CSU Building Awarded Best Project Award from ENR Mountain States

Pinkard Construction and 4240 Architecture have won a 2019 Best Project award for their work on Colorado State University’s Michael Smith Natural Resources Building. The awards, sponsored by Engineering News-Record Mountain States, are given to projects that excel in safety, innovation and teamwork.

Located on CSU’s main campus in Fort Collins, the Michael Smith Building addition and renovation added four stories and  49,010 gsf of new space to the  existing Warner College of Natural Resources (WCNR)building.

Living Wall

4240’s design derives itself from the school’s curriculum, creates a teaching tool for students and faculty, and is rooted within the surrounding environment. Natural materials such as local sandstone, felled wood and natural elements including sun and wind are incorporated throughout to connect users to the ethos of the College, emphasizing building collaboration, curiosity and community.

Key design elements include the “treehouse” – a collaboration studio that converts to an outdoor terrace, and a striking 55-foot long Douglas fir glulam pillar that supports the heroic cantilevered roof.

Construction featured several significant challenges, including constructing the 60-foot wide by 200-foot long addition within a 90-foot wide by 220-foot long site adjacent to a busy pedestrian pathway; unique dewatering requirements; an accelerated schedule with extremely tight sequencing; and conducting demolition activities immediately adjacent to an applied isotope research facility that regularly worked with sensitive testing equipment.

The Pinkard/ 4240 Architecture team was awarded a lump sum design-build contract following a lengthy design-build competition that included numerous collaborative workshops with CSU Facilities, the College of Natural Resources, and its many user groups. The award was based upon a best value proposition  evaluated by design aesthetics, innovative add alternates and final price.

As a result of the collaboration among all design-build team members, the LEED Silver certified project finished on time and in budget with CSU receiving several “wish list” programming items including dramatically upgraded beetle-kill finishes and a “living green wall” in the new entrance.

“We couldn’t be happier with the outcome,” stated WCNR director of communications and CSU project manager Rob Novak. “It has been transformational for our community and our college, and we’ve gotten tremendous feedback from around the university. It’s really a huge deal to us, raising our profile among the campus community.”

The Michael Smith Natural Resources Building at Warner College competed in the ENR Higher Education/Researchcategory. A panel of 12 judges from all areas of the industry — architects, GC’s, green consultants, virtual designers and engineers—selected winners and merit awards from the 156 total entries this year, by far the most in the 19-year history of the awards. The 2019 Best Projects competition spans a seven-state region that includes Utah, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony October 22, and will be featured in the regional editions of ENR. Projects deemed best in category will automatically compete in the Best of the Best Projects, a national juried competition appearing in ENR.

Photo courtesy of Pinkard Construction

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