Government/Public Building: Best Project: South Summit County Services Building
South Summit County Services Building
Owner: Summit County
Lead Design Firm: Method Studio Inc.
General Contractor: Spindler Construction
Structural Engineer: BHB Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: Forsgren Associates Inc.
MEP Engineer: Van Boerum & Frank Associates Inc.
Electrical Engineer: BNA Consulting
The goals for this $4.8-million project were to provide county residents with a broader variety of services. In addition to a new public library, senior center and community meeting areas, the building houses space for the department of motor vehicles and a health clinic that has services for women, infants and children and behavioral health—all in one central facility.
The project also is part of a plan to connect the building to a future municipal square and park that will integrate the new center with a search-and-rescue building.
The team faced a significant challenge in designing a building that could house so many diverse functions and that would be well organized, efficient, easy to navigate and accessible for a broad variety of patrons. Representatives from every county service department were engaged in design meetings and worked closely with county leaders, the architect and engineers to develop the best solutions for their service needs.
The clustering of primary services along either side of a central lobby at street level provides a strong visual connection that makes departments easy to find, navigate and use.
Because of their diversity, some spaces in the building are occupied at unusual operating hours when others are closed and need to be secured. The team overcame these public-circulation issues by designing and installing an egress system with large barn doors. This strategy created big, open spaces without compromising the security and isolation of closed-off areas.
Although some of the elements pushed the limits of the budget, the team identified many ways to save money. General contractor Spindler Construction reduced costs by self-performing work on some elements, including installation of the wood ceilings, the custom barn doors and the fireplace, which helped with trade carpentry costs.
Sustainable features include LED lighting, a solar photovoltaic array, high-efficiency HVAC equipment and daylight harvesting. Site planning created efficient circulation for search-and-rescue vehicles without compromising public access to a future-planned park and other outdoor spaces in the area.