has taught at the Columbia and Yale schools of just means taking the least amount of time and risk,” he architecture, curated exhibitions at the Museum of says. “With this approach, the cost is often so far beyond Modern Art and the Milan Triennale, and published work the project’s actual value that in the end, the project is in architectural journals around the world. He is credited irresponsible.” Since 1972, PG+P has worked directly with co-pioneering the design-build culture at Yale, out with the variables of time and risk. From conception to of which came the Yale Building Project—an important closeout, these designers provide cutting-edge architecand long-standing initiative that pairs graduate architec- tural solutions without the cost overruns typical of a ture students with community-based clients. multiple-source construction approach. Joined in 1992 by ARCS Construction Services, a construction-management company established by Gluck to build the firm’s designs, and joined in 1997 by Aspen GK, LLC, a development partnership that produces high-end and affordable spec housing, PG+P’s 40-member team now exhibits expertise in all facets of its distinctive method. Although the firm doesn’t specialize in a particular building type—PG+P has designed residences, hotels, Left: The ambitious front of the East Harlem School. religious buildings, and schools—its work for nonprofit Below: An example of the organizations in New York’s urban neighborhoods is distinctive lighting provided particularly notable. ORO Editions recently published a by Peter Gluck and Partmonograph exploring PG+P’s practices, called The ners Architects' checkered Modern Impulse: Peter L. Gluck and Partners, in which faade at the East Harlem Gluck outlines his design principles. “The artistic School. inspiration and resolution of the modern impulse rests Photos: Erik Freeland.

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“Responsible just means taking the least amount of time and risk. With this approach, the cost is often so far beyond the project’s actual value that in the end, the project is irresponsible.”

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Open to Multipurpose Gymnasium Below

First-Floor Plan 1 Lobby 2 Office 3 Parent Room 4 Ampitheater 5 Playground 6 Future Expansion

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Thrid/FourthFloor Plans 1 Humanities Room 2 Science Room 3 Drama Room 4 Library 5 Discussion Commons

Top left: Students enjoy lighting from unique ceiling fixtures in the East Harlem School. Bottom left: The broad windows of the East Harlem School's gym maximize daylighting. Photos: Erik Freeland.

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on four analytic attributes: use, structure, context, and social effect,” he says. In a perfect design, the four attributes overlap to a maximum degree, resulting in a structure that thoughtfully and successfully considers form and function as well as the building’s surroundings and impact. That “perfect” design is an impossible ideal, but Gluck also laments widespread design tendencies that demonstrate minimal overlap—including the “responsible” building, which considers use or function above all else. “Particularly with inner-city buildings, there is no time allocated to investigate anything beyond function,” Gluck says. “No one considers the social component or the structure: How does it fit in to the community? Does it look institutional? Is it too defensive? Does it only use materials kids can’t hurt?” To demonstrate the potential impact of such an investigation, PG+P partners with underserved community organizations and proves that high-quality, modern architecture can be affordable. By taking on the dual role of architect and builder, the firm eliminates a costly contractor and funnels any would-be profits back into design. The results of these efforts are realized in projects like The East Harlem School, an independent, year-round middle school that houses 160 students from the neighborhood’s low-income families. Completed in November 2008, the AIA award-winning building includes 27,800 square feet of offices, classrooms, science labs, a library, gym, cafeteria, and outdoor playspace. The pixelated facade of the fourstory structure offers street visibility on the lower levels—which contain public spaces, so the building doesn’t feel completely isolated from its community—whereas the screened windows on upper floors provide the privacy needed for serious study. Similarly, East Harlem’s Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Services fronts five stories of glass and colored panels. The unique design is meant to create an inviting image for the neighborhood it serves, and a column-free, steel structural frame offers flexibility and allows Little Sisters to easily reconfigure its space in the future as the building ’s needs change. For Legal Outreach—an educational-programming organization based in Astoria, Queens—the street entry was prominently featured in the redesign of the former factory. A central staircase visually connects all three floors, and a multipurpose room/student lounge grounds the center of the building. Each element underscores community as an important aspect of the students’ lives. Other community projects include the Harlem RBI afterschool-program space and baseball/softball field, a year-round playspace for the St. Ann School, and a bright blue urban condo with 12

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Above: Just one of many naturally lit rooms in the Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Services building. Photos: ©Paul Warchol Photography.

“Particularly with innercity buildings, there is no time allocated to investigate anything beyond function.” Peter Gluck, Founder & Principal

residential units, a structure created from an existing warehouse in East Harlem. “Understanding use and context are the critical first steps of a project,” says Stacie Wong, principal and lead architect for school design at PG+P. “The structure evolves from there, and if the building successfully meets the use and context requirements, the social effect will be inevitable.” PG+P’s cost-saving design-build process

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permits more than thoughtful design, though. It allows funds to be used for higher-quality materials—ones with longer life cycles that require less maintenance. “Our goal is to give the client as much as they can possibly get for their dollar,” Wong says. Finding the correct balance is tricky. The firm doesn’t want to be too conservative in construction-cost estimates, which might sacrifice the overall size of the project, but at the same time, if PG+P is too aggressive, the project will end up with cost overruns. The team first breaks the building trades into base-building and finish-building categories and inserts estimates for each line item with variations that can affect the design and the cost. According to Marc Gee, principal and construction expert at PG+P, this allows the architects to identify trades that represent major costs, trades with potential unknowns, and trades with design flexibility. “Base

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Left: The Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Services building's glass and colored-panel front brings dynamic design to an inner-city building.

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I will listen to my Legal Outreach elders, because with age

Left: The rendered plan for Legal Outreach, a building designed from a former factory.

building is the infrastructure. Trades like foundations, structural steel, and HVAC systems that take up the largest percentage of the overall cost yield the least flexibility for change and have the greatest potential for cost overruns if mismanaged,” he says. The team outlines the level of finishes it hopes to achieve within the client’s budget and identifies potential upgrades for which to aim through the use of aggressive bidding and efficient on-site trade management. As project managers and on-site construction supervisors for The East Harlem School, Wong and Gee point to a number of strategies that allowed the team to save the school enormous costs. Because the building is in the FEMA 100-year flood zone, the initial budget included a fully flood-proofed foundation and a substantial pile foundation. PG+P modified the design and raised the cellar slab up above the water table, which reduced physical costs and shortened overall construction time; they also scheduled pile-driving for winter months when the ground was frozen, which allowed the team to forgo expensive rig mats. PG+P saved significant money in each trade by hard competitive bidding with up to as many as eight bidders per trade. Furthermore, on more than $5 million of base building work, change orders reached only $19,000, a savings that speaks to the value of the firm’s in-depth drawings and specifications. Each drawing set is created specifically per trade—a streamlined process that allows subcontractors to quickly and easily identify expectations. This method also allows the designers to break the trades into smaller packages if the bidding environment suggests potential savings such as using different concrete contractors for foundations and sidewalks or breaking HVAC contracts into parts like hot-water heating, air conditioning, and controls. “This requires more coordination on our part but often permits the use of smaller specialized tradesmen,

Right: The holed steps of Legal Outreach give the urban building a modern feel. Far right: Glass walls in Legal Outreach's interior permit sunlight throughout the space. Photos: Erik Freeland.

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“Our goal is to give the client as much as they can possibly get for their dollar.” Stacie Wong, Principal & Lead Architect for School Design

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more control over the individual trades, and more control over construction sequencing,” Gee says. The end result is better design at a lower cost. In addition to using zero funds allocated in the Construction Contingency, The East Harlem School project came in $500,000 under budget—savings the school instead applied toward their endowment. The design-build process also allows PG+P to maintain involvement with the client over a longer period of time. When construction began for Legal Outreach, it was apparent that some of the on-paper decisions weren’t going to translate; the executive director’s office, for example, was too small and too public. The fix was a simple one, but had the client been required to go through the typical series of channels, costs would have added up. “It easily could have become a $10,000 change order,” says principal Charlie Kaplan, PG+P’s lead housing architect. “But our process allows us to respond to clients’ needs quickly and inexpensively.” The firm’s method breeds trust, which Wong says is critical in establishing an effective partnership. The assurance is further fostered through open and constant communication and transparency in everything from the logic behind the design to how money is spent during construction. Even into the last stages of a project, PG+P sustains contact by spending as much time as necessary with the client so they understand how to operate and maintain the building for the long term. “We learn as much as possible from the client to understand their core needs, which often leads to smarter ways of approaching each project to maximize its potential,” Wong says. The payoffs are invaluable. In the case of Legal Outreach, preliminary space planning and cost studies were performed for five years prior to choosing the

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“It’s really difficult to make a really good building at all. But we know it’s important, and that’s why we do it.” Peter Gluck, Founder & Principal

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Name: Urban Condo Project summary: Renovation of pre-existing warehouse Location: East Harlem, NY Client: 232 Development, LLC Cost: $2.4 million Completed: 2007 Program: 12 residential units Square footage: 14,400 Height: 6 stories Design features: Glass curtain walls on faade and west side of building make up for insufficient light; blue-glazed ceramic tiles provide distinction and mimic brick patterns of pre-existing structure. Photo: ©Christian Phillips.

school’s eventual site as an inflated real-estate market complicated the budget. With Little Sisters, the building’s long-span structure provides short-term flexibility of use for the organization, but it also maximizes the future value of the building by allowing for easy change in the long-term as well. Finally, for The East Harlem School, PG+P met with every constituent—students, alumni, teachers, administrative staff, support staff, and parents—to understand what made the school unique. Simultaneously, the team analyzed the building site from a developer’s perspective and found that the structure best suited for the intimate nature of the school was significantly smaller than what the site could accommodate. Rather than leaving unused development rights on the table, the team chose to develop only a portion and left an empty lot and transferable air rights for future

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development. “We are not only interested in buildings that function well but in smart buildings that are huge financial assets for our clients,” Wong says. Overall, PG+P’s design-build process makes a statement that distinction can be achieved affordably for community projects and simultaneously show fiscal responsibility and respect for the neighborhood. The latter accomplishment is one that Gluck champions in particular. When he approaches these projects, he is mindful of pride and says it’s imperative that a building looks like someone cares about it. Wong says that for both Little Sisters and The East Harlem School, there were numerous discussions regarding the face the buildings would present. Both organizations have deep roots in the neighborhood, and both were conscious of the fact that the appearance of

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the buildings would have a major impact. Moreover, neither wanted the buildings to stand apart from the community it serves. Initially the organizations were not certain they wanted their buildings to stand out at all. Through an extensive design process in which numerous options were presented using physical models, both embraced the idea that creating a forward-thinking building does architecturally what the organizations themselves do socially. Kaplan puts it a different way. According to him, by the time the form of the building finally emerges, the outward design is so intrinsically connected with the other attributes that the way it looks seems like a forgone conclusion. “By then it is what it is because it has to be,” he says. What it has to be is high-quality, cost-effective modern architecture, and that isn’t easy. “It isn’t more difficult to do these projects well,” Gluck says. “It’s really difficult to make a really good building at all. But we know it’s important, and that’s why we do it.” abq

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Name: Harlem RBI Afterschool Program Project summary: Indoor and outdoor space that provides 400 inner-city youth with after-school programs Location: East Harlem Client: Harlem RBI Cost: $695,000 field; $195,000 interior space Completed: 2005 Program: Baseball field, office, garden, and tutoring space Square footage: 3,300 interior; 1-acre field

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Name: St. Ann School Playspace Project Summary: Year-round playspace constructed on small lot adjacent to church Location: East Harlem Client: St. Ann School Cost: $296,377 Completed: 2002 Program: Multipurpose space including basketball court, all-seasons gym, and assembly space Square footage: 2,700 Height: 1 story Design features: No maintenance required on building systems: translucent plastic roof allows natural light; sliding fiberglass walls open for ventilation; infrared panels heat space in winter.

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Next Generation Central Vacuum System…. The RETRACTABLE HOSE Central Vacuum System

Hide-A-Hose solves the problem of carrying and storing a central vacuum hose. You’ll never have to carry or store a bulky central vacuum hose again. Simply pull out the amount of hose you need from the inlet valve, connect your cleaning wand (with attachment) and begin vacuuming. When you’re finished, detach the cleaning wand from the hose and the suction from the central vacuum power unit retracts the hose into the SmartTube™ system hidden behind the wall. Hose lengths are customized according to the size of the floor. Each inlet can cover up to 2300 sq. ft. For new construction and existing homes Installation for newer and existing homes is simplified with the reduction of inlet valves needed on each floor. Fewer inlets will save time and make vacuuming more convenient.

Why I’ll never own a “traditional” central vacuum again.

Eliminate Bulky Hoses! No more dragging a hose from inlet to inlet. No more carrying, coiling and storing a bulky hose again. Simple cleanups are easy.

- User Testimonial Marcia MacGregor Hudson, OH “Before I saw the Hide A Hose system I wasn’t sure I was going to get a central vacuum system for my new house. I was tired of lugging a bulky hose from inlet to inlet, up and down the steps, and especially shoving it in a closet when I was done, but I knew a portable vacuum was even worse. The Hide A Hose system may be the coolest thing in my new home, and because it is more convenient we clean more often, so our home is cleaner and healthier. My friends are very envious!!!”

Watch our video – see how easy it is to vacuum at: www.hideahose.biz

0368-018FHBmag_fullpage_noBleed.1 1

Why I’ll never install outdated central vacuum technology. - Builder Testimonial Joe Gretsch, Infinity Homes Bellevue, WA “It’s a cleaner and simpler install with the HideA-Hose Retractable Central Vacuum System. You don’t need to install as many inlet valves. Plus, I don’t like installing older/outdated technology for my homeowners. I didn’t recommend it once. Never again! Customers that have the Hide-A-Hose system will never go back to the old way of doing it.”

16726 146th St SE # 135 Monroe, WA 98272 877-851-4491 info@hideahose.biz

7/8/08 10:02:32 AM


Niche Resources

Plugged In, LLC ....................................................... 88 Baschnagel Brothers Inc. ......................................... 90 JRT Mechanical Inc. ................................................. 92 SE Group ................................................................. 94 Great Coasters International ..................................... 96 R.L. Millies & Associates, Inc. ................................... 99 Intercon Building Corp. ............................................ 101 LCG FaÂ?ades ......................................................... 104 Gary Player Design ................................................. 106 WinderLumen LED ................................................. 108 T&T Tinting Specialists, Inc. .................................... 110 Pictured: Great Coasters International's Joris en de Draak racing coaster in Holland.

Photo: Efteling.


niche resources

Plugged In, LLC. Bringing central vacuums into the mainstream At a Glance Location: Kansas City, MO Founded: 2002 Specialty: Central vacuums

Above: A collection of common accessories used for cleaning upholstery, hardwoods, and tile as well as dusting and edge cleaning.

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When Sarah DeGondea and her husband, Trail, built part by green building trends—is good news for Plugged their first home in Kansas City, Missouri, Trail insisted In. But like most sustainable/energy-efficient home that they install a central vacuum. DeGondea had grown features, up-front costs present a challenge. “It always up with a central vacuum in the house and had negative amazes me that people will spend thousand of dollars a feelings about the systems. “I said, ‘No,’ but he insisted it year on bottled water but own cheap, inefficient vacuwas a no-brainer when you’re building a new home,” she ums,” she says. “They’re worried about unhealthy water says. “He installed it, and it was night and day from what but not concerned with what’s in the air they’re breathI remembered—it actually was more efficient, convenient, ing? It doesn’t make sense to me.” and powerful, and it didn’t sound like a jet airliner.” Difficult, too, is that the same mindset behind DeGon In addition to being happy with their central vacuum, dea’s initial skepticism about central vacuums remains they also saw opportunity; there were very few comrooted in the minds of many homeowners and builders. panies in the central vacuum market. So in 2002, Trail “A lot of builders will tell you that the homeowners don’t founded Plugged In, LLC, and began selling central want a system installed,” she says. “I always say, ‘Do you vacuum systems. After researching many manufacturers know they don’t want it, or do you just think they don’t of central vacuums, Plugged In partnered with Cyclowant it?’ Because homeowners are so overwhelmed with Vac, a Canadian company that has been building central building a home, they tend to forget about how they are vacuums for 50 years. “With CycloVac’s experience and actually going to clean their new home. If you show them attention to detail, it was a good match for us,” she says. and discuss the benefits of how the system works and In 2007 DeGondea quit her print-advertising job to its cleaning abilities on hardwoods, tile, carpets, and become the new owner of Plugged In. even their vehicles, it makes a lot of sense to have a sys “So many people have allergies and/or asthma, and tem installed.” when they find out a central vacuum is their best option “There has been a common misconception on the for cleaner indoor air, they get online and find us,” she affordability of a system installed,” she says. Plugged In’s says. “But everybody should be concerned with indoor air systems start around $900 for a machine, and accessories quality, not just allergy and asthma sufferers.” Increased and installation usually runs $400-$600, depending on awareness about air quality issues in general—sparked in the size of the home. The most convenient accessory

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with central vacuum systems today is the retractable hose system. Previously, the only option was storing a hose and getting it all out every time the vacuum was needed; with the retractable hose system, there are fewer inlets, which allows users to take out as much or as little hose as needed. “With the retractable hose, it’s literally a hose you pull out of the wall, you vacuum, and then when you’re finished, the hose goes right back into the wall,” DeGondea says. Plugged In’s business model has continued to see positive gains, and DeGondea attributes this to her committed relationships with her builders, her partnerships with the remodelers, and her ongoing efforts to educate homeowners on the benefits of central vacuums through internet marketing and home expos. “Even though the last few years have been difficult in the building industry,

Garage doors and microwaves used to be luxury items, but today they’re standard. I believe central vacuums should be standard, and I’m committed to increasing the number of people who think that way.

Top left: Hide-A-Hose, the retractable hose system, allows the user as much slack as he or she needs. Above: Vac pans make for quick cleanups. Just sweep toward the opening. Left: With Hide-A-Hose, you don't need to worry about storage space because the hose simply retracts back into the wall.

Sarah DeGondea, Owner

we still remain the largest in the Midwest for retractable hose systems, and we’re nationally recognized as a top dealer for CycloVac,” she says. The company is currently in talks with local retirement communities about providing central vacuums in their new condos, and DeGondea says she sees this as a promising market moving forward. “We definitely see the benefits of the retractable hoses in retirement homes as space gets limited—and the fact that you’re not dragging around a heavy, portable vacuum,” she says. In the meantime, DeGondea will continue on as a sort of central vacuum evangelist. “Lots of times you’ll hear people say that a central vacuum is a luxury item, but cleaning is not a luxury,” she says. “Garage door openers, microwaves, and dishwashers used to be luxury items, but today they’re standard when building a home. I believe central vacuums should be standard, and I’m committed to increasing the number of people who think that way.” —David Hudnall

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niche resources Above: The inconspicuous sign outside Baschnagel Brothers, a roofing company known for its work with historical structures.

became very well known in its industry and garnered a lot of respect immediately, according to the company’s current president, Carol Baschnagel. Baschnagel started working for the company to help out in 1976, but she never left. Now she oversees proposals, marketing, safety coordination, and accounting, and she has made the

Not anybody with a can of tar can call himself or herself a roofer. We’re not like that. We have craftsmen who have been here for several years, and they know their trade. Carol Baschnagel, President

Baschnagel Brothers Inc. Building a reputation of quality from one generation to the next At a Glance Location: Whitestone, NY Founded: 1901 Specialty: Landmarks and sheetmetal roofing

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German immigrant William Baschnagel came to the United States as a sheet-metal worker, a trade he had learned in Germany. He established his business, William Baschnagel Roofing Company, in New York in 1901 and was committed to his firm for 30 years. When the income tax was implemented, he refused to pay it and decided instead to stop working. Before leaving the business, however, he made sure to teach his two sons the trade. When the young men took over, they decided to rename the business Baschnagel Brothers. The business

business Woman Business Enterprise-certified. “Not anybody with a can of tar can call him or herself a roofer,” Carol Baschnagel says. “We’re not like that. We have craftsmen who have been here for several years, and they know their trade.” Baschnagel Brothers Inc. has certifications for all types of roofing and sheet metal work, specializes in landmarks and church work, and has won several awards from industry organizations. Recent roofing projects include the Merchant Marine Academy in Kingspoint, New York, and the Mount Lebanon Baptist Church located in Brooklyn, New York. Although work on residential roofing projects only takes a week, buildings such as the landmark church, take months to complete. Word-of-mouth helped the business receive the project at the landmark church. Architects working with the Landmark Commission contacted the business, which had been recognized by the New York Landmark Conservatory for its ability to restore and maintain a building’s originality. The family business also incorporates green strategies in its projects. “We specialize in all types of roofing. We use white to reflect the sun, and we use FleeceBACK to encapsulate the existing roof whenever possible to not fill landfills or pollute the air when removing previous,” Baschnagel says.

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The business has been located in Whitestone, New York, since 1965, but the firm doesn’t limit its market to the Queens borough. It services all five boroughs of New York City and provides commercial, residential, and industrial roofing services. When visitors arrive they enter a roofing showroom and are consulted by salesmen. “Our work sells itself,” Baschnagel says. “We give such great service that when we get a call, we run and give the estimate.” The business doesn’t try to sell its clients the cheapest job they can get, but that doesn’t imply that they are expensive. “If people were just shopping through the phone book and looking for the cheapest thing, they can get that, but it doesn’t mean they will get any type of quality work,” she says. During the recession, the company’s 25 employees have worked harder than they ever have before. “The recession has been hard on everyone, but our phone is still ringing,” Baschnagel says. She believes businesses like Baschnagel Brothers Inc. can best achieve success in any economic climate by putting in the hours and going after everything. —Brigitte Yuille

We’re there for you. Layher in the USA Maryland 2800 Eastern Blvd. Building AP3 Suite 203 Middle River, MD 21220 tel: 410.686.6482 fax: 410.686.6483 Southeast Layher, Inc. Ocala, FL tel: 352.286.3087 fax: 407.386.8112

Mobile

WBE Certified, Specializing in Roofing, Siding & Sheet Metal of All Types

Commercial / Residential / Industrial GAF Master Elite Englert - Firestone - Carlisle Certified In business since 1901 and featured on the New York Landmark Recommendation list.

A recipient of six Lucy Moses New York Landmarks Conservancy Awards. www.baschnagel.com

8495 Moffet Road Semmes, AL 36575 tel: 251.649.7696 fax:251.649.7793

Layher Inc. U.S. Headquarters 4847 Timber Creek Houston, Texas 77017 Toll free 866 300 0904 Fax 713 947-1441

sales@baschnagel.com

150-25 14th Avenue Whitestone, NY 11357

P: 718.767.1919 F: 718.767.5141

866.300.0904

www.Layherusa.com


niche resources

JRT Mechanical Inc. Commercial contractor combines advanced technologies and long-term team experience to create a market draw JRT Mechanical, INC., has successfully met economic At a Glance Location: Battle Ground, WA Founded: 1993 Specialty: Commercial mechanical contracting

Above: The completed Health Care and Administration building is a 21,000-square-foot facility providing modern healthcare and support services to the juvenile inmates of the Green Hill School. Photos: Levi Knapp.

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challenges throughout its 17 years, growing to 60 employees and $20 million in yearly revenues with its skilled use of technology, workmen’s expertise, and dedication to keeping jobs on time and within budget. “Many contractors look to us to fulfill the most complicated jobs,” says Karl Tapani, senior project manager and son of company founders John and Rita Tapani. The full-commercial contractor’s work ranges from school buildings to industrial welding and pipefitting on co-generation plants and biodiesel projects. Today’s high-level work is a far cry from the company’s beginnings working on hotel and apartmentcomplex plumbing systems and shows how JRT has transitioned with the times. Its more recent strategies include a heightened marketing effort throughout the state, setting up an office in Seattle in order to be more visible to its Seattle-based customers, increasing business volume in central Washington State, and delving into complicated jobs such as serving as the piping contractor for an asphalt-pumping pipeline at the Port of Vancouver. General manager Matt Johnson explains, “We’ve focused on broadening our base of customers by introducing

ourselves to new contractors and new engineering firms.” JRT provides a complete and updated list of its projects to potential clients, as well as an extensive list of 20 references to underscore its level of expertise and ability to complete projects on time and on budget. Specifically, JRT aims to keep change orders to a minimum and prides itself on retaining an experienced work crew who recognize challenges early on. “Our project managers and foremen are acutely aware of the type of production goals we need to remain competitive, successful, and viable,” Johnson says. “Our bids take into account the full scope of the project, and we try to anticipate potential construction barriers. As a result, we don’t have to recoup revenue for a low estimate with change orders.” The company’s foremen average more than 14 years of work with JRT, and project managers average 12 years. The company layers sophisticated software on top of its human expertise to ensure that it accurately estimates the cost of work and that it has the tools to manage the job. “Our people make us successful. Having a consistent workforce has given us a competitive advantage,” Tapani says.

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Johnson adds, “Our reputation rests on the fact that we’ve successfully completed any project we’ve taken on. We’ve never left a customer empty-handed.” Among the company’s successful projects is an asphalt-pumping plant designed to offload asphalt from rail cars at the Port of Vancouver and transport the asphalt to a tank farm. JRT worked around a live rail line that kept its trains on schedule to install the piping, pumps, valves and other pipeline-related equipment for the job. The 1,000 feet of 24-inch pipe was steam-jacketed. Each line contained two smaller pipelines that carry steam and two

JRT provides a complete and updated list of its projects to potential clients, as well as an extensive list of 20 references, to prove its level of expertise. that carry asphalt. The $454,000 project had to be completed in a tight, four-month schedule. “Very few projects such as this—requiring the pumping of a hot, liquid-like asphalt—are being installed,” Johnson points out. In addition to the project at the Port of Vancouver, JRT worked on a $1.7 million project to install plumbing, HVAC, and HVAC controls in a school for juveniles in a maximum-security jail. The firm worked on the project under tight security since they were inside a state facility in Chehalis, Washington. “Security was an issue throughout, since this was an existing prison,” Tapani says. All of the plumbing and HVAC equipment was designed with security bars and other protections to prevent access by inmates. Along with the aforementioned projects, JRT is starting to see a glimmer of improvement in the economy, especially in projects funded by the government and in small commercial facilities such as retail, medical clinics, medical-office buildings and Class A office buildings. The company is also looking for new projects in industrial welding and pipefitting, including hydroelectric dams and co-generation and biodiesel plants. —Sandra Guy

american builders quarterly

Above: Rail cars with heavy asphalt are staged in the Albina asphalt plant at the Port of Vancouver, WA. The two steam lines in the pipeline heat the oil to an appropriate viscosity for pumping into the tank farm.

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SE Group. Landscape architects parlay resort expertise into success in urban markets At a Glance Location: Sugar Hill, NH Founded: 1958 Employees: 20 Specialty: Landscape architecture

Above: Spruce Peak at Stowe's pedestrian village successfully integrates pedestrian amenities including outdoor dining terraces and cafŽs, public art, an outdoor ice rink, a children's splash park and playground, and an outdoor amphitheater/event space.

For 52 years, SE Group has been working in the design, including projects in Turkey, China, and Iceland, world’s most beautiful places and has helped shape the but the firm’s portfolio extends to recreational and mountain-resort industry. A knack for solving challenges athletic facility design, college and corporate campus in difficult terrain combined with the skill for enhancing design, wind and solar farms, and urban streetscapes. already scenic areas has positioned SE Group as a “We have an international reputation in mountain landscape architecture firm capable of providing not only resorts and work around the world,” Humber says. large scale master plans but detailed site designs for a “In North America we own 80 percent of the market variety of public and private clients. in mountain planning, and in other areas of landscape Founded in 1958 in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, SE architecture, we approach work from a local and regional Group, which derives its name from its previous moniker, perspective.” Sno-engineering, was the first company in North For Spruce Peak in Stowe, Vermont, SE Group America to focus on the planning and design of ski resorts. has been on the job of the $400 million base-area “In the 1950s they really were just ski areas,” says Claire development since the project began in 1996. The project Humber, SE Group principal. “As the ski industry has entails home sites, mountain cabins, a new lodge, a hotel evolved into a four-season mountain resort business, the and spa, and a golf course. There are lift upgrades and a company has evolved as well to serve this more complex, pedestrian lift that crosses a scenic byway. In projects developing environment.” such as this, SE Group’s strength as a team player is its Over time the company parlayed its understanding ability to understand both the clients’ development goals of problem solving in difficult environments, such and ongoing operational goals while coordinating the as extreme grades or heavily regulated areas, and many disciplines on site. “We end up doing that because transferred that knowledge into other types of planning we see things in the big picture,” Humber says. “From and design work. SE Group still does mountain resort our history and experience as master planners we have


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the ability to look beyond what we are told to do and understand the impacts of what is going on around it.” Another highly detailed project is the Ritz Carlton Residences in Vail, Colorado, where the building takes up 90 percent of the site. The highly technical design includes an on-structure pedestrian plaza that includes swimming pools, hot tubs, a fire pit, and pergolas. According to Michael Willard, an SE Group senior associate, such finely detailed projects show off SE Group’s skill in site design. Those skills are easily translated to college, corporate, and municipal clients who are looking for the same level of aesthetic attention as a resort. SE Group was hired by the City of Burlington, Vermont, to rehabilitate an open-air pedestrian mall in the central business district. The company reworked four city blocks to create a more hospitable location for outdoor cafes, boutiques, and other vendors. “It has become a predominant feature of the downtown area and has added vitality to the city,” Willard says. SE Group also reworked the Burlington waterfront, an area that many visitors to the city utilize when arriving by boat on Lake Champlain from Quebec or New York. Both projects include extensive street signage, wayfinding graphics, and traffic controls. “They are all public places that deal with moving people through space,” Humber says. “That’s something we do exceptionally well.” —Laura Williams-Tracy

Below: Located in the heart of Burlington, VT, Church Street Marketplace is one of the most successful open-air pedestrian malls in the country and offers its visitors a wide variety of retail stores, restaurants, galleries, street vendors, and entertainers.

As the ski industry has evolved into a four-season mountain-resort business, the company has evolved as well to serve this more complex, developing environment. Claire Humber, Principal

A Message from Trowel Trades Supply Since 1968, Trowel Trades Supply has set the standard in product selection, technical expertise, and customer service. We provide assistance at all stages of a project; from design consultation to material supply. Trowel Trades commends SE Group for their distinguished work and well deserved recognition.

TROWEL TRADES SUPPLY INC

DEDICATION TO YOUR PROJECT, EXPERIENCED STAFF, QUALITY PRODUCTS... WE DELIVER!

Trowel Trades Supply, Inc 206 Hegeman Avenue Colchester, Vermont 05446-3136 1.800.300.BRIC (2742) Tel:1.802.655.3166 Fax:1.802.655.5841

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Great Coasters International. Wild, wooden, wonderful, and making people scream Terminator, El-Toro, and Thunderhead hurtle over At a Glance Location: Sunbury, PA Founded: 1994 Employees: 12 Specialty: Design and construction of wooden roller coasters

Above: Construction of a $10 million roller coaster in the valley of Shenzhen, China. Photo: Courtesy of Great Coasters.

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their tracks with a thunderous roar to the shrieking delight of passengers. Even though steel has become a popular construction choice in recent decades, these modern wooden roller coasters are still the favorite of amusement-ride fanciers. “We often see whole families, especially the older generation, getting on our wooden roller coasters,” says Chris Gray, procurement and assembly director of Great Coasters International (GCI). “Our rides are nostalgic; they’re as thrilling as the steel roller coasters but not as big or threatening.” GCI was founded in 1994 by Mike Boodley and Clair Hain, and today is one of the last design-build firms of wooden roller coasters left in the world. As a child, Boodley built roller coasters in his backyard, and Hain, the current president, became involved with roller coasters through a high-school project. Gray was also bitten by the bug early in life. Since the age of eight, he has wanted to build roller coasters, and all his high-school notebooks were filled with endless roller-coaster doodles. When asked if the business has suffered in the current recession, Gray says, “Here’s the crazy thing: what typically happens in the amusement industry at the start of a recession is that parks will boost everything—even add new rides. They know that no one will be traveling outside the US. For the past three years, our company had some of the best years since 1993. Only recently have we seen a slight decrease, so we’ve started marketing more aggressively in Europe and Asia.”

The average cost to build a wooden roller coaster is between $4.5 and $7 million. “It’s cheaper to build with wood,” Gray says. “In 2009, a new 305-foot-high steel roller coaster in Virginia cost $25 million. Last year we built a wooden racer in Holland for $10 million. The racers, which are two trains on separate tracks traveling together, cost more than a one-track coaster because there are two rides, more trains, more mechanicals, a maintenance building, and more issues with the control systems.” GCI guarantees their tracks for two years or more, although a track can last for over 50 years. The mechanical parts of GCI’s coasters are manufactured and assembled within a 60-mile radius of its plant in Pennsylvania. Gray orders truckloads of nails, 30-40 truckloads of lumber, all the mechanical features, and articulated cars and ships everything directly to the customer’s site to be assembled by 30-50 workers. Years ago, all rides were made out of oak, but that wood has been phased out and replaced by southern yellow pine harvested from renewable forests. The lumber is pestand fire-retardant. Typically, it takes nine months to a year to complete one coaster. The track is laid first, and then the mechanical side of the ride, such as brakes, sensors, controls, and the transfer maintenance building, are designed and constructed. Currently, GCI is building a $10 million terrain roller coaster along the mountain contours in Knight Valley in Shenzhen, China. When completed, this coaster will be

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4,817 feet long and will feature a 147-foot lift and a 131foot triple-down first drop. Traditionally, the amusement park names the roller coaster, and this one is scheduled to open in January 2011. It will include a GCI signature station fly-through and 80 degrees of banking. “For terrain rides we try to keep them as low to the ground as possible,” Gray says. “The lower you are to the ground,

Our roller coasters should also be as visually stunning as a piece of art or sculpture. It should have lots of grace and beauty so that when it functions around the park, it looks like it’s been designed specifically for that spot. Chris Gray, Procurement & Assembly Director

the faster it feels. We can also keep parts of the ride hidden. One of the cool things about some of our rides is that you can be standing on the station, and sections are hidden in the woods. If a park wants to do a tunnel, then we’ll add them.” Gray also points out that as much as a roller coaster’s design has to do with speed and thrills, it is still a complex

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Left: The coaster in China will be 4,817 feet long and will feature a 131-foot initial drop. Top: One of GCI's racing coasters, which have two sets of tracks to run cars side by side. Bottom: The double set of tracks on a racing coaster adds a level of excitement and competition to the ride. Photos: Efteling.

architectural problem. “Our roller coasters should also be as visually stunning as a piece of art or sculpture,” he says. “It should have lots of grace and beauty so that when it functions around the park, it looks like it’s been designed specifically for that spot.” In 2009, GCI won the Best New Ride from Amusement Today for Prowler in Kansas City, Missouri. Thunderhead at Dollywood was named the number one wooden roller coaster ride in the world in 2005 and 2006. GCI sees lots more thrills like these in its future. —Joyce Finn

A Message from Ohio Rod Products Ohio Rod Products is a recognized leader in the production of longlength, small-diameter metal fasteners for markets ranging from wooden roller coasters to construction, material handling, and power-generation applications. A member of the Elgin Fastener Group, Ohio Rod Products is dedicated to expanding its reputation as a preferred supplier of high-quality headed and threaded fasteners. Ohio Rod Products has supplied Roller Coaster Bolts to Great Coasters International since 2003.

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Solving Power Quality Problems is what we do! ISO 9001 Certified Midwest Electrical Consultants is an electrical distribution equipment testing service company for the Midwest area. Since 1980, we’ve provided our customers with the finest electrical testing and analyses. Our engineers have a combined experience of more than 100 years. We’re one of the foremost authorities on power quality and transient voltage surge suppression in the world.

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To all of our friends at R.L. Millies & Associates, congratulations on your 35 years of engineering excellence! It’s true—good things do happen to great people. Chicagoland’s Premier Manufacturers’ Representative Condensing Boilers • Steam Boilers • Flue Systems • Pipe Markers • Kitchen Exhaust Hoods • Water Heaters • Pollution Control Units • Infrared Heaters • Deaerators • Grease Duct • Air Purification Systems • Expansion Tanks • Methane Conditioning Systems Minster Mechanical Sales 304 Wainwright, Suite 270 Northbrook, IL 60062 Phone: 708-755-2600 Fax: 708-755-2661 sales@minstermechanical.com www.minstermechanical.com


R.L. Millies & Associates, Inc. Engineering-consulting firm designs systems that address indoor environments Ten years ago, Lee Millies spotted a trend that he was At a Glance Location: Munster, IN Founded: 1975 Specialty: Engineering consulting for commercial and institutional facilities

Above: The William Young New Elementary School is one of many sustainable educational facilities built by R.L. Millies & Associates, Inc.

sure would be the next big thing in the engineering and architecture worlds: sustainable design. Some call it green building; others call it environmental design. But whatever name it takes, the art of creating energy-efficient, environmentally friendly structures has become one of the fastest growing segments—if not the fastest— in the design industry. That’s good for Millies, whose Munster, Indianabased engineering consulting firm, R.L. Millies & Associates, Inc., specializes in, among other things, sustainable and energy-efficient design. In fact, Millies has been involved in the movement for some time. “We’ve been interested in energy efficiency for a long time,” he says. “It’s natural that we want to give our clients the most efficient systems for their budget, but we’re also interested in energy efficiency as engineers.” That interest runs in the family. The firm was founded in 1975 by his father, Ronald, who started with two employees running the business out of his home. Things have changed since then. The firm has grown to 18 employees, with headquarters in Indiana and a small branch office in downtown Chicago. And the son, a LEEDaccredited mechanical engineer, has become the firm's president. The firm focuses on new construction, additions to existing buildings, interior renovations, and upgrades of indoor systems, designing everything from heating,

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air conditioning, and lighting systems to plumbing, fire protection systems, and communications systems. “We design all the systems that affect a building’s indoor environment,” Millies says. In addition, the firm performs evaluations—inspecting an existing building for code violations and offering solutions—and condition surveys—sizing up the physical condition and life expectancy of a facility. But most of the firm’s projects involve teaming up with architects to design these systems or working directly with owners as consulting engineers on existing facilities. According to Millies, 85 percent of the firm’s work comes from its repeat client base of 25 to 30 architects. The remaining 15 percent is done directly for clients who require infrastructure work—utilities and hospitals, for example—but don’t require architectural services. The firm assigns a project manager to each project from inception through design, construction and beyond. Thanks to the experience and longevity of the firm’s staff, many clients have worked with the same key individuals for 15 years or longer. As a mid-sized consultancy, R.L. Millies & Associates is able to provide services for a wide range of projects—more than 100 per year—ranging in size from 1,000-square-foot renovations to 350,000-square-foot new construction projects. And while most of the work is regionally focused in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the firm’s engineers and designers can travel

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Above: The Crete High School commons. Right: Front vestibule of a facility for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 150.

anywhere for a project. As Millies puts it: “The architects we work with might be in Indiana or Chicago, but the projects might be in New York, Texas, Oklahoma, or Minnesota.” Millies himself is licensed to work as a professional engineer in 12 states. One current project of note is the 40,000-square-foot International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union facility in Merrillville, Indiana. Brought in as the consulting engineers, R.L. Millies & Associates incorporated a number of energy efficient systems into the building’s design. In addition to photovoltaic panels on the roof and the use of LED lighting throughout the site, the structure also boasts high-efficiency equipment, such as condensing boilers with a 95 percent efficiency rate, and heat recovery on the mechanical systems. In addition, the firm also implemented a newer and less common system: demand-control ventilation. Essentially, demand-control ventilation reduces the amount of outside air brought into the building according to the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. What R.L. Millies & Associates designs is proper placement of carbon dioxide sensors inside and outside; these sensors use an algorithm to determine how many people are in the building by measuring the amount of carbon dioxide in the facility. Once the level measured exceeds a certain point, fresh outside air is automatically delivered into the facility. According to Millies, this system allows for significant savings on energy bills. And that’s something every client is interested in. Most clients also like to know that the engineering team is paying attention to every minute detail to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Not surprisingly, these are some of R.L. Millies & Associates biggest advantages: experience, coordination, and client service. Not only does the team spend plenty of time with the client—

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enough so that the systems to be designed are coordinated with the client’s budgetary, aesthetic, and energy goals—but a firm principal is involved in every job, from the beginning to completion of construction. “Our principals don’t sell design services and then walk away,” Millies says. “We’re not just selling initial design services; we’re also selling our continuing service. That’s key to customer satisfaction.” —Cristina Adams

It’s natural that we want to give our clients the most efficient systems for their budget, but we’re also interested in energy efficiency as engineers. Lee Millies, Jr., president

A Message from Midwest Electrical Consultants Midwest Electrical Consultants (MEC) has been in business since 1980 and is proud of its 30 plus year personal and business relationship with R.L. Millies and Associates, Inc. We congratulate Mr. Ron Millies, his family and staff on their 35th anniversary and look froward to many more years of working together.

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InterCon Building Corporation. Construction firm handles Charlotte with care—and considerable success At a Glance Location: Charlotte, NC Founded: 1990 Employees: 50 Specialty: Commercial, industrial, retail, institutional, and broadcast/media construction

Above: InterCon Building Corporation built the Welcome Center & Field House at Queens University of Charlotte with a number of interior improvements including a training room, a weight room, and a kitchen.

If it is difficult to picture a manufacturing company as a dedicated member of a given community, consider the case of Charlotte, North Carolina-based InterCon Building Corp. A builder with an impressive catalog of commercial and industrial projects in the area over the past two decades, InterCon was born out of the desire of its president, Curtis Trenkelbach, to stay in the area when his former employer proposed relocating their Charlotte operations. Since then, it has cast its net wide and thrived—with retail, industrial, commercial, interior, broadcast, and media and institutional establishments among its hundreds of developments. And InterCon is a continuing contributor to Charlotte’s civic development as well; they have major involvements with the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, and numerous children’s charities. But if Trenkelbach’s efforts to weave InterCon into the fabric of Charlotte are done with only the most subtle of fanfare, it is with good reason: both Trenkelbach and InterCon’s Vice President Chris Urquhart remain as passionate about their craft as they were when they first entered the industry. In fact, it’s still common, they say, for either of them to be spotted on-site. “I decided to

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join the InterCon Team because here at InterCon we pride ourselves on truly being builders,” stresses Urquhart. “It’s not about pushing papers for us. Either Curtis or I are directly involved in every project we execute.” And every project benefits from unique steps in InterCon’s process, which includes work being performed under an "OPEN BOOK/Transparent basis,” giving the client freedom to be as involved in the different levels of the project as they want to be—and the freedom to implement as many changes as are needed along the way. “What we’ve tried to do [with OPEN BOOK] is pull down the barriers and boundaries of any distrust between a contractor and owner,” Trenkelbach explains. The firm is dedicated to keeping as many of their projects in fast-track completion mode as possible, including a $10 million, 112,784-square-foot FedEx facility they finished in 2009, just 92 days after they received the contract. “We have always enjoyed the professional challenge of accelerated projects—the challenge of turning a project around in a very short period of time,” Trenkelbach says. “We can do it not just because of our business

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niche resources Left: The new facility for Motor Racing Network's radio station. InterCon accounted for the client's direct-broadcasting needs as well as for their fleet of traveling studios. Bottom: InterCon creates simple conference rooms according to the same green principles it carries through all projects.

nearly achieved Gold status, which is something they attribute to the extensive up-front work they did on the shell construction. InterCon is also incorporating green principles into the shell of the Husqvarna Research & Development Center, which will be completed in January 2011. But whether it’s this project, or the construction of the sports complex for Queens University of Charlotte, or the renovation of a 22-year-old chemical storage building for Italian company CEFLA, or a facility for Motor Racing Network’s radio station, listening to the client and their needs for the building at hand are imperative. Trenkelbach notes that MRN had very specific requirements

Here at InterCon, we pride ourselves on truly being builders. It is not about pushing papers for us. Either Curtis or I are directly involved in every project we execute. Chris Urquhart, Vice President

structure and our strong understanding of design-build projects, but [also because of ] the high percentage of self-performed work we execute with our own forces.” That ability to “self-perform”—meaning to complete in-house at least 75-80 percent of the work that goes into completing a project—makes for quite a feat, Trenkelbach points out, especially considering most general contractors sub-contract the majority of their work. “Doing it the way we do it lets us not only control the schedule,” he says, “but also the quality and delivery times of the buildings as a whole.” InterCon’s philosophy and methods produce satisfied clients and therefore repeat clients. ProLogis (formerly known as Security Capital), MHS Holdings, and Beacon Partners have all done repeat business; in fact, Beacon Partners is behind the Wesco Distribution Center, a design-build project of InterCon’s from 2010. Trenkelbach and Urquhart report that the Wesco project is on track for LEED Silver Certification, and it

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accommodating not only their broadcasting needs but also a large fleet of traveling studios. “We had to build a logistics center for the trucks as well as an extremely technologically advanced radio station,” he recalls. “Within that, all you’re doing is listening to what they’re looking for and what they want to accomplish. It’s not just bricks and mortar.” But to hear them talk about Charlotte, it's clear that the people behind InterCon would never think in strictly bricks-and-mortar terms anyway. “Charlotte has all the amenities of a larger city: professional sports teams, cultural centers, world class restaurants, NASCAR … it’s a great community,” Urquhart says. “The community is eager to extend the open-arms philosophy, that as a whole, permeates throughout the Charlotte area,” Trenkelbach adds. “Beyond that, it’s just a really nice place to live and raise a family all within a business-minded region.” —Kelli Lawrence

american builders quarterly


specializing in • sports lighting • commercial • industrial • motorsports • installation,

service & repair

A 4th Generation Electrical Company Established in 1950

E.F. Belk & Son, Inc. Electrical Contractors 933 Oakridge Farm Hwy., Mooresville, NC 28115 (704) 664-5959 | (704) 664-3840 Fax

www.efbelkelectric.com

LCG Facades’ mission statement is to be the “most sought after, experienced and ethical commercial and aluminum façades contractor in the intermountain area.” LCG Façades is a unique company with extensive experience in curtain wall and exterior building envelopes. Our experience puts us in a special position to provide informed design assistance and quality installation to the building industry. The OC Tanner Flagship Store featured here, has given LCG Façades a great opportunity to showcase our talents and abilities. Earning us the “Specialty Contractor of the Year” award, this project showcases our skill, integrity and knowledge producing a truly remarkable result. We take great pride in providing each one of our clients with the highest quality installations, delivered in a timely, responsible manner. We are fulfilling our mission statement one project at a time.

1211 South 700 West Salt Lake City Utah 84104 Phone: 801 975 0281 Fax: 801 975 0291 info@lcgfacades.com www.lcgfacades.com

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LCG Façades. Exterior-façade contractor makes sure every project shines At a Glance Location: Salt Lake City, UT Founded: 2007 Employees: 52 Specialty: Exterior faades in commercial and institutional sectors Annual Revenue: $9Ñ13 million

Above: The grand lighting in front of the O.C. Tanner jewelry store in downtown Salt Lake City.

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When you're out to impress someone, the key to success often lies in making a good first impression. Over the past three years, many construction projects across Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming have entrusted that first impression to the capable team at LCG Façades, a specialty contractor based in Salt Lake City, Utah. “We are an exterior façade company specializing in glass and aluminum curtain walls as well as other exterior materials such as terra-cotta, dimensional stone, and metal panels,” says Ted Derby, business development manager for the company. Derby promises that for any LCG Façades project, the first thing clients notice will be the firm's handiwork, and that’s a responsibility it takes very seriously. The company was founded in 2007 by Earl Linford and Gary Dabb after they purchased some limited assets from the Linford Brothers Glass Company. The new owners kept much of the existing commercial fabrication and installation staff and took on several outstanding projects that the company had on the books. One of these early projects was particularly challenging, but Linford and Dabb did not want to pass up an opportunity to build their new firm’s reputation, The owners tackled their first project and completed it—a win for the client and for LCG Façades. “When completed, the Ensign Plaza project actually cemented their reputation as individuals and as a firm that keeps their promises

and completes their commitments,” Derby says. Although the company places a high premium on skill (with an experienced team of 24 field installers and 18 in-house fabricators), integrity and responsibility are also on their list of core values. A great example of the company’s morals is illustrated in the O.C. Tanner flagship jewelry store in downtown Salt Lake City. Before its renewal, the building served as the Hansen Planetarium, and before that it was the city library. For the complex retrofit (the building is on the historic register), LCG Façades was contracted to handle all of the interior and exterior glass and façades as well as a custom-designed steel-and-glass spiral staircase. Not only did the company’s skill come in handy when tackling the challenges of such a technically demanding project, but their integrity also ensured that the work was completed on schedule and under budget. This project earned praise not only from the client but also from the Utah Associated General Contractors of America, who named the company the 2010 Specialty Contractor of the Year for its contribution to the project. Although proud of its accomplishments thus far, LCG Façades is not about to rest on its laurels. With the economic recession continuing, the company has put a lot of energy into keeping up with new trends and opportunities in the market. For one thing, it has done several stimulus projects. “We have been very fortunate to have

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Top left: A specially designed glass-and-steel staircase in O.C. Tanner. Top right: The faade of the digital learning center at the Utah Valley University in Orem, UT. Left: The learning center's steel-lined windows give the building front a textured feel.

a great deal of State-funded institutional work,” Derby says. “That has buoyed us through a good portion of the recession.” The company has also fostered relationships with manufacturers that use recycled materials, which has helped LCG Façades cater to the growing green building market. “Architects are demanding this recycled content

You have to be entrepreneurial. Work smart, and be creative, and be willing to change your approach to doing business while at the same time watching your basics like cash flow and overhead. Ted Derby, Business Development Manager

more and more to help qualify their buildings as LEEDrated buildings,” Derby says. As the market has trended downward, LCG Façades has seen a decline in large commercial projects, which used to be the company’s specialty. Smaller commercial projects, however, have fared better, and LCG Façades

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has grasped this opportunity. “Our firm was set up and is designed to do large commercial or institutional projects, but as some of the smaller shops have gone by the wayside, we thought we would take advantage of this small project market,” Derby says. Thus, the company set up their Fast Track Division—a small team of installers, an estimator, and a project manager focused exclusively on projects that are $200,000 or less. The Fast Track Division was implemented in summer 2010 and was instantaneously successful. LCG Façades’ strategies have served the company well so far; despite the recession, their annual revenues went from around $9 million in 2008 to over $13 million in 2009. Derby says the company is wary about the coming years, but from its outlook, it’s clear the employees have good heads on their shoulders. “You have to be entrepreneurial,” Derby says. “Work smart, and be creative, and be willing to change your approach to doing business while at the same time watching your basics like cash flow and overhead.” —Kelly O’Brien

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Gary Player Design. Golf courses with minimal impact on local environments The little town­of Travelers Rest, South Carolina, At a Glance Location: Travelers Rest, SC Founded: 1985 Employees: 12 Specialty: International golfcourse design and related services Annual Revenue: $1Ñ3 million

Above: Gary Player Design incorporates natural vegetation and preserves natural wildlife habitats whenever possible.

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seems an unlikely spot for an international business, but that 4.4 square miles of land is home to Gary Player Design (GPD). Founded 25 years ago by golf superstar Gary Player and his son, Marc Player, the firm has completed more than 300 golf courses in 35 countries. “Mr. Player has been called the international ambassador of golf, and our business reflects that,” company president Scott Ferrell says. “He's played everywhere, and we've built everywhere.” Player got involved in golf course design during the early 1970s. “He established his company in his native South Africa and entered Florida in the 1980s,” Ferrell says. “The company moved to South Carolina in 2008, and this office now handles all of the company's design work.” The design company has a dozen employees, including four designers who are members of either the American Society of Golf Course Architects or the European Institute of Golf Course Architects. “We have three design brands that are all driven by different levels of Mr. Player’s personal involvement: Gary Player Signature Design, Player Design, and Black Knight Design,” Ferrell says. “Each tier benefits in various ways from the company’s intellectual property in elements such as technical design services, construction specifications, and brand marketing.” GPD courses are noted for their playability. Multiple sets of tees, alternative angles of play around hazards,

and other options provide an enjoyable day on the links for the average golfer. Additionally, the company has a strong top-down sense of keeping things sustainable. Player owned a ranch in South Africa, and there he learned the importance of water conservation and caring for wildlife. Based on his experience, every GPD course is environmentally friendly. “There’s lots of talk from different industries about going green,” Ferrell says. “But we actually do it.” The firm regularly uses organic materials, limits the use of chemicals, and strives to preserve natural vegetation, wetlands, and habitats whenever possible. The National Audubon Society has certified several GPD courses for their use of conservation methods. Hidden Tiger Golf Club in Huangshan, China, exemplifies this commitment to sustainability. The burgeoning resort and residential property is flanked by Taiping Lake, the Yellow Mountains, and other peaks. Elevated tees provide clear sightlines to the mountains, and native grasses frame each fairway, visually transitioning from the well-kept playing areas to the site’s native vegetation and wildlife. China isn’t the only area of Asia that Gary Player Design is conquering. The government of Abu Dhabi, UAE, is in the midst of a $27 billion eco-tourism project on its Saadiyat Island, including the first oceanfront golf course in the UAE. GPD got the contract for it. “It’s a championship-level course and will eventually be the home of the Abu Dhabi Championship series,” Ferrell says. “We

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Right: GPD is able to create championship-level courses without ravaging the surrounding landscape.

strove to make the beach setting an integral part of the design. As you play, you enjoy wonderful views of the Arabian Gulf. It's visually striking, given the contrast of the white sand, the lush green grass, and the blue water of the Gulf.” Even the invisible environment is part of the

GCH 

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There’s lots of talk from different industries about going green, but we actually do it. Scott Ferrell, president

design. “The steady Gulf breeze makes the course even more challenging,” Ferrell says. So how did this multinational company end up in sleepy Travelers Rest? ”We had an opportunity to design a course at The Cliffs in South Carolina and to develop associated real estate with the Gary Player brand,” Ferrell says. ”We then received the opportunity for The Cliffs at Mountain Park, and as all of these plans developed, The Cliffs offered to build an office for us, and the pieces just dropped into place. When the project’s finished, we’ll be able to show international prospects our offices, an actual Gary Player golf course, and Gary Player-branded real estate, all in the backyard of our office.” —Frederick Jerant

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GCH Planning & Landscape Architecture www.gchsite.com

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WinderLumen LED. Making the future of lighting available today At a Glance Location: Windermere, FL Founded: 2008 Employees: 1 Specialty: Distribution and sales of LED-lighting products

Above: Installing LED lighting in a home or office not only saves energy but improves on the color performance of compact fluorescents by over 20%. Photos: © Stephanie Wind Photography.

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One day a light bulb went off in Cody Metcalf’s mind—literally. After releasing an album and starting an independent record label, this musician gradually transitioned into consulting and web design for small businesses. Much like with music, Metcalf soon fell in love with LED technology and formed WinderLumen LED. The entrepreneur’s success has long been driven by his basic philosophy, “Enjoy what you do—or do something else.” Metcalf’s light bulb was lit when he began researching different products in order to establish an easily manageable online store for a side business. One of his ideas was for LED lights, but Metcalf quickly found that even though there were many online retailers selling LED bulbs, there seemed to be no clear standard for knowing how to evaluate all the different LED products available. He explains, “Although millions of dollars were being poured into research and development, there did not appear to be anybody specializing in selling the few quality products that had come to market, such as those from Cree and Beacon Products. To me, LED lighting technology seemed like the gorgeous girl that everyone else was afraid to dance with, but I also knew that it would require a much larger commitment than simply setting up a Web store.” So eventually out of necessity, WinderLumen became a one-stop shop for educating customers (from the archi-

tect to the end user), modeling the economic viability of a solution, and seeing the solution implemented. Now president of WinderLumen, Metcalf’s customers range from homeowners to hotels to universities. “We are at a point now where we can identify the best product for nearly any application and start modeling payback and ROI for retrofits and new construction.” This includes recessed lighting, commercial lay-ins, retail and gallery track lighting, landscape lighting, parking-garage fixtures, and street and roadway lighting. “These are all applications where we can show energy savings of 60-90 percent while cutting maintenance costs, reducing heat waste, and improving the overall quality of light in those spaces,” he adds. According to Metcalf, LED naturally lends itself as a highly sustainable option. He explains, “First and foremost, LED lighting is a cradle-to-cradle technology with recyclable components and no hazardous materials (e.g. mercury, lead, etc.) to dispose of—no other light source can make those claims. This is an important difference between ‘sustainable’ LED lighting and ‘green’ compact fluorescents.” This distinction was not lost on Dr. Anna Marie, health specialist for the Weather Channel and host of the syndicated TV show Your Life with Dr. Anna Marie. “We definitely wanted something energy efficient but also a

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niche resources Right: As part of the design team for Your Life with Dr. Anna Marie’s eco-friendly home, WinderLumen LED demonstrates how homeowners can light their homes with sustainable LED technology.

healthy choice,” she explains. “With all the hard surfaces in our kitchen area, we really didn't want CFLs, just in case one was dropped, which would require a HAZMAT cleanup. Cody from WinderLumen was instrumental in designing our LED layout throughout our eco-healthy home and even the barn, creating scenes of warm-yetabundant light and still maintaining extraordinary energy savings.” Metcalf attests that WinderLumen’s competitive advantage has to do with the fact that LED lighting is an energy technology. “The old simplicity of selling light bulbs and light fixtures doesn’t apply to LED if it’s going to be implemented correctly. The technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and the regulatory standards continue to be revised as well.” In fact, for over two years now, WinderLumen has been selling and specializing in this technology. “Product knowledge with an understanding of the science behind every component of that product is also what gives WinderLumen its edge.” he notes. In the short-term, WinderLumen LED plans to continue growing sales and establish itself as the “go-to

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expert” for early adopters of LED lighting technology. “In the long-term, we will begin to explore other new technologies that emerge as part of the sustainability revolution,” Metcalf adds. Metcalf has found that his biggest professional challenge is progressively selling a relatively new lighting technology that most people still believe is “on the horizon” or “the way of the future.” He says, “Although they need proof and case studies to understand that it’s ready now, in some applications they are actually losing money by not participating in this innovation as early adopters. I’ve learned that that is an impossible battle unless you are 100 percent confident in your product and unwilling to compromise on the standard of quality—and we are both.” —Christopher Cussat

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T&T Tinting Specialists, Inc. The latest windowtinting technologies defend and protect At a Glance Location: Honolulu, HI Founded: 1982 Employees: 30 Specialty: Window-film installations and tinting

Top left: The Honolulu Advertiser Building uses a hurricane-security film that adds protection against high winds. Top right: Tinted security film on the Hawaiian Village Rainbow Tower in Waikiki.

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Little did Tommy Silva know when he started tinting car windows as a hobby while in high school that he would later run one of Hawaii’s largest glass-tinting companies with a 30-person crew and nearly $3 million in yearly revenues. Silva had to overcome an unexpected hurdle to get his company started. Just a few months after he and his new bride, Teri, poured all of their wedding money into starting T&T Tinting Specialists, Inc., the state banned auto-window tinting due to police concerns about driver and pedestrian safety. Silva quickly started researching the issue and hired a lobbyist to urge Hawaii’s state legislature to adopt the same regulations as 40 other states and allow 35 percent visible light transmission. As soon as the governor signed the legislation in July, 1983, Silva rehired his first three employees and began building his business. The company has taken advantage of its location, where electricity costs are the highest in the nation, to tint windows in condos, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, office buildings, military bases, and even a historic royal palace. “Hawaii has among the highest kilowatt-hour prices in the nation,” Silva says. “On Kauai, it’s 42 cents,

the most expensive in the United States.” Auto comprises half of T&T Tinting’s revenues (commercial entails 30 percent and residential 20 percent). “Our growth was a natural progression,” Silva says. “People started asking, ‘Do you tint windows in homes?’ We quickly noticed how much cooler the window tinting made the rooms.” T&T Tinting’s window films block 99.9 percent of the ultraviolet light, up to 80 percent of the heat, and up to 80 percent of the glare. The company certifies its employees in the specialized work and mainly uses window films from Performance Films by Solutia, the world’s leader in security and solar-control window films. The Pali Momi Medical Center in Oahu, Hawaii, illustrates T&T Tinting’s expertise. The company’s glass-tinting process reduced energy consumption by 40 percent and allowed the hospital to operate normally throughout the project. “We can do our work in hospitals and other facilities that are occupied and work very well with the staff,” Silva says. “Our guys are so neat, clean, and good at their jobs that the staff hardly knows we are there. Our work is meant to help our clients, and we can do our jobs quickly so that no patients or guests have to be moved.” The project included treating windows in two towers of

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Our growth was a natural progression. People started asking, ‘Do you tint windows in housing?’ We quickly noticed how much cooler the window tinting made the rooms. Tommy Silva, Founder, CEO & President

shatter-resistant film also provides a layer of safety to the palace’s ancient and fragile glass. T&T Tinting is aiming for 10- to 15-percent revenue growth this year and 25-percent growth by mid-2011 to 2012 as tourism slowly returns to pre-recession levels and as new technologies mature. The new technologies include an HD LCD film that makes clear glass appear frosted and enables high-definition projections of video and multimedia presentations as well as longer-term conversions of solar panels into photovoltaic window films. T&T Tinting’s efforts have been recognized with awards as the best place to work and as one of the fastest growing companies in Hawaii for three straight years. Many of the employees have been with the company for 10–25 years. “I’ve been a tinter,” Silva says. “I started on the floor. I know how hard it is, so I always take good care of my staff. We are a very family-type business.” —Sandra Guy

the hospital; one tower in 2009 and the other completed in July, 2010. Secondly, the company worked on Iolani Palace on Oahu, the official residence of Hawaii’s former monarchy, King Kalakaua, and his sister and successor, Queen Lili’uokalani. It is now a site on the National Historic Register. T&T Tinting installed Vista’s Spectra Select glass film to protect the windows and the palace’s priceless artifacts; the film blocks 60 percent of the heat, 30 percent of the glare, and 99.9 percent of the UV rays. The

Above: The Iolani Palace showcases window tinting that doesn't take away from its vintage look. Left: An interior view of the Waialae Country Club residence shows how Vista solar film cuts down on the harshness (and therefore the heat) of direct sunlight. Far left: Glass tinting in the windows of the Waialae residence reflects the sun's rays.

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Hospitality Design

DAS Architects, Inc. ................................................ 114 Stark Wilson Duncan Architects ............................. 118 Vitalini Corazzini Architects ...................................... 120 Pictured: The ultra-modern Whitman Diner, designed by DAS Architects, Inc.

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Profitability comes up a lot when we meet with chefs and investors. Susan Davidson, founder

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DAS Architects, Inc. Hospitality finds a home in restaurants designed with many moving parts The moving pieces of restaurants and hotels: a 24/7 At a Glance Location: Philadelphia, PA Founded: 1990 Employees: 17 Specialty: Hospitality real estate

Opposite: The concierge table at Forty 1¡ North proves that DAS Architects is not afraid to go ultramodern.

inflow and outflow of people and perishables, areas designated for cold storage and hot stoves, and spaces that allow for perfectly timed food preparation and service all illustrate the complexity of what DAS Architects, Inc., of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, does. To some, offices and homes might be a lot easier to design, but principal-founders David Schultz and Susan Davidson wouldn’t have it any other way. “These are things that really excite us,” Schultz says. “We have to understand what a client’s passion is all about. Then we have to translate their creative talents in food into the ambience where it will be served.” Although DAS has designed some exceptional corporate offices and residences, and more recently has comfortably and ably transitioned to working on hotels and hospitality planning, the majority of their portfolio is made up of hundreds of dining establishments in a broad variety of themes and menu price ranges. Some clients are corporations and others are newcomers to the industry, but many projects are chefdriven, and the food and palate are the starting point of design. “It’s their place, it’s their great room,” Schultz says. But a restaurant is a business, and Davidson, an interior designer, discusses how the firm’s clients ultimately must make money. “Profitability comes up

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a lot when we meet with chefs and investors,” she says, detailing how a resort might feature several different venues for guests whereas a restaurant might focus solely on a dinner market. The nature of restaurants is for each location to speak with a unique voice. To do this they apply key principles to each project: listen carefully to clients, be good at problem solving, brand the project, treat architecture and interior design equally, and work with passionate clients. Three recent projects from DAS demonstrate how they put these principles to work. A 28-room boutique hotel situated on the harbor in Newport, Rhode Island, named Forty 1° North (a nautical reference) includes two restaurants and a bar pavilion situated on the marina. The orientation of the rooms takes advantage of harbor views as well as harbor breezes and enables minimal use of air conditioning as a sustainable measure. The project is LEED-registered and has a goal of obtaining a Silver LEED Certification. Secondly, the firm has worked on another environmentally friendly coastal destination, Herrington Harbour, a unique, ecologically sensitive marina in Friendship and Tracy’s Landing, Maryland, that maintains natural wetland and features approximately 2,400 boat slips in two separate harbors. DAS is building an adjacent retail village while planning a waterfront inn march/april 2011

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hospitality design Opposite top: The lobby of Forty 1¡ North, which takes in ample daylighting from the windows. Opposite bottom: Play 2 is a windowless restaurant and bar filled with modern touches including LED fixtures and a curving glass staircase.

and other natural features within the marina’s natural coastal preserve. Lastly, the DAS team designed Play 2, a windowless, 10,000-square-foot sports restaurant and bar within the Parx Casino complex in Philadelphia. It uses scores of

We have to understand what a client’s passion is all about. Then we have to translate their creative talents in food into the ambiance where it will be served. David Schultz, founder

LED fixtures, video screens, and a curving glass staircase to set the stage for gaming patrons. The project features interactive games for the Nintendo Wii such as Guitar Hero and Super Mario Galaxy 2, and this played into the designers’ process— another fringe benefit of sharing the client’s passion. —Russ Klettke

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Far top and middle: Forty 1¡ North's expansive bay-side windows take advantage of harbor views and cooling seaside breezes. Above: The Whitman Diner showcases the unique designs DAS is known for.

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Stark Wilson Duncan Architects Inc. Restoring properties to their former grandeurs After years of abandonment and haphazard efforts at At a Glance Location: Kansas City, MO Founded: 1935 Employees: 5 Annual Revenue: $1.6 million

Above left: For the renovated entrance to the Valentine Apartment Building, SWD Architects introduced sustainable practices to a traditional design. Above right: The exterior of the Valentine.

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remodeling, including a failed condominium project, the once-proud 11-story Valentine Apartment Building in Kansas City, Missouri, was left a shell of its former self— until Stark Wilson Duncan Architects Inc. (SWD) came to the rescue. Today, after the full-service architectural Kansas Citybased firm got its hands on the project, the 1927 facility is comprised of 65 one- and two-bedroom units, complete with new design and construction, including the historic rehabilitation of all public areas, two commercial lease spaces, a management office, two lobbies, a fitness room, and a main entry foyer. The Valentine Apartment Building also features various sustainability techniques and universal design strategies. The renovation of historic properties such as this is what Tim Wilson, one of the current principals, enjoys most about working for SWD. “I like to see what happens around that project over time,” he says. “It reenergizes everything around it. Other business owners start taking more pride in their properties. There’s a lot of satisfaction that comes with that.” Since 1999, Wilson and Paul Stark, the other principal of the firm, have led the design efforts of SWD. Their focus and vision for rehabilitation of neglected buildings in both urban and small-town settings has played a major role in creating new in-city neighborhoods, revitalizing

deteriorated downtown areas, and preserving historically significant structures.“ One unique quality is our indepth project experience in historic and multi-family projects,” Stark says. “Another unique quality is our clients, which are predominantly repeat clients, some dating back nearly 20 years. We stand out from our competitors essentially due to the quantity and quality of our specialized project types.” The restoration of the Valentine Apartment Building is one of firm’s key signature projects of recent years and earned the firm several state awards in 2009. But if you knew its history, you wouldn’t be surprised. Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2010, SWD continues to serve a span of commercial, residential, and public sector clients throughout the neighboring states of Kansas and Missouri. Currently, the company’s emphasis is on master planning, multifamily housing, historic restoration, healthcare, office, and restaurant design. Founded by Herbert E. Duncan, Sr. in 1935, the company’s early years included custom designs for the first 300 homes built in Leawood, Kansas. Duncan, a solo practitioner at the time, specialized in the design of single-family residences and large multi-family housing projects such as the award-winning Village Green Apartments. His son, Herb Duncan, Jr., joined in 1957 and expanded the practice into other fields of architecture. Over the years, SWD has designed

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Left: The restored lobby of the Valentine. Tim Wilson and Paul Stark of SWD have a focus and passion for the rehabilitation of neglected buildings in urban areas.

over 25,000 new multi-family housing units and over 500 custom single-family homes. Office designs include national headquarters facilities for the Dodson Insurance Group and The American Hereford Association, and hotel designs include The Sheraton Royal—an Ewing Kaufmann project now known as The Adams Mark. To continue to stay ahead of the latest sustainable design trends for projects, Stark and another member of the firm, became LEED APs. “Green is obviously an important part of architecture now and it’s becoming more integral in the profession,” Stark says. “We always try to stay on top of all of the latest innovations through continuing education; through the consultants we work with, and also from our contractors.” As the firm begins to think about the future and its potential for growth, Stark says that its first priority is to maintain the quality clientele it has been fortunate to work with by providing excellent professional services. “Kansas City is fortunate to have a community of talented and creative architectural firms,” he says. “With the high quality of other architectural firms in our area, it requires us to maintain a high level of professional expertise. Our thought has always been that satisfied clients are the best marketing of our firm. Secondly, our plan for growth includes increasing the visibility of the firm and broadening our project types.” —Daniel Casciato

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STARK WILSON DUNCAN ARCHITECTS INC. (SWD) Congratulations on your many successes. We’re proud to be part of your great work and we look forward to working with you on many more future projects. St. Luke’s Apartments, St. Louis, MO

5517 Manchester Ave St. Louis, MO 63110 p: 314-781-8000 f: 314-781-5214

A Tradition of Quality Construction Since 1922.

www.HBDgc.com march/april 2011

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Our approach starts with analyzing the context. The space, the views, the clientâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; these are all part of the context for us. Luigi Vitalini, Partner

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Vitalini Corazzini Architects. Modern design sensibilities melded with South Florida flair At a Glance Location: Miami, FL Founded: 1992 Employees: 7 Specialty: Hospitality and residential design

Opposite: Just one of the rooms at the Prime Hotel in Miami, FL, seen here from the balcony. The modern design of the rooms stands in contrast to more traditional buildings in the surrounding area.

Combining South Florida style with an Italian flair, Vitalini Corazzini Architects produces insightful and thoughtful projects with a high level of detail and a new urbanism modern styling. “Our philosophy is to make places and spaces that enhance the human experience,” says Luigi Vitalini, a partner and principal for the firm. “Our approach starts with analyzing the context. The space, the views, the client—these are all part of the context for us. We also find inspiration by constantly looking and absorbing images and our surroundings.” Raised in Rome, Vitalini’s family came to the US when he was 14 years old so that his father, who was an architect and inventor, could patent two of his inventions. Through his father’s work, Vitalini was exposed to the elements of design and craftsmanship at a young age. Following college, he worked in a cabinet shop in Italy, further honing his knowledge of workmanship. Vitalini and his partner, Pablo Corazzani, founded their firm in 1992 as Nova Domus. Another partner joined the firm in 1997, and the firm was renamed. Since that time, Vitalini Corazzini Architects has been recognized with several industry awards, including being recently awarded Best Hotel and Best Hotel Guest Room Design by the NEWH Hospitality Industry Network of South Florida. The firm offers a full range of professional design services including architecture, interior design, preservation, planning, urban design, and other related services. While its design portfolio includes commercial, residential, and industrial projects throughout the US, Caribbean, Central and South America, and Europe, Vitalini

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Corazzini’s work is mainly located in the Greater Miami/ South Florida area. Although the firm is well known for its hospitality projects, Vitalini Corazzini Architects prides itself in not specializing. “Much of our experience has been in restaurants, hotels, small mixed-used buildings, and large-scale urban planning projects,” Vitalini says.”However, the difference is that we start a project without preconceptions, and both Pablo and I follow every project from beginning to end because the right details are what really make your project look good.” Two of the firm’s notable projects include Prime and Sense, two small boutique hotels located three blocks from each other on Ocean Drive in Miami, Florida, in an area called SOFi—South of Fifth. Each are 10,000-squarefoot buildings with 16 rooms, and both hotels feature restaurants on the ground floor, two floors of rooms, and a rooftop pool and deck area; however, that is where the differences end. “Prime takes its cues from its illustrious neighbor—the Brown Hotel—which is the oldest standing hotel in Miami Beach,” Vitalini says. “The hotel’s design aesthetic is a play between maintaining anonymity and trying to establish your own identity.” In deference to the Brown Hotel, Vitalini notes that the firm designed Prime as mostly white with transparent elements and a simple, minimalist design. “One of our favorite features is the basket-weave frosted glass railing that creates a play of transparencies,” he says. Vitalini mentions, however, that Sense is radically different. Set between two classic Art Deco buildings, the hotel elaborates on the surrounding elements including

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balconies, pilaster banding, and corner tower elements while being more sleek and modern. “Specifically, we used rain screen-panels with a wood-grain finish to clad vertical piers in the building and juxtaposed it with a continuous horizontal, stainless-steel mesh railing,” Vitalini says. Sense’s interiors reflect a subdued palette of materials such as white painted walls, translucent glass countertops, grey porcelain tiles, light oak, and quarter-turned black carpet tiles. Offsetting the monochromatic style are colorful room murals by artist Marlon Molina and touches of orange interspersed throughout the project. The firm also recently completed two historic renovations in South Beach, Florida: Another boutique hotel, Villa Italia, which was completely restored from top to bottom, and a building that was renovated to house a gallery on the ground floor and an apartment for the owner on the top two floors. Other projects in the works include a traditional house in the Bahamas, a modern bistro in downtown Miami, and a five-story apartment building in Miami Beach. Among the firm’s more memorable and challenging projects, Vitalini notes the St. George Orthodox Cathedral in Coral Gables, Florida, a 400-seat Greek Orthodox church. “We could not demolish the existing building for zoning reasons, so we had to add a concrete dome in a classical Byzantine style and a 400-foot-long loggia on the street,” he says. “Having 400 clients was not easy, but experiencing a mass with the congregation once it was finished was very rewarding.” —Julie Edwards

The difference is that we start a project without preconceptions, and both Pablo and I follow every project from beginning to end because the right details are what really make your project look good. Luigi Vitalini, Partner

A Message from Cuesta Construction Cuesta Construction is committed to providing uncompromising, high-quality construction services to its clients. Our passion lies in building strong relationships while bringing to life the vision laid out by our clients and the architects we have the privilege to work with. We are proud to have collaborated with VC Architects on several projects of innovative beauty and functionality while maintaining a clear focus on achieving the goals set by our clients.

1414 nw 107 ave, suite 401 miami, fl 33172 T : 305.270.3731 | F : 305.270.8885 www.cuestaconstruction.com cgc 055897

NOT ALL GC’S ARE BUILT THE SAME.

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Residential Construction

Ă&#x2DC;esch Environmental Design .................................. 124 Design AVEnues ..................................................... 127 Stephen Vitalich Architects ..................................... 129 Thayer Hopkins Architects ...................................... 132 Zung Design ........................................................... 136 StoneCreek Works .................................................. 138 Tilde Design Studio .................................................. 141 Morpugo Architects ................................................ 143 Whitten Architects .................................................. 145 Pictured: A pastoral house outside San Francisco by Thayer Hopkins Architects.

Photo: Joe Fletcher Photography.


residential construction

Øesch Environmental Design. Facilitating healthful homes, energy independency, and autonomous living There are few environmental designers who have At a Glance Location: Schuyler, VA Founded: 1997 Employees: 1

Above: The southeast elevation of the KeechRoss residence shows how ¯esch Environmental Design fits a structure into the surrounding landscape.

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the extensive experience, visionary ideals, and built examples of residential green design and building that Schuyler, Virginia-based, Øesch Environmental Design (OED) does. OED’s reputation is well-established, with a proven history of delivering state-of-the-art homes for environmentally conscious clients. “Many current green designers are relatively new to the practice, and many have joined the bandwagon, mainly as a perceived marketing niche to take advantage of,” says Fred Øesch, principal owner of OED. Far more than merely energy efficient houses, OED dwellings are “healthful living environments that directly affect the health, wellbeing, and spirit of their fortunate occupants,” Øesch says. Øesch began his green design and building career in 1975 as cofounder of the Middle River Mill Co. in Machias, Maine. “From an early age, I wanted to try to make a contribution based on my skills and my aptitude in terms of how I might be able to contribute a solution to what

I was seeing,” he says. “That was the initial inspiration I had and still do.” In 1997, Øesch started OED to offer integrated, stateof-the-art, sustainable design and construction management services. Every design is unique with respect to Øesch’s client’s program, aesthetic style preferences, site, and budget while the common assets of every project include energy efficiency, healthful materials and systems, and, most importantly, affordability. “Operating as a sole proprietor, guarantees that all aspects of every project receive optimal attention to every detail, from concept to occupancy,” says Øesch, who is also finishing a book on green design, Symbiotic Living—Elements of Timeless Design and Building Solutions, advocating the synergistic unity between mankind and the natural world. While OED projects thus far have been primarily residential, the firm also seeks opportunities that could provide a broader public benefit and global contribution, such as cultural or educational centers, museums,

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Cherries-on-Top residence in Flint Hill, Virginia. The Keech-Ross residence won a Green Innovation Award for Best Green Residence by the Virginia Sustainability Network in 2010. In addition to a vegetated roof, the home also features thermal-solar hot water, a radiant-

In the past, there have been prevalent misconceptions that green design is inherently more expensive, that it has a definitive look or style, which may not be aesthetically desirable. Fred Øesch, Principal churches, and affordable public housing. The greatest satisfaction for Øesch is seeing how his projects directly affect his client’s lifestyle and healthy living. “I believe that there is a direct relationship between the environment someone spends time in and his or her physical health and overall well-being,” he says. “I know that when they move in there, they’ll be very satisfied and have a life-enhancing experience.” Two projects that Øesch talks fondly about are the Keech-Ross residence in South Boston, Virginia, and the

floor heating system, and a rainwater harvesting system. The pointed roof geometry will allow passive sun to enter in the winter while still offering shade in the summer. “It will be a zero energy house,” Øesch says. “It will generate as much energy as it consumes in a year.” The most unique feature of the Cherries-on-Top residence is its wind-powered turbine. “There are not many residences like this that are practical for wind power in

Above: Floor plan for the Keech-Ross residence. The design won a Green Innovation Award for Best Green Residence in 2010. Right: The angled roof of the Keech-Ross residence allows passive sun in the winter for warmth while still providing shade in the summer.

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Sun Styles Timber Framing, Inc.

Above: The prow of the Keech-Ross Residence allows the angled roof to extend further outward for maximum summer shade.

Virginia, but this is one of them because it’s on a unique mountain-top site,” Øesch says. Øesch plans to install 8 kWs of photovoltaics in the 4,500-square-foot home. The battery bank for the photovoltaics will be linked to the wind turbine, and both sources will be charging the batteries. For many years, the biggest challenge for Øesch has been sustaining the ideals of the green-design vision, waiting for the green movement and potential clients to catch up. Since the mid 1970s, he has devoted his time to helping educate the general public, contractors, and building officials about the life enriching virtues of sustainable design and building, which, as he says, “is in harmony with the rest of the natural world.” “It’s only relatively recently that the consciousness of the general public is rising to embrace and demand these essential qualities,” he says. “In the past there have been prevalent misconceptions that green design is inherently more expensive, that it has a definitive look or style, which may not be aesthetically desirable.” Both of these misconceptions can be proven incorrect, especially when considering the life cycle operating cost of a building, and it is now possible for healthful, energyefficient designs to take on any sort of style an owner prefers. Ironically, now that the general public is seeking green design and building, the state of the economy is limiting or restricting many potential clients from building at all. “Many receptive clients currently have no choice but to wait indefinitely until their employment is more secure or [until] they are able to sell or upgrade their existing inefficient homes,” Øesch says. —Daniel Casciato

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Congratulations to Fred Oesch & Oesch Environmental Design. We are proud to work with you and wish you continued success!

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residential construction

Design AVEnues LLC. Net-zero and high-performance residential properties with a twist At a Glance Location: Pacifica, CA Founded: 1986 Employees: 1 Specialty: Design consulting firm

Above: The refurbished Broadway House received LEED-Platinum certification thanks to a photovoltaic system that provides 30% of the property's electricity. Photos: Paul Dyer.

Design AVEnues LLC is a green-building consulting firm with expertise in high-end residential and affordablehousing projects. National clients include developers, homeowners, professional design firms, homeownerbuilders, manufacturers, investors, non-profits, local governments, and federal agencies. Ann Edminster, founder and owner of Design AVEnues is also a noted author and lecturer. For the past fifteen years, she has been guest speaker at regional, national, and international green building conferences. When the USGBC realized that the LEED-certification process it had implemented for commercial buildings was ill-suited for the residential market, a new standard had to be devised. Edminster became cochair of the LEED for Homes Committee, where she served for the four years leading up to the program’s pilot. She also served as a member and cochair of the USGBC's Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group. According to Edminster, “When I was developing LEED for Homes, a lot of my work involved traveling around the country, speaking at conferences and symposia, and gathering

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input from audiences, which shaped the program. One of the features of the program that I’m most proud of is the mechanism in LEED for Homes that compensates for home size.” In 2009, Edminster was the LEED and general green building consultant on the gut rehab of the 6,132-squarefoot Broadway House in San Francisco with received a LEED Platinum certification. This historic Victorian in Pacific Heights, with five stories and eight bedrooms, has extensive views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, and Alcatraz. The property recently sold for over $13 million and became one the highest rated LEED certified residences in California. A photovoltaic system covers 30 percent of the property’s total electricity needs and a 1,070-gallon rainwater storage tank irrigates the landscaping. Returning to the discussion of green certification, Edminster says, “One by-product of the recession is that my client base was much more diverse before the crash. Now, the majority of my clients are folks who have a cushion, so they’re able to push forward with their conviction that

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residential construction Left: The pristine, well-lit bathroom of the Broadway House in San Francisco takes advantage of the location's natural views.

green is the right thing to do. They have a willingness to invest in building right. Even when homeowners don’t choose LEED certification, it is still actively being used as a guidance document.” Edminster goes on to say that although vast parts of the country don’t have access to a rating or certification program for existing homes, there should be a huge change in the next couple of years. “Already there is a shift in interest from new home construction to remodeling, in part due to the Recovery Act which has had a

[T]here is a shift in interest from newhome construction to remodeling, in part due to the Recovery Act, which has had a significant impact on our industry. That impact has yet to be fully appreciated. Ann Edminster, Owner

what’s coming next, what people are paying attention to. It became apparent to me that net-zero was going from a background buzz to a much more audible hum, and I thought, that’s going to be the next important thing to address. Green is great, but in large part because of Al Gore’s [An] Inconvenient Truth, there’s been a shift of focus from broad green building to carbon and climate change issues. Now, there’s a feeling among much of the green building community that this is the imperative that has to be addressed.” As an advisor and consultant to the USGBC, Building Green LLC, CalStar Cement, Ecological Building Network, Foundation Capital, Green Building Advisor, Living Homes, and Serious Materials, Edminster has the ear of the industry and the ability to convince the industry and public that we should all attempt to go green and carbon free. —Joyce Finn

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significant impact on our industry. That impact has yet to be fully appreciated.” In December 2009, Edminster’s book on net-zero energy, Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet, was published. “I’m always looking at where things are going,

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Stephen Vitalich Architects. Bringing diversity, experience, and dedication to Los Angeles At a Glance Location: Los Angeles, CA Founded: 1991 Employees: 2 Specialty: Full-service architecture and interior design

Above: The façade of The Broadway Residences, a set of four sustainable homes in Venice, CA.

If there is one perfect word that aptly describes Stephen Vitalich, it is dedicated. In fact, for many years, this founder of Stephen Vitalich Architects (SVA) has been dedicated to the fine art of conceptualizing and constructing the highest-quality buildings while also being focused on sustainable design. When he is not growing SVA’s scope, success, and strong reputation, this single father is also whole-heartedly dedicated to raising his two beautiful daughters. Vitalich founded SVA in 1991 after serving as project architect for such noted firms as Richard Meier & Partners Architects, Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners, and the international firm of Gensler & Associates, Architects. It was his professional experiences during those years that inspired and directed the business philosophy and architectural ideology that would eventually define SVA. He explains, “While working with these noted firms, I developed a reputation for quality service, sense of style, and design that has become the foundation for all of my work and synonymous with SVA.”

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Today, SVA is described as a progressive, full-service architecture and interior design firm that is based in Los Angeles. Vitalich’s 20 years of diversified industry experience encompasses a wide range of project types, which provides him with a strong background in all phases of architecture, interiors, and construction practice. “All my work is of the highest design quality while also maintaining strict concern for quality of service and project parameters,” he adds. A native Angeleno, Vitalich received his architectural education from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. Working on a very diverse spectrum of projects, the firm has received commissions including the planning of custom residences, commercial interiors, retail- and media-related facilities, and institutional projects. Vitalich’s designs have won the respect and admiration of many of SVA’s peers as well as awards and honors from those outside the practice of architecture. In addition to customized homes, SVA has also completed commercial work for major movie studios like Warner Bros. and Sony in Hol-

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lywood—as well as school and hotel projects. Sustainable design is also a focus for the firm, which has completed a number of LEED-certified homes in a development that is owned by Vitalich. “I am a LEED AP ,and we practice environmentally prudent design in all aspects of each project we undertake,” he adds. One recent project of note is The Broadway Residences—a small lot sub-division with four sustainable homes in Venice, California. Each home in the sub-division has an exterior façade of plantation-grown cedar, polished-

All my work is of the highest design quality while also maintaining strict concern for quality of service and project parameters.

Top left: The pebbled front area of one of the homes within The Broadway Residences development. Top right: The Broadway Residences allow each home to generously open itself up to the outdoors. Bottom: The lengthy deck in back of The Broadway Residences proves that, for SVA, sustainability doesn't mean a sacrifice in comfort.

Stephen Vitalich, Founder

concrete floors, exposed steel, Caesarstone, plantationgrown hardwood floors, rooftop decks with sustainable hardwood, and high-efficiency neutron dimmer lights. In addition, all of these homes are LEED certified. SVA is also currently working on a commercial retail building for the Robert Graham Apparel Co.—which is considered the boutique store in Venice, California. Since SVA’s primary objective is quality design, Vitalich views that as one of the firm’s competitive advantages. “But along with that goes client satisfaction,” he notes. “With over twenty years of practice, we have never advertised because all of our work comes from word of mouth referrals—I believe that speaks for itself.” He also mentions one other thing that sets SVA apart from its competitors, “We are extremely good at what we do.” Vitalich’s future goals for SVA are both modest and realistic, especially in these tighter times. “With the current state of the economy and the effects it's had on our

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industry, my goals are simple—keep doing a good job because I believe everything will sort itself out over time.” He also truly believes that the key to SVA’s success has been maintaining good relationships with clients, consultants, and building/planning officials. “In building this business, a few of my most important learning experiences have been to try and maintain one’s integrity; even under the most adverse circumstances, always treat people with respect, and never, ever give up.” When asked what he enjoys most about his work, Vitalich quickly and decidedly mentions the creative process that it entails. “Also, watching something that starts out as an idea become a reality—and then watching how that affects peoples’ lives as they experience the buildings and the spaces that we have created.” Vitalich reiterates the fact that SVA is simply very good at what it does—and that if clients want to fully experience the complete design and construction process of architecture, then SVA is always the firm of choice. “And we truly welcome the opportunity to work with you,” he concludes. —Christopher Cussat

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residential construction

Thayer Hopkins Architects. Versatile architect brings a passion for history and a respect for tradition to projects around his native city At a Glance Location: San Francisco, CA Founded: 1997 Employees: 4 Specialty: Residential architecture and furniture design

Above: Thayer Hopkins is able to fit designs in seamlessly with the natural environment. Photos: Joe Fletcher Photography.

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Unlike auteurs, who are known for a signature style or personal theme, San Francisco, California-based Thayer Hopkins has been careful not to develop and repeat one specific look. The notion to diversify his profile allows Hopkins to cater to a residential client’s specific tastes. His varied work includes pastoral valley houses, modern mountain homes, and everything in between. Thayer Hopkins Architects opened its doors in 1997 and focuses primarily on custom homes of all styles. Hopkins himself, however, refrains from using the word style. “Every project and client and context is very different, so I try to avoid the word style altogether,” he says. “We try to bring a fresh approach to each new project, which is good for us and beneficial for our clients.” Hopkins admits it might be easier for an architect who develops a recognizable continuity of work to market him or herself, he but prefers a depth-oriented and thoughtful approach rather than the shortcut of strict adherence to personal preferences. Part of his thoughtful approach includes understanding history. Hopkins is a San Francisco native and works with a deep respect for the area’s vibrant tradi-

tions. “Our city is very humanistic and climate sensitive,” he says. “It’s important to know the history of an area because you are always responding to context in one way or another.” A love for times past and structural design is something Hopkins inherited. His grandfather was a wellknown Bay-area architect who studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and became University of California— Berkeley’s second dean of architecture. His Beaux-Arts renderings adorn the walls of Thayer Hopkins Architects and were part of an exhibit at the local AIA headquarters. Hopkins, who says he draws from history, has worked on some of the same buildings as his grandfather. Hopkins’ local origins stand to benefit his clients. “I love being a San Francisco native and have developed a practice here over a long time,” he says. “Creating architecture in one place over many years makes you more knowledgeable of and sensitive to geology, climate, history, and evolution of the land.” The dot-com boom of the 1990s would have allowed Hopkins to dramatically increase the scope of his business. He ignored the temptation to chase huge amounts

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Above: Hopkins' designs combine sustainability with sleek modernism. Right: Plentiful windows provide ample daylighting to brighten the unique design elements of the home's interior.

of unmanageable work and instead stayed small. “I really wanted to remain personally active on every job and really deal with the physical parts of architecture that I love,” he says. Hopkins’ colleagues who expanded too

Creating architecture in one place over many years makes you more knowledgeable of and sensitive to geology, climate, history, and evolution of the land. Thayer Hopkins, Principal

quickly were often buried with marketing issues and human resources problems, but Hopkins remained engaged on the fundamental parts of his practice. That approach still exists today. Hopkins interacts with clients on every project and hopes to foster close relationships while providing a personal level of customer service.

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One recent project, a pastoral house 60 miles south of San Francisco, demonstrates Hopkins’ ability to put his knowledge of history and climate to work. The lot is nestled in the coastal range and experiences both temperate weather and bouts of fog. Using special equipment, Hopkins’ team photographed the property from six locations and laid a solar path over the images to study where the sun would be at different times of day and year. “We designed the house around a solar path to respond to the climate, accept the sun where [it was] wanted, and exclude it when you don’t [want it],” he says. The passive design maximizes thermal comfort while reducing energy consumption. At first, the client and architect both envisioned a more traditional structure, but challenging height regulations catalyzed a more box-like plan of connected pavilions. The unique layout helped preserve a beautiful heritage Coast Live Oak tree that stands directly in the

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Above: This stunning dining room, designed by Hopkins, maximizes outdoor views, creating a unique and inviting space for entertaining. Left: Modern touches, such as the uniquely-designed chair in this entryway, dominate Hopkins' aesthetic.

middle of the property. The tree shades an exterior deck in the summer and accepts sun in the winter when its leaves fall to the ground. The house is known as the Garden Residence and was built for clients who wanted something based on a Japanese inn they had visited. Hopkins placed gardens next to many rooms to create a powerful connection between the inside and outside spaces. He worked with landscape architect Brent Cottong from the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s onset to create circulation and interplay between the gardens and the pavilions. Ample clerestory windows provide directed views of outdoor green spaces while bringing light into the middle of the house. The living room boasts a large fireplace in the center surrounded by candles and Nana doors that retract completely to remove the barrier to the outside world. The house, like the architect who designed it, is very connected to the climate and the history of its land. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Zach Baliva

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residential construction

Zung Design. Firm’s green focus is founded on a lifetime of sustainable spirit

At a Glance Location: Bridgehampton, NY Founded: 1997 Employees: 5 Specialty: Sustainable architecture Affiliations: AIA, USGBC Above: A Zung-designed master bathroom tiled in 1-inch black hexagons. The restored cast-iron tub and pedestal sink marry the room's overall black-andwhite theme.

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Bridgehampton, New York-based architecture firm Zung Design’s founder Tommy Zung’s godfather was Buckminster Fuller, the famous engineer and inventor who created the geodesic dome. Fuller and Zung’s father were architectural partners, and Zung Design’s sustainable focus can be attributed to Fuller’s influence. “I grew up exposed to [Fuller’s] ideas, many of which had a sustainable aspect,” Zung says. “[Fuller] built a three-wheeled, highly efficient car back in 1933, for example. He set a precedent for light structures with great strength, and his sustainable approach was a major influence on me.” Zung attended environmental-design school at the University of Colorado–Boulder and architecture school at the New York Institute of Technology. In 1997, he founded Zung Design with an emphasis on practicing sustainable architecture. The firm’s designs have come to embody green building, incorporating such techniques as passive-solar, wind, and the use of local materials. Zung Design’s insistence on green building is more than a tech-

nological commitment, however; the firm has entrenched sustainability as its ethos. “Our approach to interiors and architecture comes from an emotionally holistic standpoint,” Zung says. “The well-being of the building’s occupants is deeply important to us, as are all the native species surrounding the site. So things like natural light, circulation, and siting are at the forefront of our process.” Based primarily in the Hamptons and New York City, Zung Design has also worked in more distant locales, like Las Vegas and Bali. The majority of the firm’s portfolio is residential, but the commercial and hospitality sectors are an increasing source of revenue. “We’ve done some offices, spas, bars and lounges, and restaurants,” Zung says. Zung Design takes around five new projects each year. The firm’s style is typically modern and contemporary, yet incorporates original elements and materials when applicable. “If we’re doing traditional, we tend to try to restore as much as possible from the original site and incorporate contemporary elements and technology into

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it,” Zung says. “For instance, if we’re doing a landmark building in Manhattan, we’ll restore as much old steel as possible. It’s about sustainability first, then executing a contemporary aesthetic.” This emphasis towards restoration can be seen in the firm’s work on the North Main Street Farmhouse, a 4,000-square-foot, eighteenth-century farmhouse in Southhampton. Instead of expanding the home, Zung Design focused on retaining the home’s existing footprint. The firm renovated the exterior decks, gutted the interior, and refinished all doors and floors with carbon-negative Weyerhaeuser-iLevel lumber to shore up existing framing. Finishes were derived from recycled gypsum board, and green-guard insulation, compact-florescent and LED lighting is found throughout. Construction costs topped out around $400,000. Another Hamptons project, the 14,000-square-foot Meadowlark Residence in Bridgehampton, is currently slated for LEED Gold certification—an impressive accomplishment, given that its size and construction costs were in the millions. “It’s packed with features that really excite us,” Zung says. “The steel is 90-percent recycled,

It’s about sustainability first, then executing a contemporary aesthetic. Tommy Zung, Principal

and all stones and stuccos are local. The limestone comes from Indiana, and all the glass in the home was highly engineered by a German manufacturer who filled the glass with gas and glazed it with heat mirror and reflectance film.” Epoxy and recycled-glass terrazzo floors are found throughout, and an Energy Star metal-standing roof reflects the sun’s heat. Zung Design provides full architectural services on its projects—everything from schematic design to

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Top left: The remodeled bedroom's original floor was stripped and refinished. New cast-iron floor grills were put in place to synchronize the natural farmhouse feel throughout. Top right: A remodeled farmhouse dining room where the original flooring was stripped and refinished, while new trim and mouldings were added to modernize the room while still preserving the original design. Left: The refinished guest bathroom matches the farmhouse theme with 1-inch hexagonal flooring tile and staggered subway tile along the wall. A cast-iron claw-foot tub sits in the corner beside a restored pedestal sink. The large, newly framed, south-facing window allows light in throughout the day.

construction administration and oversight of the building process. “Clients come to us because they know that we’re very familiar with the entire process of sustainable building,” Zung says. “We present clients with a vision and try to guide them in the direction of the cleanest, most efficient, most sustainable long-term design.” By extensively researching the project and the site, Zung Design is able to recommend various measures the client might not have considered. In order to accomplish this, Zung maintains open lines of communication in order to demonstrate the long-term savings provided by various technologies. Zung’s fortuitous early exposure to sustainable practices —as well as his perceptive understanding of sustainability’s increasing importance to designers—has made Zung Design a highly successful firm. Zung hopes to continue designing larger, higher-end structures where his ideas can have more of an impact. “I’m 42 years old now, so I’ve been viewing design through a sustainable lens for something like 27 years,” he says. “I’m very lucky and grateful to have received those early seeds of knowledge.” —David Hudnall

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StoneCreek Works. Montana-based custom builder strives to stay small yet sustainable At a Glance Location: Billings, MT Founded: 2008 Employees: 2 Specialty: Energy-efficient American Craftsman-style homes Annual Revenue: $500,000

Above: The first Energy Star home designed and built by Doug Koffler of StoneCreek Works.

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Small and sustainable is the philosophy of StoneCreek Works, a Billings, Montana-based residential construction company that focuses on building custom homes one at a time. “I feel, in order to build a quality home, I must be involved in each project on a daily basis, which is why we work on just one project at a time,” says Doug Koffler, president of StoneCreek Works. “My primary goal is to never allow the growth and expansion of the company to impair my ability to directly oversee my projects.” Koffler and his wife, Jenny, officially founded StoneCreek Works in 2008, but his passion for construction was fostered at an early age. “I grew up with parents that built a new house every 2 to 3 years, so I thought it was normal as a 10-year-old to help put up siding or bull float concrete,” he says. “Years later, I realized those skills I learned at young age were part of my passion to create StoneCreek Works.” Prior to starting his company, Koffler worked as an independent contractor on smaller building and remodeling projects. During this period, he realized he and his wife were spending quite a bit of time studying different architectural styles, photographing various home designs and lines, and taking notes or clipping photos out of magazines of homes they admired. “I was always designing homes in my mind and really had a passion for combining

ideas to create unique houses,” Koffler says. Soon after, he became a Northwest Energy Star-accredited builder and built one of the first Energy Star homes in a nearby area in 2008. Currently, the company focuses on projects that reflect the American Craftsman style, which Koffler feels reflects many people’s desire for handmade homes with clean, simple lines and original designs. “I love envisioning a concept and then making it come to life—finding a style that fits the customer’s need is the enjoyable part of my job,” Koffler says. “I love projects that are stimulating and interesting to the eye, with a nod to attention to detail. Watching a home being built from the ground up and being there so the details don’t get missed is what sets our company apart.” StoneCreek Works also is focusing on utilizing sustainable building practices. The company recently completed a custom-built, geothermal home in Billings that incorporates numerous green concepts. “My inspiration came from the concept that no matter where you’re standing, the house is architecturally interesting,” Koffler says. “We incorporated dormers, steep roof lines, covered porches, timber framing, and a swooped roof line—and by using geothermal and Energy Star technologies, we created a more financially reason-

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Above: One of Koffler's custom-built geothermal homes, which dramatically cut down on heating costs for their owners. Right: A swooping roof design hangs over the front porch of the geothermal home, setting the building apart from the crowd.

able home by minimizing the long-term costs such as heating and cooling.” The green aspects of the project include spray-foam insulation on all exterior walls, a tankless hot-water heater, and Pella low-E windows. Heating and cooling needs are addressed by a geothermal HVAC unit with four 300-foot vertical closed-loop wells. The home’s

I feel in order to build a quality home, I must be involved in each project on a daily basis, which is why we work on just one project at a time. Doug Koffler, President

Above: The traditionally modern kitchen of Koffler's first Energy Star home. Right: The master bath in Koffler's first Energy Star home maintains the wood theme present throughout the rest of the structure.

exterior features traditional Craftsman-inspired colors such as deep reds, rich creams, and chocolate browns; coffered ceilings, window seats, and rock fireplaces add to the charm inside. Koffler notes that he also diligently works at on-site recycling. “At our last home site, we recycled more than 500 pounds of cardboard,” he says. “While it’s hard to break the old habit of throwing scrap materials in the dumpster, I’m working on a rewards program to entice subcontractors to help recycle waste at all of my job sites.” For the future, Koffler plans to continue his company’s work locally by building one or two homes per year. “I also hope to build a LEED-certified house,” he says. “I think building will continue to move in this direction in the future, and it certainly presents an interesting set of challenges, especially in our more rural setting.” —Julie Edwards

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residential construction

Tilde Design Studio. With eco-friendly design techniques, Colorado builder customizes living spaces the healthy way At a Glance Location: Denver, CO Founded: 2004 Specialty: Sustainable residential interior design and eco-friendly furniture design

Above: Tilde Design Studio provided material and color consultation for a large-scale remodeling of this house in Niwot, CO.

It was with 15 years of experience in several forms of design that Stephen Kohlbeck founded Tilde Design Studio in 2004. His experience helped him decide to focus on custom residential work—whether decorating a single room or completing a full interior detailing architectural project. Many stairs, kitchens, fireplaces, and window treatments later, Kohlbeck knows he’s at his best when creating rich, textured living spaces for clients while building strong relationships with them along the way. “You get to a point where you just know these people, exactly how they’re going to benefit, and what’s going to make them happy whether they know it or not,” Kohlbeck says. Kohlbeck also makes a point of not just creating for his clients but encouraging eco-friendly creation via everything from stain choices to solar panels. The goal is to enlighten people about the number of toxins that turn up in the average new home and suggest alternatives if the client interest is there. “For the most part, people are interested in finding out how to create a healthier home,

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but the information can be confusing, and people are a little discouraged by that,” Kohlbeck says. As the sole designer behind Tilde Design, Kohlbeck finds himself in the driver’s seat for much more than cosmetic choices. In fact, his strong architectural background means clients and contractors often turn to him for assistance long after a given project’s architect has moved on. “I’m a lot more in the front lines now than I was as someone else’s employee,” Kohlbeck says. “Something I’ve learned to do is quickly resolve construction issues on-site.” A particular Tilde Design highlight, a 5,500-squarefoot, partially solar-powered Denver home with what Kohlbeck calls a Moorish/Moroccan style incorporates antiques, artifacts, and even detailed door panels made of reclaimed lumber. Kohlbeck also included custom-built, eco-friendly luxury furniture, something that has since evolved into its own design division. Having honed his craft for 10 years with furniture designers on the West Coast and in Colorado, Kohlbeck found himself with time

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Top right: Tilde Design can customize a space to fit any design genre, including contemporary. Top left: A custom fireplace created from one of Kohlbeck's many design consultations. Left: The company is also capable of creating a more vintage look. Bottom: Tilde Design can go beyond room remodeling to redesign an entire home.

to refocus on design as the slow economy took its toll on the design industry. “It’s fun, it’s three-dimensional, and it’s great experimenting with all the different green materials,” Kohlbeck says of Tilde Furniture. “It’s real artistic expression to me, more than anything else.” Growing both Tilde Design and Tilde Furniture into national recognition is one of Kohlbeck’s future goals and becoming an industry leader for green building is

I want to make people see they don’t have to associate luxury with all the things they’ve seen in the past. Stephen Kohlbeck, President

another. Perhaps most significant is his hope to change the face of luxury when it comes to people’s expectations. “I want to make people see they don’t have to associate luxury with all the things they’ve seen in the past,” he says. Now that business is slowly picking up, Kohlbeck is hopeful he’ll be able to reach his goals sooner rather than later. “I know things are starting to shake economically,” he says. “I think the past year and a half has been very scary for the entire industry, but I think people are finally getting comfortable starting new projects and investing in their homes. It’s a humongous relief.” —Kelli Lawrence

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residential construction

Morpurgo Architects. Firm’s aesthetic spans the centuries At a Glance Location: Hohokus, NJ Founded: 1974 Employees: 5 Specialty: Residential, civic, institutional, and commercial architecture

Above: Morpurgo Architects' enlightened design for the Senior & Community Center in Montvale, NJ. The dynamic facility features an atrium, skylights, and glass designed to cascade like a waterfall at the building's corners while illuminating the space. Photos: Laney Fiestal.

When building a new home, most builders head to the lumber yard for supplies. Augusto Morpurgo, founder of Morpurgo Architects, doesn’t hold himself to such parameters. For one project, Morpurgo disassembled a 200-year-old Dutch Colonial barn, only to move it a couple hundred feet across the lawn and incorporate it into a contemporary home. The finished barn-home features the original configuration of chestnut beams as interior-exposed framing and braces. Like any of Morpurgo Architect’s projects, the home was built with the unique needs and interests of its inhabitants in mind. The open living spaces of the barnhome soar to 35 feet, which gives the owner ample and appropriate room to display her American folk art collection. As unlikely as it may be that Morpurgo will ever build another home in a similar fashion, the firm’s ability to adapt to unique and often historic structures and communities is a consistent and defining characteristic. This flexibility has given Morpurgo Architects a diverse and impressive portfolio. In a Longport, New Jersey, residence, the firm created a resolutely modern, three-story beach house of glass and concrete. The home’s facade undulates, while every sight line within invites inhabitants and visitors to view the Atlantic Ocean. It garnered cover-story attention in the AIA magazine, Architecture. In another project, Morpurgo sensitively placed an addition on the historic Ackerman-Dater House. The

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addition was widely covered in the press and won the New Jersey Historic Preservation Award and the County Historic Preservation Award from the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders. And, at the Montvale Senior & Community Center, a committee of seniors opted for an atrium and other playful fenestrations, resulting in Morpurgo transforming an existing and uninspiring 10,000-square-foot municipal complex into a multi-use facility that is lauded for its liveliness. Aside from innovation, the various projects share some other common threads. “Clients like the way we modulate the space to achieve openness and light,” Morpurgo says. He describes a current commission, a Tudorstyle vintage building that he will adapt to the needs of a modern family: enlarging bathrooms, adding an exercise room, raising ceilings, and letting in more light. For Morpurgo Architects, anything is possible. Renovating historic spaces can be difficult. “The challenges of historic spaces include eight-foot ceilings and convoluted room layouts,” he says. “A living room can take up an inordinate amount of space, sometimes 15 or 20 percent of the home at the front of the house,” a vestige of bygone formality in how guests were received. The dynamics of contemporary living and entertaining ask for something quite different. “We can often open up the living room walls, then place a family room on the side,” Morpurgo offers as an example, adding that most

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Congratulations to Morpurgo Architects!

Above: This private residence in Wayne, NJ, exemplifies the boxed quality of Morpurgo Architects' contemporary work.

clients aren’t interested in simply replicating Colonial or Victorian eras. “The modern vocabulary of furniture and interior design allows us to adapt to more contemporary lifestyles.” Whether it’s an addition to a traditional residential or commercial project, the firm honors the original building, even if the new space will be more important to its inhabitants. Lowering rooflines, cladding in complementary materials, and a glass connection assist the transition from old to new. Morpurgo Architects’ contemporary design is known for a sculptural quality that is evidenced in flowing shapes, overlapping forms, and soaring heights. In

The modern vocabulary of furniture and interior design allows us to adapt to more contemporary lifestyles. augusto morpurgo, founder Super Sky Products, Inc. is the both their Platinum Park Office Complex and a private residence in Wayne, both in New Jersey, Morpurgo has characteristically created distinctive spaces that exhibit an interplay of defining light and distinctive volumes. The firm is currently engaged in a modern design for a market-rate, multifamily project. The project aims to create buildings that will contrast in style with a contextual gambrel-roofed affordable housing community across the street, which Morpurgo designed in 1994. With green features that are designed to achieve LEED certification, it will complete the circle of old and new that defines their work. —Russ Klettke

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residential construction

Whitten Architects LLC. Maine architect designs sitespecific sustainable homes At a Glance Location: Portland, ME Founded: 1986 Employees: 4

Above: Whitten Architects designs many homes with all-wood finishes, which greatly enhances the LEED certification of each dwelling. Photo: Trent Bell.

Houses designed by Whitten Architects LLC are intended to complement the landscape by taking into consideration the setting, prevailing breezes, and sun exposure. The firm, based in Portland, Maine, has designed with nature and sustainability in mind for 35 years, long before the green push of the last few years. Though Whitten Architects specializes in New England and Maine Cottage-style custom homes, they have worked on a diverse range of projects. “We design very contemporary homes. We’ve worked on an abandoned concrete submarine tower and with historic brick buildings and some adaptive reuse. Every project is a new project for us,” says Rob Whitten, owner of Whitten Architects. The firm designs coastal homes, lakefront cottages, family camps, and mountain ski houses. He noted that a “site specific” attitude is encouraged and generally the older sites are the most desirable. “Living spaces should be stacked up in sun,” Whitten says. For home designs, breakfast nooks should face the east side to catch the early morning rays. Large living rooms should face south, and screened porches should be placed on the western part of the house to catch the

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setting sun. Half baths, mud, and utility rooms should be placed on the north side of homes. Whitten Architects advocates working with existing drainage patterns whenever possible and to maintain the existing vegetation and save trees. Whitten advises homebuyers to use the best insulation and window systems that they can afford and make use of a rain-screen wall system to limit moisture in the wall cavity. Other trends include the increased use of manufactured wood products, vastly improved window systems, and highly efficient boiler and heating systems. These initiatives have allowed Whitten Architects a natural transition into green building and design. Camp Stew on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire is the firm’s first LEED Gold project. The 2,300-square-foot, three-bedroom home was completed in 2009. Camp Stew is a no-grass site, favoring native vegetation and preservation of the existing tree cover. The design of the smaller home includes closed-cell insulation, high-performance Marvin windows, a durable standing-seam metal roof featuring recycled product and a chimney mass made out of fieldstone from local

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residential construction Right: Whitten Architects is able to easily incorporate the rustic nature of the surrounding environment into its home design.

fields. Camp Stew also has a highly efficient radiant floor system, a condensing propane boiler, and LED lighting. The interior includes all pine board finishes, and, in order to meet LEED requirements, the siding and trim were a local product from the area forests and woods. A 2,000-square-foot home in Mars Hill, Maine, is another example of sustainable design by Whitten Architects. The client, a potato farmer, wanted an energy-efficient home with protection from wind and temperatures that can drop to 40 degrees below zero. The timber frame home includes a structurally engineered panel system, radiant-floor heat, an energy-efficient custom-window system, and passive-solar orientation. Johnson Cove is a contemporary design by Whitten Architects. Located in Roque Bluffs, Maine, one of the

We’ve worked on an abandoned concrete submarine tower and with historic brick buildings and some adaptive reuse. Every project is a new project for us. Rob Whitten, owner

most eastern points in the US, the home features an exposed timber frame and sits among granite boulders and cliffs surrounded by spruce trees. It includes all-wood interior finishes. Whitten says the challenge in designing the home was the exposed location and finding highquality craftsmen. Each year Whitten Architects designs four or five homes, and also performs the same number of renovation. The firm’s gross annual operating budget is $650,000–$700,000. Whitten is assisted by Brian Stephens, a designer, and architects Eric Laszlo and Russ Tyson. Whitten says he would much rather design three small houses than one big house. “A small house includes an inherently sustainable design,” he says. “It’s cheaper to operate and uses less resources to build.” —Karen Gentry

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Whitten Architects, Portland, ME

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For over 30 years, R.W. Stevens, Inc. has been providing quality construction & service to its clients along the rugged mid-coast of Maine. From traditional to contemporary new homes, renovations, seasonal cottages, cabinetry, furniture & more, we are a full service, custom contractor. We incorporate "a little bit of Maine" & timeless quality in all of our work. Customers are our top priority! american builders quarterly


Commercial Construction

McAuliffe + Carroll Architects ................................. Poon Design Inc. ................................................... Interplan Incorporated ............................................ Mike Koenig Construction ....................................... Tipps Architecture ..................................................

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Pictured: An interior modeled by Tipps Architecture.

Photo: Megan Tipps.


commercial construction

McAuliffe + Carroll Architects. A vision that resonates with private and public builders alike At a Glance Location: Trenton, NJ Founded: 2008 Employees: 4 Specialty: Urban renewal, historic renovation, and adaptive reuse

Top left: The Stocking Works in Newtown, PA. Top right: The dynamic staircase inside the Stocking Works. Photos: Todd Mason.

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For some in the field of architecture, ecologically minded design is a fairly new discovery—something they’re gradually working into their repertoire as it becomes more mainstream. For others it has been a part of their philosophy as long as they have been in business. McAuliffe + Carroll Architects fully represents the latter. “I’ve always had a bent toward green design,” says Rich Carroll, who, along with partner Jim McAuliffe, has been steeped in the mindset from college onward. “Every project I’ve ever done has taken a sustainable approach and the project’s physical surroundings into consideration. These elements have always defined my work and the work of this firm. It’s nothing new from anything we’ve ever done.” Although McAuliffe + Carroll Architects has only been in practice since January 2008, both McAuliffe and Carroll are award-winning architects with decades of experience serving the New Jersey area via custom residential, commercial, and industrial projects. Featuring a strong focus on urban renewal, they are committed to creations

that respect their surroundings, environment, and social settings. “Our green skills are just one part of our toolkit,” Carroll says. “Our real strength is that we’re a small firm that’s very attuned to our clients. We work hard to understand what it is that they do and what it is that they need. We don’t cookie-cutter anything. That’s where we can win out, especially over market-sector leaders.” McAuliffe + Carroll’s victories are as wide-ranging as the materials and systems that they have grown accustomed to experimenting with. The company’s more recent developments include LIFE (Living Independently For Elders) St. Francis, a senior center from New Jersey’s PACE program; Zion Lutheran, a church in the nationally-registered historic district of Long Valley, New Jersey; a private residence in West Virginia featuring geothermal heating/cooling, solar orientation, photovoltaic panels, locally harvested stones, locally reclaimed lumber, low-flow toilets, and rainwater harvesting; and Clinton Lofts at 200 Hamilton, a four-story, mostly residential

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commercial construction

apartment in Trenton, New Jersey, that is a conversion of a city-owned urban infill. The firm also excels in collaboration. Not only was it recently part of a joint venture with the architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson to create a house in Princeton, New Jersey, but McAuliffe + Carroll also found time to

Our real strength is that we’re a small firm... attuned to our clients. We work hard to understand what it is that they do and what... they need. We don’t cookie-cutter anything. That’s where we can win out, especially over market-sector leaders. Rich Carroll, partner

serve as project managers for Isles’ Mill One, a mixed-use redevelopment of a century-old textile mill. Isles is also the name behind the Center for Energy and Environmental Training, which McAuliffe + Carroll converted from a paint factory. In doing so, they reused a significant number of features already on the building by reglazing steel-sash windows with insulated glass units for thermal efficiency. “It’s a school for green-collar jobs, so we had to put the best foot forward with the budget,” Carroll says. “It’s practicing what we preach.” Although the ongoing state of the economy has battered the budget of some McAuliffe + Carroll projects, Carroll is confident of the firm’s future by way of its invaluable nature. “My take has always been that most people see architects as commodities,” he says. “I think when they come to us, they get quite a different set of people than they were expecting to get. Our clients appreciate our creativity, insight, and the fact that we work so hard for them.” —Kelli Lawrence

american builders quarterly

Above: McAuliffe + Carroll is able to bring elegant interior design to commercial office spaces as well as residential homes.

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Poon Design. Mixing mediums and artistic talents for unique results At a Glance Location: Beverly Hills, CA Founded: 1991 Employees: 8 Specialty: Architecture and interior design for educational facilities, restaurants, and luxury homes Below: The bar at Chaya Downtown in Los Angeles. The bar's frame is made of back-lit, laser-etched mirrors— the counter of Carrara marble and Spanish brass.

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Much like in music, in architecture designers study the properties of rhythm, pattern, and harmony. Those properties, and the diverse artistic disciplines that work with them, help to create designs that enable a vibrant life. That’s the approach of Beverly Hills, California-based Poon Design Inc. An eight-person, multi-disciplined firm, Poon Design offers services in architecture and interiors, planning and programming, furniture and product design, graphics and branding, and even writing original musical scores. “Our thinking as a team is that all of our talents come together to offer a unique experience,” says Principal Anthony Poon, an accomplished pianist who considered life as a professional musician before selecting a career as an architect and interior designer. “There was a point in life when I had to decide between being a musician or an architect,” he says. “I had moved to New York because of the music scene, and I was choosing between grad school at Harvard in design or Julliard.” Poon says it’s hard to name many well-known concert pianists, but there are talented architects in every great city, and he set out to become one of them.

With principal John Kim, Poon Design focuses on providing an integrated approach to design. “Our belief is that architecture and interior design aren’t separated. I’ve always believed it is one integrated whole,” Poon says. At the same time, Poon Design, a national member of the United States Green Building Council, works to integrate creativity with the pragmatics of sustainability and environmental stewardship as well as the clients’ needs, permits and approvals, budget, schedule and construction capabilities. For one West Los Angeles restaurant, Poon Design programmed the music, which reinforced the evolving restaurant experience through the day, from early morning to professional lunches to happy hour to late night. Restaurants are among several key project types that Poon Design specializes in, from well-concepted commercial developments to educational facilities and luxury homes. With each, there is a focus on modern living amidst a memorable and meaningful space. Chaya Downtown, a restaurant in urban Los Angeles, is an award-winning recent project that won an international AIA design award. For the large international

american builders quarterly


commercial construction

Above: A "living roof," complete with insulating vegetation, is part of the mixed-use project in Manhattan Beach, CA. Left: A ceiling of Spanish brass presides over the private dining room at Chaya Downtown in Los Angeles. The location won a 2009 AIA Award for Best Restaurant.

lifestyle and hospitality company, Poon Design designed the space; created custom furniture; designed the website, menu, and business cards; and helped program the music. The project received an international design award for Best Restaurant from the Los Angeles chapter of AIA in 2009. “We never really set out to be restaurant experts,” Poon says. “We did one or two, and they won awards, and it just grew. We’ve now completed eight and have another half dozen on the books. It’s just a little niche that came our way.” Poon Design is currently designing the Bel Air Presbyterian Church preschool, a 22,000-square-foot space that includes classrooms, a library, art and music rooms, and outdoor play areas. Poon expects the project will achieve LEED certification for its sustainable features. Poon Design has extensive experience serving the education market. While a design principal with Architecture for Education, Poon helped design 20 schools in Aurora, Illinois. The work included creating a master plan for the school district. An elementary school won a national grand prize by the National School Board Association, Learning By Design magazine, and the AIA for its design, and many other projects in the portfolio were cited for excellence. Poon Design also serves the high-end housing market, designing one to four luxury homes a year as well as remodels. Most residential projects are contemporary or a blend of Californian Mediterranean design. “We enjoy residential work because we get to have a personal connection with the families,” Poon says. “We’ve done homes as large as 30,000 square feet and also have done projects as small as a master bathroom. “If we find interesting clients then we enjoy the challenge to explore new ideas,” Poon says. —Laura Williams Tracy

justin.horvath@illum1.com tel: 619.374.1191 www.illum1.com

Based in San Diego, CA, illum1 provides lighting consultation services that seamlessly integrate available daylight with electric lighting systems in creative yet appropriate ways. Through clear communication throughout the project, illum1 helps clients understand a space’s lighting needs, instilling confidence in the solution. With a fundamental understanding of lights important role in the built environment, our solutions serve both the primary purpose of supplying sufficient light within energy restraints, as well as optimally revealing the architecture. illum1 aims to satisfy these quantitative and aesthetic goals effectively, efficiently and within budget.

Photographs by Gregg Segal

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all projects designed by Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design, Inc.

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Interplan Inc. The best-laid plans in the nation’s capital At a Glance Location: Washington, DC Founded: 1984 Employees: 20 Specialty: Interior design

Above: The modern redesign of the office pantry at Neustar, Inc., in Washington, DC. Photo: Aaron Norberg.

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For Interplan Inc., an interior-design and architecture firm based in Washington, DC, its 26-year winning formula has been to partner with office tenants, brokers, and developers in this heavily business-related town. Marc Berman, a 43-year veteran of the design industry, launched the firm 26 years ago and picked a name that would connote an expertise in planning and interiors, and one that would grow bigger than just his name. The core philosophy is now being advanced by partners Bob Klancher, AIA, and Lisa Lamp, AIA, LEED AP. Interplan works with clients throughout the nation’s capital and follows clients to their growth markets. The firm has completed nine offices for the professional accounting firm RSM McGladrey, and for the past decade, Interplan has worked for cell-phone carrier T-Mobile to open over 350 retail stores. Interplan focuses on commercial interior design for general business, law, banking, associations, and nonprofits, as well as medical offices including MRIs, outpatient surgery centers, and physicians’ offices. Interplan has also assisted its clients in the design of several restaurants and various retail businesses. “We’ve never put all of our eggs in one basket,” says founder Marc Berman, who holds a degree in interior design from Ohio University. “Our business is 100 percent referral, and we have particularly strong relationships in tenant representation and partnering with commercial real estate brokers.” Those broker and owner relationships have allowed Interplan to work with large federal agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Homeland Security, and Customs and Border Protection.

“All architecture and interior design firms do space planning,” Berman says. “Interplan goes the extra mile by calculating for the broker the expected cost per square foot. The broker uses that... to formulate lease terms. We help brokers shorten the process and get to the deal.”

All architecture and interior-design firms do space planning. We help brokers shorten the process and get to the deal. Marc Berman, Founder

Interplan was ranked 18th in the Washington Business Journal’s list of Washington’s top interior-design firms based on annual revenue. It’s a position Interplan has held in the metropolitan area for the past two decades. The firm has 20 employees, six of them LEED-certified. Interplan recently completed the Washington Experience Center, a marketing and training center for Lutron Electronics Inc. in the District of Columbia. Lutron is

american builders quarterly


commercial construction

Left: Custom-designed walls for RSM McGladrey bring texture to the office. Above: New blue light fixtures in the Washington Experience Center enhance the office's mood.

known as one of the top manufacturers of lighting control systems, specialty fixtures, and solar shading systems. The center selected Interplan because of its LEED expertise, and the project is now seeking LEED-Silver certification. Interplan also serves clients’ furnishing needs with Lines Furniture, a full service furniture dealership housed within the offices of Interplan. There, clients can receive the design support of an IIDA-certified interior design and receive excellent prices and design coordination. Additionally, Interplan is experienced in renovation and is currently completing a 12,000-square-foot renovation for the Mechanical Contractors Association of America. The project includes replacing the mechanical system and lighting systems with more energy efficient equipment, a new roof, and interior finishes—all while the tenant continues to occupy the building. Berman says architects and contractors are often perceived to be natural enemies, but his firm has found success by debunking that myth. “We don’t look at it that way,” Berman says. “We put together a good set of technical documents that are well-respected in the building industry so we are perceived as a partner.” Interplan also performs technical consulting and building code analysis to help real estate brokers and potential tenants understand the challenges of each project before work begins. “This helps establish rapport with the technical team and the project management team,” Berman says. “They say, ‘Oh great, we’ve got someone who gets it,’ and that results in us getting the work.” —Laura Williams-Tracy

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Mike Koenig Construction. Offering total generalcontracting and construction services, from budgeting to completion to everything in between At a Glance Location: Sheboygan, WI Founded: 1984 Employees: 25 Specialty: Construction management, estimating, budgeting, restoration, and remodeling

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Becoming a general contractor wasn’t part of Mike Koenig’s grand plan. In high school and college, the Wisconsin native earned spending money by periodically working small construction jobs, but he had no intention of pursuing a career in the field. Instead, he was going to graduate from college and study veterinary medicine. That was his plan. Things don’t always go according to plan. In Koenig’s case, the career path he’d mapped out shifted. Instead of becoming a veterinarian, he went into sales and worked for a few years at Hayssen Packaging Technologies. Following his career in sales, Koenig decided to strike out on his own and set himself up as a general contractor. That was in 1984, when Koenig had two employees and was working out of his own house. More than 25 years later, things look very different at Mike Koenig Construction. The company, which was founded in 1989, now has five full-time office staff members and 20-40 field employees at a time. The company’s headquarters has moved from the founder’s living room to the Sheboygan Business Center in Sheboygan, Wiscon-

sin. Although the firm’s market has grown to cover most of southeast Wisconsin, Koenig prefers to concentrate on projects within a 60-mile radius of Sheboygan. Regardless of the project location, the company has established a reputation for attention to detail, incomparable craftsmanship, and, a long list of happy clients. “We pride ourselves on our ability to complete construction from the ground up,” Koenig says. “High quality, affordability, and customer satisfaction—these are the things we strive for in our business.” As for its services, Mike Koenig Construction is a general contractor focusing on commercial and industrial construction, from budgeting a project to remodeling and completion in both the private and public sector. The company also takes on residential and restoration projects such as the complete renovation of the historic three-story Kress Hertel Building in downtown Sheboygan. Additionally, the company self-performs in four areas: carpentry, masonry, concrete, and steel erecting. For the client, this means minimal delays and maximum benefits, literally from the ground up. “We specialize in these

american builders quarterly


commercial construction Opposite: The General King Park Pavilion in Sheboygan, WI. With larger projects, Mike Koenig will bring in additional field employees to get the job done right. Right: The lobby of Bank First National showcases Koenig's impressive interior work with expansive spaces. Photo: Al Gartzke. Bottom: Bank First National is located in Sheboygan, WI, along with most of Koenig's other projects.

areas, and we have excellent craftsmen to do the work,” Koenig says. Such productivity is essential to the company since the number of projects in its annual lineup can run anywhere from 50 to 100 and vary in size from minor residential alterations to much larger commercial or industrial jobs. As for the projects’ values, those also have a wide range—from $500 to $6 million. Among the company’s numerous high-profile projects is the Bank First National building. Located in Sheboygan, this 9,200-square-foot, $2.2 million project is the

High quality, affordability, and customer satisfaction—these are the things we strive for in our business. Mike Koenig, Founder

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flagship building of an independent, multiple-location bank in northeast Wisconsin. As general contractor, Mike Koenig Construction oversaw the project; the finished product featured a wealth of elegant finishes, including mahogany panels and trim, stone veneers, and granite countertops. At any given time, the company is working on three to six projects, the larger ones often requiring additional supervision as well as the hiring of more field employees. Even with the extra attention and manpower, Koenig is quick to point out that he goes the extra mile to ensure that current and future clients feel like they’re getting their money’s worth. Such attention to detail has led for half of Mike Koenig Construction’s projects to come from repeat customers and referrals—word gets around about a job well done. The company obtains the rest of its jobs through bids, although that avenue has become more competitive with the economic downturn. “It’s all about top quality with a reasonable price tag because keeping our customers satisfied is our number-one priority,” Koenig says. —Cristina Adams

american builders quarterly

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Tipps Architecture. Unique design work is on the rise throughout Texas At a Glance Location: Houston, TX Founded: 2007 Employees: 6 Specialty: Institutional, commercial, and educational architecture

Above: The Christofle jewelry store, designed by Tipps Architecture to fit a narrow space. Photos: Megan Tipps.

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When he started his Houston-based operation in 2007, Jerry Tipps’ area of concentration was retail, restaurant, and commercial architecture. Then the bottom fell out of the commercial market. “Between 2005 and 2007, I designed over 100 bank branches for Wachovia and Colonial Bank—commercial work was the majority of what I’d done,” he says. “When the economy crashed, that work dried up, and we transitioned into education and institutional projects.” Drawing on 25 years in the design business—working as owner and vice president of development for hotels and restaurants and also working as a design manager— Tipps was able to make that transition smoothly. With six employees working all across Texas (“El Paso, Dallas, Houston, the Panhandle—we’re throughout the state,” he says), Tipps Architecture is a full-service firm, handling everything from design to management to branding. “Our governing aesthetic is contemporary and industrial structural expressions,” Tipps says. “We like clean glass and steel. We’re not too fond of symmetry—we like curves. But really our designs are most about being responsible to our clients’ programs. We strive to be very responsive to what our clients need on the street.” Tipps Architecture recently found itself working on the 13th-largest charter-school system in Texas, the

Harmony School of Innovation, in Houston. A renovation that will include four buildings taking up a total of 180,000 square feet of space, the project is meant to revitalize the junior high school’s campus and administration facilities. Three of the buildings will be renovated, but Tipps is building the fourth from the ground up. “It’s a four-story, 60,000-square-foot, mixed-use building,” Tipps says. The first floor features a gymnasium, an auditorium, and spaces for art galleries and science fairs. The second through fourth floors house administration facilities for the Cosmos Foundation (which owns the Harmony School system) and a 500-seat lecture auditorium located on the third floor. “There is a lot of access to natural light—plenty of daylight,” Tipps says. “And there are large accessible roof plazas, which was an interesting technical challenge.” (On the third floor, a dining room opens up to one of the roof plazas.) A different educational project in Houston cast Tipps Architecture in the role of designing not just a new building but a new university. Northern American University, an undertaking by the Texas Gulf Foundation, will eventually include thirteen buildings, but Tipps’ four-story, 50,000-square-foot structure is the first. A student commons, science facilities, lecture halls, two libraries, and a computer lab were integrated into the design. “The chal-

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commercial construction

Above: An expansion for the Harmony School of Innovation in Houston. After the commercial-architecture market collapsed, Tipps began taking clients in other fields, including education. Left: Tipps also impressed clients in the field of medicine by designing spaces including this medical office building.

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Left: The intense lighting inside Christofle brings out the shine of the merchandise. Above: Tipps can also do more straightforward jobs, such as this design for a new HEB location.

lenge was to accommodate all of those functions while bearing in mind the notion that the uses will change and evolve as more campus buildings are erected,” Tipps says.

Our governing aesthetic is contemporary and industrial structural expressions.

TippsARCHITECTUREad.ai 9/28/2010 10:53:01 AM

commercial . medical . education . aviation

Jerry Tipps, Owner

Neither of those two projects are LEED-certified, but Tipps says the firm subscribes to the practice of green building in most of its methods, regardless of whether the client is actively seeking certification. “We always use extremely efficient glazing and building envelope systems with lots of recycled content, plus a range of the usual energy-efficient features,” he says. A 9,000-squarefoot recording studio/live entertainment venue currently being designed in Dallas is tracking LEED Silver. Also on the horizon: a 150-room hotel and conference center in Dallas and a fire station in Houston near West I-10, which will include new apparatus facilities, administrative offices for the fire district, dorms, a kitchen, and maintenance vehicle facilities. “Our goal is to continue to provide innovative designs to our clients and to make sustainable design more feasible in the local market,” Tipps says. “We want to help our clients increase their visibility.” —David Hudnall 158

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Tipps architecture inc.

Ideas that work

713.228.1700

www.tippsarchitecture.com info@tippsarchitecture.com

industrial . restaurant . logistics . corporate entertainment . retail . residential . interiors american builders quarterly


american homes

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Steel

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american builders quarterly

Blue Sky Homes' Yucca Valley house shows the firm can work with difficult terrains. The dwelling almost seems to float over the rocky desert landscape (including a seasonal stream). Photo: Nuvue Interactive.

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Above: The living room transitions seamlessly onto the steel patio, melding the home's inside and outside. Bottom left: The bedroom offers quick, direct access to the evening's cool desert air. Bottom right: The dining room/kitchen displays impressive spacial economy. Photos: Nuvue Interactive.

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Project Details Location: Palm Springs, CA Completed: 2009 Contractor: Blue Sky Homes Award: 2008 AIA Design Excellence Award

D

avid McAdam left corporate America to start Blue Sky Homes LLC. in 2007 after falling in love with a parcel of land in the high-desert community of Yucca Valley in Southern California. After realizing the steep and rocky terrain would never accommodate a traditional house, McAdam met with architects to investigate alternative building methods. He eventually discovered a company using light-gauge galvanized steel for industrial mezzanines and partnered with its developer to adapt the process for the residential market. In May of 2009, Blue Sky Homes completed its first all-steel frame home—McAdam’s own residence on the lot that started it all.

ABQ: How did you develop this unique style of home? David McAdam: I knew the city of Palm Springs has

long been known for innovation in housing, and I found a firm called o2 Architecture that had experience in steel. I approached them to develop a 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom prototype house of 1000 square feet or less and a larger catalogue of floorplans. The houses are sleek and modern with lots of glass and also emphasize a connection between indoors and outdoors. Meanwhile, we found great interest from other architects who want to use our light-gauge, bolted-steel frames for their own designs, so we are expanding in that direction as well.

Above: Blue Sky Home's design of the Yucca Valley house allows occupants to embrace the surrounding desert from the comfort of the living-room couch, particularly thanks to double sliding doors that open the space up significantly. David McAdam, Blue Sky's founder, built the all-steel frame home after finding a company experimenting with light-guage metals that he knew would work well with the rocky terrain.

of the house. The house has an open kitchen, living, and dining area with step-out patios, one of which is a 300-square-foot deck off the main living area. There’s lots of sliding glass. ABQ: What are the main benefits of a Blue Sky home? DM: First is speed of construction. We can finish a home

of 1000 square feet in six weeks. The material is prefabbed in the factory but shipped flat and un-assembled to the site. They are fire-resistant, termite-proof, moldproof, and very sustainable. ABQ: Describe the green aspects of your home. DM: The house has two sets of solar panels. One gener-

ates electricity while the other heats water. This is a parttime house, which means I generate more than I use. The steel frame is made from 80-percent recycled content. The only wood used is in the cabinets, and it’s all bamboo. Our countertops are made from recycled glass, the floors are polished concrete, and the appliances are Energy Star. We use a dual septic system, dual glazed windows, and low-flow fixtures.

ABQ: What makes the first project—your own home—

special? DM: It is my home but it’s also the prototype for our company. It’s a beautiful, small home that maximizes the amount of public space. The bedrooms are identical in size and designed to be comfortable without taking space from the rest

ABQ: Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? DM: Everyone has always focused on structural steel. Our

steel partner, FCP Inc., found a way to securely join elements of light-gauge steel. That is the big breakthrough here because light-gauge steel offers substantial advantages—not the least of which is lower cost. ­­­—Zach Baliva

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Wool Textiles Wool has made a comeback in recent years as a sustainable building material, providing an effective alternative to synthetic insulation. However, as more and more builders and design firms are moving forward with a green focus, it's necessary to remember that environmental consciousness doesn't end with construction. The wool products featured here will provide a sense of comfort and warmth to any project while maintaining a sustainable sensitivity. Available is a variety of colors and designs, these wool blends will add a trendy element to any design project. Spike / angela adams / angelaadams.com / With a wavy pattern inspired by an expansive ocean view, this 100-percent New Zealand wool rug is unique and timeless.

Sybilla / nanimarquina / nanimarquina.com / This rug features an optical-art mosaic design, using vivid hues to reflect intensity and style.

Digit / nanimarquina / nanimarquina.com / Made of hand-knotted wool, this rug takes inspiration from a photographic enlargement. 26 colors pixelate the design; their stunning groupings give the rug a digital and technological look.

Stripes / Camira / camirafabrics.com / An eclectic fusion of stripes, this fabric maintains Camira's dedication to environmentally sensitive wool-upholstery fabrics. The design and color allow for broad end-use applications to meet the needs of any interior scheme. 162

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8/26/10 10:12:51 PM


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Conventional Logic. Our revolutionary glass insulation technology minimizes payback time. The difference is just as big, and just as easy to achieve. Ground-breaking EnerLogic™ window films help keep heat outside in summer and inside in winter, enhancing efficiency so your double-pane windows can essentially provide triple-pane performance. Like upgrading your lighting, installing EnerLogic window film starts saving energy immediately—and it typically pays for itself within three years. It’s time to take part in the latest green revolution. To learn more, visit www.enerlogicfilm.com or call (800) 345-6088. Or contact your local Vista dealer today to arrange for a free energy audit.

© 2010 Solutia Inc., St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. All rights reserved. Vista and Vista Logo are trademarks of Solutia Inc. and/or its affiliates. As used herein, ® denotes registered trademark status in the U.S. only. EnerLogic™ is a trademark of Solutia Inc.

Vista_EnerlogicFull_ABQ Mag.indd 1

10/1/2010 4:19:59 PM

American Builders Quarterly Issue 39  

The Future of Prefab

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