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KEVIN MILLER, AIA, ELECTED PRESIDENT OF GSBS ARCHITECTS, FIRM FOUNDER NAMED PRESIDENT-EMERITUS
(Salt Lake City, UT – January 22, 2013) The Board of Directors of GSBS Architects has elected Kevin B. Miller, AIA as President of the firm. Miller has served as Managing Director for seven years and was named Chief Executive Officer last year.
Miller joined the firm in 1988 after receiving his Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Utah. He was elected to the board in 1999. Currently, Miller is the Principal in Charge of Salt Lake City's new $80 million Public Safety Building that will be completed in a few months. Throughout his career, he has been a leader in the design of courts and public safety facilities in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho recognized for his innovative solutions to complex building challenges.
Firm Founder Michael J. Stransky, FAIA, has been honored with the title of President-Emeritus and will continue to be associated with the firm he co-founded in 1979.
Under the direction of Stransky and co-founder Abram Gillies, GSBS built its practice around the design of complicated, technical buildings. With the addition of David Brems, a leader in passive solar design and daylighting, GSBS pioneered new designs for office buildings, residences, religious buildings, recreation centers, industrial facilities, and sports facilities. Stephen Smith, also a name-partner and one of the few licensed architects who is also a certified planner, strengthened GSBS's capabilities and led efforts to re-write the Salt Lake City Zoning Ordinance, create the Salt Lake Open Space Plan, and conduct master plans for the Utah Judicial System and the Utah Academic Libraries.
At the firm’s annual meeting in January, Valerie Nagasawa AIA was named a new director. She graduated from the University of Utah with a Master of Architecture in 1993, a Bachelor of Science in Architecture in 1991 and a Bachelor of Science in Economics in 1990. She is a LEED-accredited professional who joined GSBS Architects in 2000. Her work experience includes the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building, Utah Museum of Natural History, West Valley City Animal Shelter and Hillside Middle School.
Nobody knows precisely the impact of historic preservation on the economy of Utah and its cities.
Some have a notion that a core of historic buildings draws people and economic activity. Others say renovating old structures doesn’t make economic sense.
Soon, Utahns may get new insights into the costs and benefits of historic preservation. A study commissioned by the nonprofit Utah Heritage Foundation will analyze various aspects of the economy taking preservation into account.
The Washington D.C.-based consulting firm PlaceEconomics was awarded a contract and will begin research next month, said Kirk Huffaker, executive director of the Utah Heritage Foundation. A report is expected by the end of June.
"Our goal is to determine the direct and indirect benefits of historic preservation in Utah," Huffaker said. "It will help us understand preservation’s impact on jobs and employment, generation of tax revenue, downtown vitality and the importance to our economy of maintaining neighborhood and community character."
It also will evaluate the role heritage tourism plays in the state economy.
Huffaker declined to disclose the cost of the study.
The analysis will look at such things as the economic impact of commercial building renovations versus demolition and rebuilding, said Donovan Rypkema, who will lead the project for PlaceEconomics.
"When quality is part of the equation, historic preservation will always be competitive," Rypkema said.
The study also will attempt to analyze the impact of historic structures on community commercial areas.
"It’s a challenge to measure," he said. "But you can see patterns that result when you have a core of historic buildings."
In addition, it will examine property values of residential housing in local historic districts in contrast to values of homes outside those boundaries.
Rypkema noted that while he has yet to look at such districts in Utah, in some other cities, homes in historic districts retained property values at a higher rate than those outside of them.
Salt Lake City Council Chairman Soren Simonsen said the analysis is timely because Salt Lake City is wrestling with such topics as demolition of old buildings, as well as the formation of local historic districts.
"I’m pretty excited about this study," he said. "It will be valuable because there is a lot of misunderstanding of what historic preservation is and what its value is. [Salt Lake City] will be the beneficiary of this."
The economics of preserving old structures may be difficult to quantify, said Stephen Goldsmith, professor of architecture and planning at the University of Utah and former Salt Lake City planning director. But it’s well recognized that a community’s cultural identification and social fabric are reflected in its buildings.
"Not everything that can be counted, counts," he said. "And not everything that counts can be counted."
Goldsmith noted that a new school of thought sees demolition as wasteful in aesthetic as well as economic terms.
Reusing old buildings not only keeps communities from becoming "Any Place U.S.A." but can rekindle vibrancy in neighborhoods, according to Huffaker.
As an example, he pointed to the offices of Big D Construction on the corner of 400 West and 400 South in Salt Lake City that used to be the Fuller Paint building. The 1922 structure was renovated by the construction firm. Not only did that save the building, but its employees are helping revitalize the area, Huffaker said, because they dine and shop in the neighborhood around Pioneer Park.
"Historic preservation is often ranked at the bottom when it comes to a project because of the belief there is a higher cost," he said. "But you can look at preservation as an investment."
OGDEN-WEBER TECH GETS NOD FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY BUILDING
That would be Ogden-Weber Tech’s Samuel H. and Marian K. Barker Health Technology Building, recently awarded a Gold LEED certification from the United States Green Building Council.
The 88,000-square-foot facility, designed by GSBS Architects and built by Okland Construction, opened in June 2011.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification is based on the building’s energy usage, carbon dioxide emission, efficient water use, indoor environmental quality and the effect of its employment of resources.
“We greatly appreciate the vision of GSBS Architects and Okland Construction that resulted in a beautiful, functional facility that met a higher standard for sustainability while staying within budget,” said Collette Mercier, president of Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College.
Factors that helped the Barker Building earn such a high LEED rating include: water efficiency due to low-flow fixtures; heat efficiency; good insulation; a storm water control system; use of regional construction materials; minimal infiltration by air (low draftiness); closeness to homes, businesses and public transportation; designated parking for fuel-efficient vehicles; use of materials with minimal volatile organic compounds; and a highly efficient, easily controlled electrical system.
Another factor is how pleasing the building is for occupants, said Clio Rayner, GSBS project architect.
The building was designed to be airy and light, with lots of windows featuring spectacular mountain views. Halls are wide, and stairways are open. Interior gardens feature low-maintenance potted plants surrounded by jagged landscaping gravel.
Engineering News-Record recently listed GSBS Architects among its Top 100 Green Design Firms in the United States.
“This recognition validates our commitment to sustainability in architecture,” Rayner said. “We have seen an evolution in the field of sustainable architecture practices over the last 10 years with the emphasis on sustainable design shifting from being ‘environmentally friendly’ to ‘real, measurable efficiency.’ ”
The Barker Family Health Technology Building houses all college health care programs, including dental or medical assisting, nurse assistant, medical coder or transcription, pharmacy technician, practical nursing and medical or dental office administration.
BEST OVERALL INTERMOUNTAIN PROJECT: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM OF UTAH REFLECTS ITS LANDSCAPE
ENR Moutain States
The 163,000-sq-ft building is home to a collection of roughly 1.2-million artifacts, including items from Utah's Native American tribes, regional flora and fauna specimens and the state's sizable number of dinosaur fossils.
The building is composed primarily of exposed concrete with unique copper-alloy cladding. The natural patina of the copper blends with the hillside and gives the building a stratified but fractured appearance, evoking the sandstone deserts and rugged mountains of Utah.
The museum is built in steps up the hillside, with exhibits featuring Utah's geography and the history of its people, animals and plant life on different levels. The exhibit spaces are located on the south end of the building, with laboratory, storage and office space on the north end.
The two wings are connected by bridges over a three-story "canyon" that serves as a central gathering and way-finding element. Floor-to-ceiling windows span the west-facing end of the canyon, providing visitors with expansive views west to the Salt Lake Valley, the Great Salt Lake and Oquirrh Mountains, home to the Kennecott copper mine, which produced the ore for the building's cladding.
"Ecstatic is not too strong a word for how we feel about this building," says Sarah George, the museum director, who was part of the project's collaborative design team. "It is beautiful, but it also functions so well. The building we were in before was designed as a library, and there were so many things we could not do there. Now, to be in a space that is designed for us, is just wonderful."
Owner: DFCM, Salt Lake City
Design: GSBS Architects, Salt Lake City
General Contractor: Big-D Construction, Salt Lake City
Civil Engineer: Colvin Engineering Associates Inc., Salt Lake City
Structural Engineer: Dunn Associates Inc., Salt Lake City
MEP: Spectrum Engineers, Salt Lake City
Entry submitted by Big-D Construction
AIA UTAH PRESENTS "ASSOCIATES AWARD" TO GSBS ARCHITECTURAL INTERN
(Salt Lake City, UT – October 30, 2012) The Utah Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has awarded its 2012 Associate's Award to Chamonix Larsen, an architecture intern with GSBS Architects, Salt Lake City. Ms. Larsen is former energy program director of the State of Utah Division of Facility and Construction Management (DFCM) for Capital Development.
WEBER-OGDEN TECH COLLEGE BUILDING GETS LEED GOLD