Haselden Construction and architect RNL put almost everything on the line for the Energy Dept.’s Research Support Facility in Golden, Colo. The firm-fixed-price contract, at $64 million, was risky, says Byron Haselden, even after terms were sweetened to include a $2-million incentive award fee and the contract adjusted so the team did not have to commit to a price in its proposal.

Macey, Haselden and Andary (from left) are using the federal project to get more ultra-green work.
Photo: Courtesy of Stantec
Macey, Haselden and Andary (from left) are using the federal project to get more ultra-green work.
John Andary

“It was an extraordinary push,” says Rich Vonluhrte, RNL’s president. “We had to use immense creativity.”

Now that the project is such a success and they have in their respective portfolios one of the world’s most energy-efficient buildings, the design-build team members are on a roll. The team—which includes sustainability and mechanical-electrical consultant Stantec—is building the facility’s $39-million expansion and starting on the lab’s net-zero energy-use parking garage.

John Andary, a Stantec principal, says he gets a call almost every week about a net-zero-energy job. “That would not be happening if it weren’t for the [Golden job],” he says. “It’s the most amazing project I have ever worked on because it is such a game changer.”

Thanks to the Colorado job, Stantec and RNL already have won another net-zero-energy job: The two firms are gearing up to work on a 51-acre campus for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

Haselden isn’t sitting still, either. The company recently launched a division to chase sustainable building projects.

Architect Philip Macey, who moved to Haselden from RNL during the Golden job, heads the group. He is especially targeting retrofits.

“The work was a door opener,” says Vonluhrte. “It is allowing us to bring sustainability to every project we do.”