Best Government/Public Building: Larimer County Administration Building, Loveland Campus
Larimer County Administration Building, Loveland Campus
Owner: Larimer County
Lead Design Firm: The Architects’ Studio
General Contractor: Haselden Construction
Structural Engineer: Larsen Structural Design
Civil Engineer: AVI Professional Corp.
MEP Engineer: Professional Engineering Consultants
Subcontractors: Commercial Coatings; Front Range Fire Protection Inc.; Gerrard Excavating Inc.; Kuck Mechanical Contractors LLC; LA Woodworks Inc.; Lind’s Plumbing & Heating Inc.; Malm Electrical Contractors LLC; Select Roofing Contractors LLC
The two-story Larimer County Administration Building in Loveland provides county residents with several critical resources, including the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, Veterans Administration, Dept. of Motor Vehicles, County Clerk, Larimer County Workforce Center and Larimer County Dept. of Health and Environment. The 8.8-acre site offers ample parking and room for expansion.
Craftsmanship is on display throughout the building—from the wood wall in the entry foyer to the terrazzo floors and the grand staircase that leads to a glass railing along the second floor. Local artists created the sculptures and paintings that adorn the walls and exterior landscape of the building.
The project team incorporated several design elements to highlight the history of the area. Outside, the plaza is shaped like the geographical outline of Larimer County, and tree wells display the names and incorporation dates of all eight municipalities in the county. Concrete walkways depict the Poudre and Big Thompson rivers, and the wingwalls are constructed of stone from the 1950s courthouse, thus tying together past and present. Inside the building, a wall features photos of Larimer County from the early 1900s.
The biggest challenge on the project was its unusual funding model. Unlike many public projects, the building was fully funded, incurring no debt, thanks to two Dept. of Local Affairs grants. They required that all pricing be divided into two categories: core and shell and interior improvements. This might not have been a significant matter had the contracts been set up that way from the beginning, but contracts for the GC and all subcontractors were already in place when the DOLA grants were awarded. As a result, the general contractor and every subcontractor had to separate already established billing systems from new ones to meet the needs of the client, writing two contracts and two pay applications each month, essentially doubling the number of accounting tasks.
The project was completed on time and several hundred thousand dollars under budget, with nearly 100% of the contingency returned to the owner.