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.
At an early stage of design of the new Beal Early Childhood Center for the Town of Shrewsbury, LPA’s sustainable design consultant, the Green Engineer, led a design charrette to discuss the many ways this project could incorporate energy efficiency and sustainable design features.
The public meeting was well attended with the building committee and interested community members participating in the discussion with the engineering and design team on the project. A visioning exercise at the start of the meeting encouraged everyone in the room to think about what they would like to see in a new Beal school on its opening day.
Staff at LPA volunteered their time recently, serving as docents for third grade students from the Worcester Public Schools on a tour through the City. The program, coordinated by Preservation Worcester with support from Central Massachusetts AIA and Unum Group, invites students out of the classroom to see the City’s history through the lens of its architecture and to get a hands-on lesson in civics in the City Council Chamber.
LPA architects Leo Parker and Sean Brennan worked with Preservation Worcester to train as docents for the program over the course of several weeks. They were then in the classroom for a presentation to students in preparation for the field trip before finally participating in the tour through the City.
Natalie Gabrielle came to LPA with ten years of experience on a range of project types including higher education and historic preservation projects. A licensed architect, Natalie earned her Bachelors in Architecture and Environmental Design from Ball State University and her Masters in Urban Design from Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
LPA is serving as the architect on a unique project for the Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School. A new veterinary clinic will allow the school to expand its veterinary science program, and the construction students at the school are getting hands-on experience constructing the new facility. You can read more in the recent article in the Telegram and Gazette.
We are pleased to say that 2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year for LPA. We have a number of significant projects underway, some new staff on board, and a leadership team that is ready to take on new challenges. I wanted to take this opportunity to share a little bit about the management team, since we have a new strategy in place for the coming year.
LPA was honored to be recognized this January by the Worcester Business Journal’s Best of Business Award for best architect. The Journal also featured the firm in their Best of Business issue, the full article is here: Worcester Business Journal.
In addition to the acknowledgement from the local business community, three recently-completed LPA projects received recognition at the end of 2017: the Contemplative Center at the College of the Holy Cross, the Shrewsbury Public Library, and Mountview Middle School in Holden.
LPA Associate Chris Lee is leading a Revit Users Group at LPA, augmenting the one-on-one mentoring he has been providing as the resident expert in the building information modeling software which has become the new industry standard for architectural design, MEP and structural engineering, and construction. The bi-weekly meetings provide an opportunity for staff to get a more holistic view, ask questions, share their experiences with the software, and learn from each other to maximize the potential of this collaborative tool. In addition to leading this group, Chris initiated the office’s recycling program, which has significantly reduced the amount of office waste making its way to landfills over the past four years. Chris has also recently committed to volunteering his time in his local community as a member of the Mindess School Building Committee in Ashland.
The Nelson Place Elementary School in Worcester was used as a case study in a presentation at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s BuildingEnergy Boston Conference held in early March. Paul Ormond of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources gave a presentation on energy codes, using the recently completed Nelson Place school as an example of a project that targeted net zero energy, and in so doing, is performing far better than the code requirement.
You can view the presentation here: NESEA 2018.
Preservation Massachusetts, the statewide historic preservation nonprofit organization, recently blogged about the restoration of Worcester’s Hanover Theatre. The post tells the story of the historic building and the numerous transformations it has undergone in its 100-plus year history. The Theatre has been one of Worcester’s great success stories in recent years, and LPA is proud to have be a part of that story. You can read the blog post on Preservation Massachusetts’ website.
“I was fascinated with heavy equipment and construction and seeing buildings come up out of the ground before I understood anything about it. I was the kid so taken with construction that I used to follow the asphalt paving crews,” said Mike Pagano, reflecting back on the path that led him to become a partner and then president of the biggest architectural firm in the city where he grew up.
To honor and thank Mike Pagano for all he has contributed through his work at LPA over the past four decades, an event was held at the Hanover Theatre on December 7. More than 150 people came to celebrate Mike as he retires from LPA and enters the next phase of his life and career. The Hanover Theatre was chosen as the venue, as the restoration of the historic theater, completed in 2008, is one of the most widely recognized projects in LPA’s portfolio.