RTA Architects, an award-winning Colorado Springs-based architectural and interior design firm, has been recognized with an Environmental Stewardship Award from the Construction Standards Institute (CSI). RTA was nominated for its work on the new Pikes Peak Summit Complex and the project’s pursuit of Living Building Challenge certification and for its work on the new East Side Clinic for Pueblo Community Health Center and the project’s pursuit of Zero Energy certification.
CSI’s Environmental Stewardship Award is presented annually to individuals, organizations, or firms who are, “Stewards of the Environment” (one who not only espouses, but actively and publicly IS an environmental practitioner) in the opinion of their peers within their city, county, state, or region according to the CSI website. RTA was nominated for this prestigious national recognition by HCDA Engineering of Colorado Springs, Colorado who provided structural engineering design for the Pikes Peak Summit Complex which is comprised of the new Visitor Center and the U.S. Army’s High Altitude Research Laboratory.
RTA’s work on the Pikes Peak Summit Complex in Colorado Springs was described in the nomination as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design a structure above 14,000 feet in elevation.” RTA worked closely with a unique stakeholder group, comprised of the U.S. Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, City of Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Cog Railway, and Pikes Peak America’s Mountain to define the lofty sustainability goals of the project.” Upon certification, the Pikes Peak Summit Complex will be the first fully certified Living Building Challenge project in the region. Living Building Challenge Certification is one of the most rigorous performance standards in the industry, as it requires net-zero energy, waste, and water for every project.
The nomination also recognized RTA’s design of the Pueblo Community Health Center’s new East Side Clinic in Pueblo. “RTA worked closely with Pueblo Community Health Center leadership, staff, stakeholders, and the Pueblo East Side community to create a design that will benefit the community for years to come. Throughout the course of numerous user groups and community meetings, the team identified the goal of designing the building to meet Zero Energy building standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, significantly reduce energy usage and operating costs, and set a new standard in outpatient clinic design.” The new East Side clinic will be the first Zero Energy outpatient clinic in the state of Colorado, and possibly the entire country, upon its completion and verification, according to the New Buildings Institute (NBI). The East Side Clinic is expected to open in January 2022.
Nominator Andy Baturevich, PE, president of HCDA Engineering also commented on RTA’s long-standing holistic approach to sustainability as part of the firm’s architectural practice, “RTA makes it a point to start the project conversation with their client from a sustainable perspective. Whatever level of sustainability the client chooses for a project, RTA has a minimum standard of care that goes above and beyond what the building codes require.” He continued, “RTA also voluntarily teaches classes to high school students after hours. Not only does this create interest in architectural and sustainable design in the community, it also serves to mentor young employees in sustainable practices.”