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, July 23, 2009

Executive Office Building Study – Update 7

Over the last two months, since the completion of the workshop as noted previously, the architect, project manager and the executive director have been working to resolve outstanding issues and to put a framework in place for the future. The following outlines the approach that will be taken as we work towards the completion of the Capitol Master Plan 2010 Update scheduled for December of this year.

The State of Utah has adopted LEED 3.0 Silver or better as it standard for energy efficiency for all new buildings. In compliance with this directive from the State Building Board the study team has analyzed the proposed new 4 story Executive Office Building, as identified in the Workshop, and found that it easily meets or exceeds the requirements of this third party rating system. The master plan update will include an analysis of the other options which will include; 1) Analysis of the existing building and what deficiency would need to be improved in order to upgrade to LEED 3.0 Silver. 2) Review and recommendation for a restoration of the existing building. 3) Analysis of the option exploring an addition to the existing building. All of the Analysis will be include in the Master Plan in order to give future planers the best information available today.

With the understanding gained from the workshop and the economy in the condition it is, it is likely that the Executive Office Building will not proceed forward for at least 5 to 10 years. This poses a major question of how dose the Board keep the existing State Office Building functional while the majority of the systems are approaching failure. In order to address this concern the team lead by the executive director has been working with DFCM’s energy group to study the possibly of employing the capabilities of an ESCO (Energy Service Company) who will help with funding, design and construction. They will also provide a guarantee that the project will hit the projected energy saving. This is critical since it is the savings that are used to pay back the funding commitments. The preliminary analysis shows over 25 different project opportunities. Of those several have a payback cycle of 10 years or less. The plan would be to move forward with the one’s that have a payback which is less than or equal to the length of time estimated before the building is demolished, or approximately 10 years. The master plan will then incorporate this as one of the phases of work identified.

In addition to the projects that will improve the energy efficiency of the State office building there are projects that must be completed to keep the building functional. This will continue as they have in the past with funding from DFCM Improvement funds.

Several other things were identified during the Workshop that needs to be accomplished prior to the demolition of the State Office Building this would include the extension and completion of the fiber loop from the capitol to Rampton and the University of Utah. This extension will allow the removal of the antenna and the communication dishes on top of the State Office Building.

The Architect will develop a complete application set of documents that will be a 3d model for the proposed new structure which will be built during the construction phase of the master plan. This will also include the encapsulation of the Data Processing Center as part of the terrace that is north of the new executive office building. The building shall contain a 300 seat auditorium work space (similar to an airport executive lounge) for the executive staff that is required to be on Capitol Hill during the session. This will be their office space during the session and interim days on the hill. Additionally the building should provide for flex space that can be used by the Governor to move programs on and off Capitol Hill as needed to accomplish the administrations goals. Beyond this the building will be designed as a spec office building, with open floor plates. At the time of design programming will be incorporated to determine the occupants and their needs and will be built out as tenant finish space for the specific office needs. Beyond the building to the east will be a new memorial that will be built at the north end of the site with a small reflecting pool.

The final phase of the Executive office building master plan will be the decision to remove from the hill the Data Processing Center. There is at this time no time estimate as to when or if this decision will be made. It is clear that moving the center will be very expensive and time consuming. However it is important to note that the current location is not the most efficient. There are much better sites that can be found throughout the state that would offer a better over all solution to the needs of DTS. Once the Data Processing Center is moved then the cooling towers would be incorporated into the larger pool element behind the executive office building and the completion of the master plan would be achieved.

The architect is also currently working on a physical model that will be on display in the public lobby of the capitol directly across from the main entry to the gift store. This model will show how the site will look with the completion of the north building and at the completion of the master plan. The model should be complete and ready for installation prior to the end of the 2009.