SLATERPAULL attends Greenbuild 2013


Ara Massey, LEED AP BD+C
Sustainable Design Manager


SLATERPAULL recently attended the 2013 US Green Building Council’s International Conference and Expo, Greenbuild in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania .  Some notable highlights are below:

LEED Proven Providers Program: This USGBC program announced at this year’s Greenbuild helps LEED administrators differentiate quality.  The Proven Provider Program is designed to streamline the LEED project review process and to recognize and reward organizations that demonstrate excellence in their role as LEED Project Team Administrator.  Program participants noted some reviews were taking as little as 10 business days!  

LEED v4: Many sessions and discussions focused on the new LEED rating system, version 4, that was released at the conference.  While the rating system still focuses on the same credit categories as previous versions much has been retooled in order to raise the bar.  V4 focuses on performance and has re-weighted the credits to align with the new system goals: 35% of credits weighted toward climate change; 20% for human health, 15% for water resources, 10% for biodiversity, 10% for green economy, 5% for community and 5% for natural resources.  Much debate has centered around the stringent requirements of v4 but Scott Horst, head of LEED, answered by quoting Henry Ford when he said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”.  Should our reach not exceed our grasp? Yes, yes it should.  

Green Schools Investment: Rachel Gutter, Director of USGBC’s The Center for Green Schools, announced that a new Government Accountability Office study on the condition of American’s School Facilities has been commissioned starting in December 2013.   The last such study was performed in 1995 and resulted in increased funding, both federally and locally, for schools.  As Rachel noted, sometimes the biggest hurdle to progress is awareness.  

LEED Dynamic Plaque: Scott Horst, USGBC’s senior vice president for LEED, unveiled the new dynamic LEED plaque.  The plaque acts as a performance dashboard that monitors how well the LEED building performs over time.  The plaque is in beta testing now at USGBC headquarters and Scott noted that although it shows the building has slipped from the initial Platinum rating it also shows how they can regain and maintain the elite rating.  SLATERPAULL Architects is eagerly awaiting full release of the new plaque and hopes to have one in our own headquarters soon!

SLATERPAULL attends Green Schools Summit 2013

Green Schools.jpg

Ara Massey, LEED AP BD+C
Sustainable Design Manager


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: The Inside Scoop on Designing Flexible Space, Presented by Brianne Smith - RB+B Architects: This session focused on the greenest spaces being those that only get built once.  Flexibly of space was the key component noted that make great schools now that are also great schools in 50 years.  One of the lessons learned shared by Brianne was that ease of classroom layout change is critical; operable partitions are cumbersome to move (and create acoustical issues) and furniture children can move themselves boosts self-esteem in age groups that have limited ability to impact their environment. Changing atmosphere in the classroom also helps keeps students engaged.  A School Flexibility Survey conducted by RB+B of 12 Colorado Front Range schools reveled many insights such as classroom use patterns and a preference for shared small group learning spaces with large doors so the classrooms can be made larger as needed. View the full study at:

Achieving Intended Performance from School Buildings, Presented byJarrel Wenger – Engineering Economics & Jim Bagrowski – Engineering Economics: The benefits of LEED Fundamental and Enhanced as well as Retro and Ongoing Commissioning were covered in this session.  The presenters covered the history of commissioning from its inception on Navy battle ships to the 1990’s when it started become protocol for Laboratory design.  The complexity of buildings today, essentially making each one a prototype, would benefit from commissioning to ensure reliability and longevity of the buildings systems.  Just as cars have on-board diagnostics, the industry is moving towards ongoing, monitor based commissioning to address performance degradation over time. Some notable takeaways were that approximately 75% of the commissioning process is spent on controls coordination and that while the LEED Enhanced Commissioning point requires a systems manual, systems training should be added to ensure the building operators have a level of comfort with the controllability of their building.

University of Colorado Colorado Springs Academic Office Building On Track


Jennifer K. Cordes, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

The Nunn Construction/SLATERPAULL Architects Design/Build team was selected for the 40,000 GSF Academic Office Building (AOB) project in the fall of 2012, and it is currently under construction.

The design uses a combination of closed offices and open work stations, is planned to achieve LEED GOLD certification with an emphasis on energy savings, and has a goal of 40% energy savings over an ASHRAE 90.1 baseline. 

The team designed the building footprint to be 60’ wide from north to south to allow for optimum day lighting to a majority of the floor plate.

Site development includes providing additional on-site storm water detention to accommodate the greater roof area, the transition of the city bike path from Austin Bluffs up to Regent Circle, and a pedestrian connection from the AOB to Columbine Hall. Use of 3 natural storm water drainage systems with bio swales and porous detention ponds preserve and rehabilitate the existing wetlands

The interior program requirements greatly influenced the shape and configuration of the building within the small footprint allotted. Colors are inspired by nearby red rocks from Garden of the Gods with its deep shades of red and coral highlights against the crisp blue and purple sky.  Images of trees and resin panels with dried foliage bring nature indoors.

SLATERPAULL attends the Association for Preservation Technology International Conference – Part II


Jessica R. Reske, AIA, LEED AP
Architect/Historic Preservation Specialist


After having some time to explore the City, on Day 3 of the APTI Conference, I had the opportunity to visit the exhibit hall and speak with a variety of vendors and preservation specialists.  I was pleased to be able to bring some new resources back to the office to share!

The final day of the conference, I attended three great paper sessions – highlights included:

·         Structural reinforcement of underperforming members in historic buildings is an issue that frequently comes up.  We have dealt with numerous buildings experiencing some nature of failure due to members whose capacity has been compromised through damage or that were under-designed in the first place.  Case studies were presented in this session that identified various strategies for dealing with such structural members.  A case study featuring the Hannah Barker House in Boulder was presented which included permeation grouting as a strategy to establish competent bearing materials for the foundation of the building.  This session also included a discussion of how modern building codes apply to historic structures.  When evaluating the structure of a historic building, the dead loads can be defined by observation and material properties defined by observation and testing.  The most critical element of addressing a historic building’s structure is to mitigate dangerous conditions, not to meet all requirements of current building codes which are written for the construction of new buildings. (Speakers included Eyan Solomon of Robert Silman Associates, Michael Schuller of Atkinson-Noland & Associates, Daniel Bole of Hayward Baker Geotechnical Construction, Jennifer Arndt of JVA, Inc., and Mayank Patel of Columbia University)

·         Urban Constraints on Preservation Design and Construction was the next session I attended.  This session included an examination of the structural repairs at the Federal Hall National Memorial.  Due to the seismic event resulting from the collapse of the World Trade Center, a two foot void was created below the footings for the building.  Located less than three feet from a subway tunnel, repairs were difficult as access was limited and security was a concern.  Repairs were accomplished with a unique initial reinforcement strategy installed through the first floor structure down into the foundation, followed by more elaborate foundation reinforcement accomplished through work in the basement.  The close proximity of historic buildings in New York City creates complexities in addressing foundation issues.  Frequently a foundation wall of one building in actuality supports two or three buildings.  Adjusting a foundation wall by even ¼ inch can cause issues for the adjacent buildings.  A case study presented at this session shared how Alexander Hamilton’s house was moved from an urban site to a more pastoral setting (more reminiscent of its original siting) in Manhattan.  To accomplish the move, the building was raised 30 feet in the air to lift it over the decorative masonry on the adjacent building, moved, lowered onto a truck, and driven through the city to its new site.  (Speakers included Matthew Chalifoux of EYP Architecture & Engineering, Marie Ennis of Old Structures Engineering, Daniel Friedman of Old Structures Engineering, Stephen Spaulding of the National Park Service, Nancy Rankin of John G. Waite & Associates, and Jiyoon Song of Cornell University)

·         The final paper session I attended included various methodologies and tools for documentation of a variety of historic buildings and sites.  Strategies for documentation included traditional approaches as well as digital methods of data collection and documentation.  I found the documentation used in the restoration of the Trinity Church spire particularly relevant and interesting.  Documentation was accomplished using apps on an iPad.  Each stone was identified and a strategy for rehabilitation was established using PDFs of drawings.  The information on the drawings was translated into a spreadsheet which allowed the project team to collaborate on appropriate treatments for the masonry.  The spreadsheet also allowed the project team to receive up-to-date information on project progress and to maintain a running punch list as work was completed. (Speakers included Janet Hansen of the City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources, Yiannis Avramides of the World Monuments Fund, Laurie Matthews of MIG, Gretchen Hilyard of the City and County of San Francisco, Julia Ausloos of the University of Colorado – Denver, and Christy Lombardo of Integrated Conservation Resources, Inc.)

I enjoyed my time at the conference and in New York City.  Hearing others speak to a variety of preservation issues was both inspirational and motivational.  The educational value of the APTI conference is great, and I brought back much to share with fellow preservationists in Denver.  I’m already looking forward to learning more at next year’s conference in Quebec!


SLATERPAULL attends the Association for Preservation Technology International Conference – Part I


Jessica R. Reske, AIA, LEED AP
Architect/Historic Preservation Specialist


I recently had the opportunity to attend the Association for Preservation Technology International (APTI) conference in New York City.  The theme for this year’s conference was “Preserving the Metropolis.”  The conference covered a broad range of technical preservation topics and provided a great opportunity to mingle with preservationists from around the world.

I spent two days attending paper sessions, primarily focusing on material conservation, energy use in historic buildings, and the balance of preservation and development.  Amidst the paper sessions, I also had the chance to peruse the exhibit hall and explore New York City.   

The first night of the conference, I attended the Opening Welcome and Keynote Speaker session.  The Keynote Speech was given by Peg Green, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, who discussed a number of preservation issues faced by New York City.  Many of these issues are universal, shared by large cities as well as small communities.

The second day of the conference I attended three paper sessions.  Highlights from the first day of paper sessions included the following:

·         The first session I attended discussed sustainable design in terms of cultural and social sustainability.  The session looked at John Earley architecture, particulary in terms of how to rehabilitate one of his concrete structures in Chicago.  A great deal of research was completed regarding the concrete mix design to be used, particularly if it should match the original mix or be engineered to meet today’s standards.  The engineered mix would have been easier to work with for a variety of reasons, but the historic mix was used to preserve and honor historic construction techniques and materials.    (speakers included Gabriel Pardo Redondo of Old Structures Engineering, PC, and Erik Anderson, Heritage Building Conservator in Uppsala, Sweden)

·         The next session I attended addressed a current concern in the world of historic preservation: how to deal with mid-century modern buildings, which are now becoming historic as they are more than 50 years old.  These buildings are generally preserved for their usefulness, not necessarily for their beauty, as many see them as plainer buildings than their predecessors.  Preserving the cavity wall is therefore becoming an important topic, one which was discussed as part of this session.  The cavity wall is a more complex, less redundant system than a solid masonry wall.  A variety of issues including inadequate wall ties, differential movement, and wall ventilation and drainage come into play when diagnosing issues with cavity walls and subsequently repairing them.  Repair strategies for this type of construction will become increasingly important as more mid-century buildings with this type of construction are targeted for preservation, adaptive re-use, and rehabilitation.   (Speakers included Rachel Will of Wiss Janney Elstner and Associates, James Dossett of The Façade Group, and Jon Sargent of the Savannah College of Art and Design)

·         I attended a session focusing on the topic of energy efficiency in historic preservation.  Adding insulation to the interior face of solid masonry exterior bearing walls is a major consideration in the adaptive re-use of historic buildings.  In the session, the speakers presented case studies that provided appropriate details for insulating historic buildings.  One speaker shared a project in which they insulated a test area of a wall and monitored its performance over the course of two years.  Though that’s longer than most of us have the opportunity to observe the performance of a proposed insulation system, the data they collected can be applied to and used by a number of projects.  Another presenter shared a project that involved removing an existing roofing system and replacing it with a system appropriate for increasing the insulative properties of the roof on the building, supporting the construction of a roof deck, garden, and penthouse, and retaining the appearance of the exposed original wood structure and sheathing on the interior of the building.  All of the strategies presented for insulating historic buildings met the Secretary of the Interior’s Standard of reversibility.  In all scenarios, if someone wanted to return the building to its original appearance and / or construction detailing, that could be accomplished.  (Speakers included Rachel Cusimano of the University of Utah, Susan Knack-Brown of Simpson, Gumpertz, & Heger, Anne Hinsman of Walter B. Melvin Architects, and Ekaterina Tzekova of the University of Toronto)


Pret a Porter and Halloween converge at SLATERPAULL office


Blake Booth Jordan
Director of Marketing + Business Development


The SLATERPAULL Pret a Porter team, who placed 2nd in the Professional Category at this year’s Art Deco inspired show, were proud to host our office Halloween Party!!

Treats included a taco bar from Qdoba, in-house marg receipe, and growlers from Diebolt Brewery . . . what’s not to love.

And the winners are:

1st Place – Ryan A. as Burt/ Mary Poppins

2nd Place – Eric as Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty

3rd Place – Janice as Jesse Pinkman/Breaking Bad

Thanks to all the participants!


Adele Willson & Jennifer Cordes Author Article for DesignShare

SLATERPAULL principals, Adele Willson & Jennifer Cordes, have authored an article for DesignShare about technology's impact on classroom design and how to design flexible solutions for the 2.0 learning environment.

"Technology is undoubtedly having a major impact on every aspect of our lives and that includes today’s learning environments. It is shaping the way in which students learn, teachers deliver material and the way in which we design spaces for future learning opportunities." Read the entire article.

SLATERPAULL Attends RMA 2013 Conference

Clayton C. Cole, AIA, LEED AP



I recently attended the annual conference of the Rocky Mountain Association of APPA which was held in Colorado Springs and attended by over 250 Facilities Managers from Higher Education institutions from Mexico to Canada.  The diversity of this group allows SLATERPAULL to learn what large and small colleges and universities are doing to make their campuses more sustainable and operationally efficient.

My attention focused on a number of classes dedicated to energy efficiency so that we can better plan future projects to be increasingly sustainable.  As an example, a class on Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) was perfectly suited to architects developing strategies for the integration of equipment into preliminary design concepts.  VRF is only used in 4% of US-based projects but over 80% in Europe, Japan and China, but has high potential for lowering first costs and simplifying maintenance requirements.  Many colleges and universities have programs to reduce energy consumption but these programs often vary widely.  It was very informative to learn what the University of Wyoming was doing in comparison to the University of Colorado.  By listening to each institution’s methodologies, we will be better able to lead the programming process for future buildings in a direction that will lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce long-term operating costs.

Some institutions are beginning to install “Dashboards” in their campus buildings.  These TV monitors are directly connected to the building control systems and give both the occupants and maintenance personnel the knowledge they need to keep buildings operating at peak efficiency.  The success of these monitors lies in providing performance incentives to occupants, instant feed-back on the success of repairs, and the ability to set ‘best-in-class’ measures that are of key interest to campus executives.


SLATERPAULL teams with Denver Urban Gardens

Lisa Gardner, AIA, LEED AP BD+C


Delayed for a couple of weeks due to the floods, SLATERPAULL Architects descended upon Eiber Elementary School on September 26th for a day of service with Denver Urban Gardens.  DUG was created in 1985 to support Denver residents in creating sustainable, food-producing neighborhood community gardens.  Today, DUG operates well over 120 community gardens throughout Metro Denver, including 30 school-based community gardens. 

Eiber Elementary in Jeffco Public Schools is located on the west side of town near Kipling and Colfax.  Our firm broke into two teams, one in the morning and one in the afternoon to lay the infrastructure for a new community garden.  Throughout the day, our team laid gravel pathways around several plant beds on both the upper and lower gardens, shoveling and wheel barrowing two full truckloads of road base.  We dug post holes, installed new wood fence posts, weeded and tilled all of the plant beds.  After a full day of work, we had created the foundation for a new community and school garden to be planted in the spring.

Thank you to DUG for coordinating and leading the event.  If you are interested in learning more about DUG, or how you can volunteer to help create a new garden, visit their website at   

CONSTRUCT 2013 - CSI National Conference Day 3 & 4


Matthew Porta, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Day 3 of the 2013 National CSI Conference kicked off early on Thursday morning with an education session, followed by a good block of time to visit the Exhibition Hall, closing with an education session.  Friday, Day 4, marked the conclusion of the conference.  There was one final educational session in the morning followed by a trip to the airport and a flight home.  I want to thank the CSI staff and CSI Nashville for another great conference.  I look forward to seeing everyone next year in Baltimore.  

Read on for an executive summary of the sessions I attended.

Session 8:  Best Practices for Building Enclosures [BEBP], W. Blake Talbott, NCARB, CSI, ASTM, NIBS, BETEC

  • The architect is responsible for product installation process or sequence and the contractor is responsible for means and methods.
  • BEBP No. 1 – Verify Design with building science and technology.
  • BEBP No. 2 – Implement a rigid QA/QC process.
  • BEBP No. 3 – Interface with Civil and Landscaping Consultants
  • BEBP No. 4 – Keep in Simple
  • BEBP No. 5 – Perfect Wall, Roof and Slab Concept -
  • BEBP No.6 – One weather resistant barrier system:  Air, Moisture, and Vapor
  • BEBP No. 7 – One continuous thermal barrier
  • BEBP No. 8 – Belt and Suspenders
  • BEBP No. 9 - Missed it, but I am sure it was good.
  • BEBP No. 10 – Minimize Exposed Sealants
  • BEBP No. 11 – Minimize Stack Effect

Session 9: Skin and Bones:  Breaking Façade Design Down to its Essence - Chris O’Hara – Studio NYL

I want to compliment Chris for giving one of the best presentations of the conference.  He combined great stories, with great images of inspiring projects, with clear details on how it all came together. 

  • Beyond unitized systems are mega panels systems.  Megapanels are made off site, taken off the truck, and installed to the super structure.
  • Using glass handrail parts from a company like C.L. Lawrence allows for glass to span further by changing the bending moment curve.
  • SSG – Structural Silicone Glazing – Silicone only wants to bond to two surfaces.  Surfaces should be orthogonal to each other.  
  • Eliminating thermal bridges through the use of SSG provides opportunities for gains in the U-value of the window system.

Session 10:  Accessibility thru Universal Design, Ramesh Gulatee, Architect - LifeCare Design Studio

  • ADA addresses issued faced by 16% of Americans.
  • UD – universal design applies to the broadest spectrum possible, irrespective of age and abilities.
  • The iphone with Siri now allows visually impaired people utilize the full capabilities of portable computing… Universal Design.
  • The will hardly be an American that won’t have accessibility issues at some point in their lifetime.  Anyone can break a leg…

See you next year in Baltimore. 


CONSTRUCT 2013 - CSI National Conference - Day 2


Matthew Porta, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Day 2 of the 2013 National CSI Conference kicked off early on Wednesday morning with an education session, followed by the General Session and Keynote Speaker, the opening of the Exhibition Hall, closing with a final education session.  Again, another great day of education and building relationships.  Here is an executive summary of my day.  As always, if you want to follow to live on Twitter, follow #CONSTRUCT.

Session 5:  Contracting for Sustainable Design:  An Overview of the AIA Sustainable Design Documents - Frederick Butters, FAIA


  • First, I want to thank Frederick for a very engaging and entertaining presentation first thing in the morning.
  • The AIA B101 - 2007 SP is the Owner/Architect contract for Sustainable Projects 
  • It is very similar to the standard contract, however has a few key changes in language that have huge implications.
  • Under the Sustainability Documents, the Sustainability Services are treated as Basic Services, and no additional compensation is due to the Architect of completing them.
  • Risk is negotiating a fee before the scope of design services are known.
  • There is a lot of requirements within the contract that architect is responsible for, but are not easy to quantify, i.e. "improving employee productivity."
  • The push to “sustainable deisgn” is merely a return to “good design”.
  • It was never acceptable for an Architect to turn his or her back on the energy impacts or life cycle costs of his or her projects.


    General Session and Keynote Address

    Like last year, the General Session kicked off with a wonderful performance by a local artist.  This year we all got the pleasure of hearing and learning how to yodel from Taylor Ware.

    The keynote was wonderfully engaging, interesting and entertaining.  Ira Blumenthal reminded us that Times are a Changin.   

    • Change isn’t good.  Change isn’t bad.  Change just is.
    • Change is inevitable.  Growth is optional.
    • Paradigm Paralysis or Paradigm Pioneering
    • Most people in organizations change because they’re forced to change.  Why must we always buy a smoke detector after a fire?
    • God did not invent the drive through, someone else did.  What is your next big idea?
    • Life begins outside your comfort zone.

    Session 6:  Managing Up:  How to Develop an Effective Relationship Between Employee and Boss - Norb Slowikowski

    • Employees can control situations, but cannot control your boss.
    • Establish credibility; let your boss know what your strengths are.
    • Develop positive relationships with everyone you work with.
    • When you start to work with someone, establish clear expectations.
    • How to be effective?  Always do the right thing.  If you don’t know what the right thing is, ask.
    • How to be efficient?  Do it right the first time, no rework. 
    • Conflict is going to happen, don’t run away from it, deal with it.

    Session 7:  Strategies for Repairing Failed Floor Finishes - Emily Hopps, P.E. and Peter Nelson, P.E.,  both with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.  


    • Reasons for Increase in Flooring Failures:

      • Changes of materials 
      • Blended cement (fly ash) 
      • Normal Weight vs Lightweight Concrete
      • Fast Track Construction



    • What can we do?

      • Change concrete mix design.
      • Use a Vapor Retarder immediately below the concrete slab, heavy duty 15 mil product.
      • Avoid blotter layers.  
      • Consider the concrete curing method.   Recommend using moisture-retaining covers.



    Looking forward to tomorrow. 


    CONSTRUCT 2013 - CSI National Conference - Day 1


    Matthew Porta, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

    The 2013 National CSI Conference kicked off on Tuesday, September 24th at the brand new Music City Center in Nashville.  Day One had a full slate of educational sessions.  All the sessions I attended were well done and full of great information.  Here is an executive summary of my day.  If you want to follow to live on Twitter, follow #CONSTRUCT.

    Session 1:  Assurance and Control;  Specifying the Quality Loop - John Guill  - @SpecmonkeyNorth

    • Quality Assurance is the work we do in design, with our drawings and specificaitons to define quality during construction.
    • Quality Control is the procedures of evaluating and verifing quality during fabrication and construction. 
    • Quality Assurance provides advance opportunities to assure quality will be provided.
    •  Concurrent Quality Process:  The “Quality Loop” - Quality Control for each step in the construction process serves as quality assurance for the next step.
    • Quality Assurance Procedures are a Team Effort.  Procedures are not the sole responsibility of any single participant, but are a continuing and concurrent series of acts and events by all participants directed toward the goal of achieving project quality.

    Session 2:  Specifications:  Quality Control and Coordination - Michael D. Chambers

    • What specifications are:  Products, processes, and procedures.
    • What specifications are not:  Scope of work descriptions, Bid organization.
    • Drawings show quantities, location, layout, relationships and dimensions .
    • Specifications control procedures:  Stay in control of the review and approval processes that affect the design concept .
    • It is always about SOLUTIONS ... NEVER about products.
    •  Questions are the most effective QA/QC tool.  We must ask more & better questions!  We are assuming too much.

    Session 3:  Managing Up:  How to Develop an Effective Relationship Between Employee and Boss - Norb Slowikowski

    • Employees can control situations, but cannot control your boss.
    • Establish credibility; let your boss know what your strengths are.
    • Develop positive relationships with everyone you work with.
    • When you start to work with someone, establish clear expectations.
    • How to be effective?  Always do the right thing.  If you don’t know what the right thing is, ask.
    • How to be efficient?  Do it right the first time, no rework. 
    • Conflict is going to happen, don’t run away from it, deal with it.

    Session 4:  The Cloud and Connected BIM Process - Karl Heitman, Jenny Davis and Josh Myers

    • BIM leveraged over cloud based computing is going to a technical paradigm shift in how buildings are designed and constructed.
    • Data is not geographically constrained and is available real time.
    • The future is here, it just isn’t what we thought it would be. 
    • Construction Specifiers Enter Data Once.  Leverage web services to use the data during the project Lifecycle.   
    • Augmented Reality <AR> will change how design is presented and how construction is coordinated. 

    Full day of sessions with more great things to come. 

    CSU Engineering II facility opens to the public


    Ragan Ferrara, LEED AP

    On September 12, a group from the SLATERPAULL office attended the ribbon cutting for the new Suzanne and Walter Scott, Jr. Bioengineering Building on the CSU campus. The event was a large success and even the rain couldn’t stop over one hundred people from attending.  

    Held in the main atrium at the base of the grand stairs, the event began with opening remarks from the Dean of the College of Engineering.  He was followed by the President of the University. Next was something different than any event I have attended.  An alum, who had been a part of the planning process, spoke about his experience and how great it was to see the facility completed.  A current student then spoke about how she was looking forward to spending her remaining time here.  But the last speaker really stole the show.  A “future” student, about the age of 8, came up, stood behind the podium on a milk crate, and wowed the audience.  He had won a competition about the effects of concussions on the brain from playing soccer.  His research even got the attention of the Colorado Rapids and has been published on their website.  He spoke for at least 5 minutes, never looking at cue cards.  He was funny and intelligent and looking forward to attending CSU for further scientific research. 

    A reception and tours of the building followed the speeches.

    One thing that several of us pointed out during the ceremony was that there were not many students there.  We thought it was a bit strange considering it was late afternoon.  However, once we began walking around the building, we quickly realized why.  They were already busy at work in the new labs.  It was great to see our hard work already in use.



    Big Sandy Ribbon Cutting


    Ragan Ferrara, LEED AP

    The Big Sandy School District in Simla, CO held its Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on August 6 for the new K-12 school.  Over 300 people attended, including staff, students, and community members.  The evening started off with an informal Open House where people could walk around the new facility and see what was being built for the previous 12 months.  Although some finishing touches were still being taken care of by Nunn Construction, the attendees were able to experience the great spaces.  The Open House was followed by the Ribbon Cutting ceremony where Board members, students, and the District Superintendent all spoke.

    As a whole, the project was a great success.  The district was replacing a building that was first built in the 1960’s with subsequent additions each decade.  This created a mismatch of architectural styles and a very inefficient layout.  The mechanical and electrical systems were outdated, and the building was really showing its wear.  The new facility is located on top a hill to several blocks to the west of the existing school.  It can be seen from just about everywhere in Simla and acts as a community gathering place. 

    During the Open House, there was a certain energy, an excitement, that could be felt.  These events are always a great experience for us as the designers.  But this one was different for me.  Being a town of around 600 people, this project took center focus for Simla.  During construction, we were continually being asked about the progress while sitting in a diner eating lunch.  It was the buzz of the town for the past two years, even before construction started.  This buzz, this energy, carried over to the culmination which was this evening.  It was a proud moment for a community that vested so much time in it.  And it was a proud moment for me as a design professional.         

    Some of the building highlights:

    83,400 square feet, single story building

    Pending LEED Gold certification

    2 Administration areas: one for the school and one for the district

    3 separate but cohesive classroom wings for elementary, middle school, and high school

    2 Gymnasiums with the Main Gym able to seat 1,600 people

    A stage that opens to both the Cafeteria and the Auxiliary Gymnasium for function flexibility

    A wood shop that Bob Villa would be proud of, that builds for the community

    Living Preservation


    Jessica R. Reske, AIA, LEED AP
    Architect/Historic Preservation Specialist

    Living Preservation

    Adaptive reuse is a common strategy for preserving historic buildings.  This strategy allows building owners to adapt their building to suit changing needs, frequently, allowing the building to serve its community for many generations. 

    The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, located in the original El Paso County Courthouse, is an excellent example of an adaptively re-used building.  Following threat of demolition, the building was acquired by the City of Colorado Springs in 1973.  The Pioneers Museum opened in the building in 1979.  The building is not only home to the Museum, but also the Museum’s largest artifact.  SLATERPAULL has been working with the City to preserve this valuable artifact since 2008.

    The Flagler Municipal Building, located in Flagler, Colorado is another excellent example of adaptive re-use of a historic building.  Originally constructed in 1908 as a hotel to accommodate homesteaders and cowboys in the area, the building was purchased by Dr. William McBride in 1937 and adapted for use as a hospital.  Serving the area as a hospital through the Flagler Air Show Disaster of 1951, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990 for its association with Dr. McBride and its importance in the areas of health and medicine in Eastern Colorado.  The building currently serves as home to the Flagler Town offices, library, and museum.  

    Emerson School, located in Denver, Colorado was recently adapted for use as offices for the Mountains and Plains Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Colorado Preservation, Inc., and Historic Denver.  Originally constructed in 1885, the building served as a Denver Public School building for 94 years.  Following its use as a school, it was renovated to meet a variety of needs including offices for non-profit organizations and space for a theatre company. 

    Our own office is a prime example of an adaptive reuse project.  Originally constructed in 1922 as an Engine House for the Denver Fire Department, the building was converted to our corporate office in 2010.  The building embodies SLATERPAULL’s areas of expertise, including technical preservation work, energy efficient and sustainable design, and recognition of the importance of historic buildings.


    Preserving Community Connections


    Jessica R. Reske, AIA, LEED AP
    Architect/Historic Preservation Specialist

    Preserving Community Connections: Depots Across Colorado

    Railroads played a significant role in the development of many Colorado communities.  Across the state, depots sprang up as railroads were extended to developing areas.  Often, the railroad served as a link between small communities, making industries such as mining and agriculture viable even in remote locations. 

    We have had the pleasure of working on a number of historic depots across the state in the last couple of years including the Crested Butte Depot, the Broomfield Depot, the Sterling Depot, and the Denver and Rio Grande Western Depot in Grand Junction.  No longer active depots, each of these buildings serves as a reminder of the past, preserving local community connections with their heritage.


    Slaterpaull competes in the Colfax Marathon Relay

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    On Sunday, May 16th SLATERPAULL employees participated in the Colfax Marathon Relay.  With amazing views of the Rocky Mountains, the Colfax Marathon course is the ultimate urban tour of Denver.  The course features a stadium run-through at Sports Authority Field at Mile High and a start and finish in City Park. The team experienced the best of Colfax Avenue, plus 7 miles of water - Cherry Creek, Sloans Lake - funky neighborhoods, and Denver’s Fire Station #1.  The SLATERPAULL Team finished the 26.2 miles in 4 hours and 29 minutes.  Great job team “SLATERPAULL Homeboys”!

    Historic Preservation Month Begins


    Jessica R. Reske, AIA, LEED AP
    Architect/Historic Preservation Specialist

    Historic Preservation Month

    National Historic Preservation Month was established in 1973 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.   Throughout Historic Preservation Month, historic sites are celebrated throughout the nation, fostering community pride and showcasing community heritage.  Each May, SLATERPAULL joins in celebrating Historic Preservation month with participation in local community events, our annual preservation postcards, and involvement in preservation projects statewide.  We hope you will join us in celebrating National Historic Preservation month!

    Preserving Community Connections: Roots of Colorado

    Colorado’s rich history and diverse heritage are evident in the historic buildings throughout the state.  Sites such as Fort Lyon tell the settlement history of the state, being located along the Santa Fe Trail.  Used initially as a trading post, then as an Army fort, the fort was later converted by the Navy to a tuberculosis sanitarium.  The Navy turned the property over to the Veteran’s Administration in 1922. The VA transferred the property to the Colorado Department of Corrections in 2001.  Today, the historic buildings at Fort Lyon are vacant, awaiting a reuse strategy.

    Montoya Ranch, located near Walsenburg, Colorado also speaks to the early history of the state.  What started as an adobe below-grade structure later became the local post office and then grocery store.  Currently privately owned, the building complex requires extensive rehabilitation before it can be fully utilized. 

    Closer to home, Semper Farm in Westminster, Colorado stands amid modern residential developments as a testament to the area’s agricultural history.  The farm house was constructed circa 1882 by Charles and Julia Semper, early settlers of the area, and served as a community center, housing functions such as the local post office and grocery store.  The property is used by community gardeners taking advantage of the plots available on site and the City of Westminster is planning to complete the interior rehabilitation of the farmhouse for future reuse.


    SLATERPAULL attends USGBC Colorado’s annual Rocky Mountain Green building conference


    Ara Massey, LEED AP BD+C
    Sustainable Design Manager

    Designing with Daylight Walking Tour, presented by Cameron Scripture, LEED AP BD+C, Viracon and Jill Dalglish, Dalglish Daylighting, LLC:  This session covered the fundamentals of daylighting strategies from light sources to the lighting efficacy of daylight vs. electric light.  4 buildings were toured: 1800 Larimer, 1900 16th Street, the DaVita Headquarters and the Metro State Student Success Building.  The successful ambient light resulting from use of Low-E Insulating Silk-screened glass (40% subdued grey color #2) in the lobby of 1900 16th Street was impressive as compared to the lobby of the DaVita Headquarters where although the lobby is beautifully daylit, they are having to install blinds to mitigate glare.  Also interesting was the perspective of looking out from within 1800 Larimer as I have always wondered how the patchwork glazing looks from the building occupant’s perspective.

    LEED Daylight Credit Innovations, presented by Daniel Glaser, LEED AP BD+C, Light Foundry: Some of the notable proposed changes to the LEED v4 Daylighting credit that Daniel covered are revisions to the daylight modeling parameters: under v2009 a clear sky and open blinds were assumed vs. the variable sky conditions and blinds closed at openings with direct sunlight to be used when modeling under v4.  LEED v4 Daylighting credit also emphasizes Spatial Daylight Autonomy and Annual Sunlight Exposure scores. 

    Integrated Design: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, presented by Don Saal, Architectural Energy Corporation, Tasha Halevi, Architectural Energy Corporation and Dana Villeneuve, Architectural Energy Corporation:  The biggest takeaway from this session on lessons learned during Integrated Project Delivery was based on “Ego Management”.  One successful charette exercise noted was to brainstorm about the stereotypes of each of the IPD team members thus acknowledging the stereotypes exist in the hopes of moving past them as a team.  Another exercise was to have the team line up by where they fall on the spectrum of a left brain/right brain assessment so that team members can better understand how to communicate with one another.