Energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and performance in all types of weather are increasingly at the top of mind for owners of building projects. The importance of the building envelope to the overall design cannot be overstated, but when done well, often goes unnoticed by occupants. LPA is fortunate to have an in-house resource for this important area of work in Mike Oldakowski. Mike has been with the firm for 20 years, and is called upon often to research and compile pertinent information for the project’s building envelope.
Simultaneously meeting building codes, energy efficiency goals, and the shared vision of the owners and architects in the design of the building envelope requires tremendous attention to detail, and a willingness to explore innovative approaches to solving problems. When LPA was designing the Glenwood Elementary School in Rutland several years back, Mike, along with project architect Bill Senecal, collaborated with CENTRIA, a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of metal wall and roof systems, to develop the new insulated metal wall system, MetalWrap. This system has since evolved to become widely-used throughout the industry, and is credited with saving time and money on a variety of LPA building projects.
In a typical project Mike researches and presents multiple options for the various components of the envelope and works with the rest of the team to make sure all the details come together. He also works closely with commissioning professionals and contractors to identify issues before construction begins, then is on-site regularly as construction progresses to ensure that the building envelope details are being executed according to approved submittals. Third party testing further ensures a healthy and energy efficient building.