Welcome to the Capitol Preservation Board Blog on the Executive Office Building.

With the Utah State Capitol Base Isolation and Renovation complete the Board has requested the Executive Director to move forward with studying phase five of the master plan – The Executive Office Building.

This blog will provide current information on the study as it progresses.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Executive Office Building Study – Update 4

The facilities assessment of the State Office Building is drawing to a close. The consultants completed the on-site review and interviews. Documentation was completed on the meetings and site visits discussing the history of the structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing of the building, and the communication system. Each consultant is currently completing their recommendations related to the reuse of the existing building (option one).

Paul D. Brown, AIA has been studying option two (add to the State Office Building) and three (remove the existing building and build a new structure). These studies will provide information to the Board members and members of the team who will hold a workshop on May 26, 27 and 28, 2009 to review the options and provide direction to the executive director and consultants.

During April, the executive director and consultants will speak with many executive branch leaders around the Salt Lake Valley to understand their interaction with agencies on Capitol Hill. Interviews will also be conducted with occupants of the State Office Building to determine their needs. This information will help determine the programming and space planning of the State Office Building and will be presented to the Board. This information will also be presented during the workshop in May.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Executive Office Building Study – Update 3

The executive director received more specific information regarding the existing condition of the State Office Building. Along with this new information the consultants have provided recommendations as to how to proceed if the existing building is to remain and to be restored.

The information provided for the mechanical and electrical was consistent with the preliminary information as was stated in update - 1.

Structurally the building had received several seismic upgrades which have strengthened the building over that which was initially believed. The strengthening has taken place in the east west direction which was already the strongest direction and has not added much to the north south where the greatest concern is. There are some mitigation techniques that can be applied to the structural framework that can save the building, but the cost is questionable due to its expense.

The communication system that is atop of the State Office Building has been of great concern. With the evaluation complete the report from the consultant has identified several issues which is most critical to the state and it continued operational needs. These include:
· Communication systems must be kept in service during any renovation.
· Fiber is currently in place and may be used to relocate traffic from the microwaves during the renovation is permission for use can be obtained?
· There may be need for new locations, alternative sites and pathways during the renovation or remodeling for all needs. Costs will be an issue.
· Cellular telephone would be interrupted during the restoration.
· Before any work can begin multiple agencies will need to be coordinated with to make sure their needs are not overlooked.

Additionally the project definition consultant and the executive director discussed the May 26, 27 and 28 workshop. It is anticipated that during the workshop participants will be asked during the first day to assimilate the data gathered to date. They will also review the guidelines and imperatives for new buildings on Capitol Hill. They will then discuss which guideline and which imperative is critical to maintain as we move forward with the development of guidelines for existing or remodeled buildings on Capitol Hill.

Day two and three the workshop will focus upon the conceptual direction the project may go. Options will be discussed and participants raise issues and questions. The goals of the workshop will be to:
· Provide clear direction on options for the Board to review
· Determine facility fitness and what should be placed on the site.
· Identify the important elements that they care the most about to be incorporated into the options.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Executive Office Building Study – Update 2

With the preliminary information from the facilities assessment available, the consultant and the executive director turned their attention to investigation of options for the study to focus upon. The options which the consultant has been asked to investigate are:
1. Restore the existing State Office Building to the 1959 design
2. Retain the building structure (with modifications) and re-skin the building with a more compatible design for Capitol Hill and its master plan.
3. Retain the building structure (with modifications) add on to the building to increase square footage by adding space to the north, south or both.
4. Remove the existing building and design a new structure that is compatible with Capitol Hill and it master plan.

There are several constraints that the consultants and the executive director will have to address in the study and analysis of each option these include:
1. Displacement of occupants of the existing State Office Building.
2. Parking on Capitol Hill.
3. The State of Utah is currently in need of some 150,000 GSF of space in Salt Lake Valley.
4. Communication equipment located on top of the State Office Building.
5. Data Processing Center located behind the State Office Building.
6. Accessibility to the facilities during construction.
7. Height relationships.
8. Energy Efficiency and environmental sustainability.
9. Functional needs on Capitol Hill.
10. Agency needs on Capitol Hill and off.

The executive director and consultant have identified May 26, 27 and 28 of 2009 as a workshop where members of the Board, employee and community member will be invited to participate and share their thoughts and ideas for the Executive Office Building.

Executive Office Building Study – Update 1

Existing Building Assessment – The consultant team of Structural, Mechanical and Electrical engineers have been reviewing the exiting State Office Building documents and existing conditions. Preliminary reports indicated that:
· Structural System is inadequate for the seismic conditions of the site and will not survive the predicted seismic event for Capitol Hill. This is due largely to the minimal size of columns and other structural elements in the building.
· Mechanical Systems are old and antiquated. Many of which have been held together with good maintenance procedures but have outlived their useful life by many years. Systems are now in a state of progressive failure and are predicted to become more troublesome with each passing year.
· Electrical and Data systems have been overlaid many times in the 50 years the building has been in service. While wire management has been employed there is still a variety of problems and incompatibilities that exist within the systems.
· Architecturally the building space plan is inefficient due to it size and shape reducing the office area to long single loaded office environments or large open spaces suits that are both over crowed and underutilized.

A complete report will be published at the conclusion of the assessment phase of the work.

Selection of Project Definition Consultant

On January 8, 2009 Members of the Capitol Preservation Board along with Executive Director interviewed firms for the position of “Project Definition Consultant”. PDBA (Paul D. Brown Architects) was selected by the selection committee.