Desire Street Ministries
New Orleans
Award of Merit

Owner: Desire Street Ministries
Lead Design Firm: Blitch Knevel Architects
General Contractor: DonahueFavret Contractors Inc.
Civil/Structural Engineer: Morphy, Makofsky Inc.
MEP Engineer: Lucien T. Vivien Jr. & Associates
Owner’s Representative: The Sulzer Group

Hurricane Katrina ravaged Desire Street Ministries’ original headquarters in August 2005. The ministry, a nonprofit that revitalizes impoverished urban neighborhoods, now has three new buildings that span nearly 32,000 sq ft. The project was originally projected to be nearly $800,000 over budget, but that was remedied by the contractor with nearly $1 million in value engineering.

The design combined two different building forms—pre-engineered and wood structures—into a single building, which proved to be both a structural and a waterproofing challenge. Early on, the team targeted the availability of expansion materials and determined the location of every caulk joint and piece of flashing. The facility eventually received a 20-year weather-tightness warranty.

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