OLYMPIA - The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently awarded the Legislative Building Rehabilitation project its prestigious 2006 Honor Award for Architecture, considered in the industry as the architect's "Oscar."
Judges selected the Capitol Building renovation as one of the 11 winning projects from more than 400 submissions. AIA Honor Awards represent the highest recognition of excellence in architecture, interior architecture and urban design.
Washington received recognition for being the first state in the nation to apply top-level environmental standards to the preservation of a state capitol building.
The state Department of General Administration managed the $120 million rehabilitation and earthquake-repair project, which was completed on time in December 2004.
"The project reflects our state's commitment to the stewardship of historic buildings and natural resources," says Gov. Chris Gregoire. "The award affirms the great work done by the project team in transforming the monumental building into a state-of-the-art facility that is a living symbol of our democracy."
The environment-friendly building practices used throughout the project included the recycling of more than 85 percent of the construction waste - 8,000 tons of wood, concrete, paper, bricks, dirt, metal and drywall. That is as much material as 17,000 people throw away in a year.
Restored historic lighting fixtures were retrofitted with modern, energy-efficient fluorescents that use 75 percent less energy than traditional bulbs. Thousands of wood panels used to protect historic marble and fixtures during construction were carefully dismantled when the project was done and reused to frame three new Habitat for Humanity homes.
The project also placed 144 solar panels atop the fifth-floor roof of the building - the largest array of such panels on a capitol in the United States.
The award jury called the design work by SRG Partnership, Inc. of Seattle, the project's architects, and Einhorn Yaffee Prescott of Albany, N.Y., associate architect for the project, "ingenious" and "unprecedented" for making complicated seismic upgrades and installing new building systems without marring the historic integrity of the building.
The three-year project installed modern heating and cooling, plumbing, fire protection and state-of-the-art wireless technology systems, while maintaining historic features. The building first opened in 1928.
The project also improved accessibility, added new public space, made seismic and security upgrades, and repaired damage caused by the February 2001 Nisqually earthquake.
The rehabilitation project was done in accordance with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Preservation. The project installed about 300 miles of new heating ducts, wiring for computers, phones and wireless technology, and plumbing pipes tucked behind historic marble, wood and plaster walls.
Award recipients will be honored in June at the AIA 2006 National Convention and Design Exposition in Los Angeles.
For more information:
Steve Valandra, Public Affairs Office, (360) 902-7215
ArchitectureWeek Press Release Service