2008 C.A.S.H./AIA California Council Award of Honor
Jubany-NAC Architecture received an Award of Honor in the Project-in-Design category for Gratts Primary Center and Early Education Center, a Los Angeles Unified School District project located near downtown Los Angeles. The Leroy F. Greene Design & Planning Awards are presented each year by the American Institute of Architects California Council and the California Coalition for Adequate School Housing (C.A.S.H.) to recognize exceptional architectural and program implementation in the design of public school facilities.
Gratts Primary Center and Early Education Center was honored for the level of creativity in the design, which addressed a difficult site that is small and steeply sloped. The design features a three-story facility nestled into the slope, with ground-level access (and playgrounds) from each of the three levels. The design makes innovative use of multiple levels to create varied play spaces, including a protected play area on the roof of the parking structure for the kindergarten students and play space atop the lunch shelter.
The project was also recognized for its extraordinary collaboration between the school district and local community non-profits, including the Boys and Girls Club, A Community of Friends, and New Schools/Better Neighborhoods.
What the jury said: "This is a really beautiful project on a tight, steeply sloping urban site that extensively engaged stakeholders from community advocacy, to the council district, to the educational community, to the neighbors. This project transformed this site into an amazing series of learning spaces for the students. Planners created a facility that is simple, playful, fun and really inviting. It's a wonderful sustainable urban design that creates a more visible public space for the students and for the educators."
NAC Architecture Named One of the "Top 25 Best Architecture Firms to Work For"
Staff enthusiasm has resulted in NAC Architecture being named one of the "Top 25 Best Architecture Firms to Work For" in the nation. Better than making the prestigious "Top 25" list is the knowledge that it was our staff who placed us there. As part of the survey conducted by ZweigWhite, they were asked to share their experience with NAC Architecture. Our firm was selected based on our commitment to provide a positive work environment and challenging and interesting design opportunities for our staff.
KaLee Paul-Quanz Joins NAC Architecture as Human Resources Director
NAC Architecture has expanded its management team by naming KaLee Paul-Quanz to the role of Human Resources Director. She is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) and is a 2007-2008 Board Member of the Inland Northwest Society for Human Resource Management. She is also a member of the American Society for Training & Development. Paul-Quanz fills a newly created position that encompasses all human resources functions, including employee recruitment and placement, benefits and compensation, and training and development. "KaLee brings a wealth of experience and extensive human resources knowledge to NAC Architecture," explains Bruce E. Blackmer, FAIA, president and CEO. "She will play an instrumental role in helping ensure we recruit and maintain a staff whose skills and expertise continue to meet the needs of our clients, particularly as we continue to grow geographically and in the market sectors we serve." Paul-Quanz most recently held human resource positions at Inland Northwest Bank and Numerica Credit Union. She is actively involved with the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, American Diabetes Association and Junior Achievement in the Spokane Public Schools.
NAC Architecture Becomes ENERGY STAR© Partner
As a designated ENERGY STAR© Partner firm, NAC Architecture is committed to helping clients use ENERGY STAR's National Energy Performance Rating system and on-line Target Finder and Portfolio Manager to: think strategically about overall energy performance issues; manage and improve the energy performance of their facilities; evaluate energy performance targets and energy consumption; specify an energy performance goal in contract documents, enabling clients to compare energy consumption to energy design intent. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy created to help individuals and businesses save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient buildings, products and practices.
Trish Buzan Promoted to Technology Director
Trish Buzan, Associate AIA, has been named Technology Director of NAC Architecture. The new position was created to establish a single leader and manager of day-to-day technology issues within the firm. "Effective use of cutting-edge technology in advancing client objectives has deep roots at NAC Architecture. Raising the bar even higher in that commitment, we have now charged a single leader with directing this critical element of our culture," explains Bruce E. Blackmer, FAIA, President and Chief Executive Officer. Buzan joined NAC Architecture in 1990 as a CADD drafter. She later worked toward firm-wide CADD standards, and development and implementation of AutoCAD Architecture, becoming the firm's CADD Manager. Buzan has been developing and leading the firm's CADD training sessions since 2001, and enhancing and maintaining the company Intranet. Most recently she has been working toward firm-wide implementation of Revit, an architectural BIM (building information modeling) software.
2008 Learning By Design Citation of Excellence Awards
NAC Architecture received two Citation of Excellence Awards. Honored were Woodrow Wilson High School (Phase 1) in Tacoma, Washington, and the Joel E. Ferris High School Gymnasium, Health and Fitness Complex in Spokane, Washington. The national awards are granted annually by Learning By Design, a publication of the National School Boards Association.
The award recognizes the new three-story Woodrow Wilson High School as a Green Project. The Architects, Consulting Engineers and School District worked collaboratively in an integrated design process to allow innovation that created a healthy learning environment and efficient building. Sustainable features include a fully integrated system that involves building siting, layout, envelope and materials; and mechanical, electrical and control systems. The new building is oriented along an east-west axis to maximize daylighting potential. Exterior sunshades and louvers on the south façade provide high-quality daylighting, while reducing solar heat gain to the interior. Photo-sensitive control of the indirect/direct classroom lighting further reduces heat loads, while directly cutting electricity consumption. One- and two-story light shafts bring daylight to the rear of the classrooms and conduct warm return air to the rooftop mechanical penthouse via fan-assisted natural convection. A displacement ventilation system – the first installed in a Washington high school – provides both efficient air distribution and 100% filtered outside air to the building, minimizing energy usage while maximizing indoor air quality.
What the jury said: "This is a green building, but it's also a very good school. They haven't made any compromises. In fact, they've enhanced the campus. It was all shoe-horned into the site in a very skillful way. They've made a robust effort to handle all of this in the design to make sure their goals are being achieved in this building."
Flexibility to accommodate various athletic/fitness activities and convenient access drove the design of the Joel E. Ferris Gymnasium, Health and Fitness Complex, the focal point of which is a 1,775-seat main-events gymnasium with adjacent 200-seat auxiliary gym. Fitness and weight rooms are located along the east side of the gyms with access from the lobby and spectator entry space. An adjacent multipurpose mat/wrestling room provides for P.E. activities and easy access to the main-events gym for wrestling matches. Student locker rooms and athletic storage are located along the west side of the gyms. Sited to offer spectacular views to the southeast from the fitness and weight rooms, the facility features a village-style design that is represented by a composition of varying building masses and materials. The wooded site is an exciting backdrop to the steep roof forms and detailed precision of the exterior façade. A glass curtain-wall system and exposed wood eave supports reinforce the village design concept.

What the jury said: "The entrance illustrates a playful use of building forms. It's a beautiful pavilion at the entry. The design does a great job of separating the large spaces from the small, to break down the scale of the building."
Jeani Natwick Promoted to Principal
Jeani Natwick has been promoted to the position of principal. Natwick, a licensed architect, has been with the firm since 1993. Her career has been distinguished by her healthcare planning expertise and medical office designs; she has been responsible for the interior layout of most of NAC Architecture's medical projects over the last 15 years. "We are absolutely delighted with the leadership in healthcare facility planning that Jeani has been contributing, and we look forward to expanding our success in that market significantly with the strength she adds to an already exceptional healthcare team," says CEO Bruce Blackmer. Currently, Natwick is working on designs for Kootenai Medical Center in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth, Washington. Her portfolio also includes projects for Valley Hospital and Medical Center, Deaconess Medical Center, and Holy Family Hospital in Spokane, Washington; Highline Medical Center in Burien, Washington; and St. James Hospital in Butte, Montana.
NAC Architecture Garners Prestigious Business Award
The 2008 AGORA Award for Best Large Business was recently presented to NAC Architecture. The annual award, given out by Greater Spokane Incorporated, recognizes businesses in eastern Washington that exemplify leadership in supporting a strong economy and quality of life. Winners were selected by an independent team of judges based on criteria including company growth, marketing strategy, employee environment, response to adversity, customer service, community service, and contribution to economic development and job creation. "We are grateful for and humbled by this award and the recognition that accompanies it," Steve McNutt, Managing Principal of the firm's Spokane office, remarks. "Our formula for success is a simple one. Essentially it comes down to client satisfaction in product and service, and at the same time, creating a nurturing environment for our employees."
Principals Chair Design Award Juries
Helena L. Jubany, AIA, LEED AP, Principal at NAC Architecture Los Angeles, was the Head Juror for the Annual Albuquerque AIA Honor Awards program in December. Helena joined four other jurors she selected from the greater Los Angeles area to review the submissions. In December, Greg Stack, AIA, LEED AP, NAC Architecture's Education Knowledge Leader, was Head Juror for the 18th Annual Northwest Washington AIA Design Awards program. Along with two additional jurors Greg reviewed 33 submissions and gave out five awards. The judging and awards were held in the new Western Washington University Academic Instructional Center, a new NAC Architecture project to open in January.
Staff Advancements
We are pleased to announce staff advancements.