NAC Architecture Ranks 27th on Architect Magazine's Annual Listing of Top Architecture Firms
This year NAC Architecture ranks 27th on Architect magazine's annual listing of top architecture firms, the Architect 50. NAC ranked 63rd last year and 90th the previous year. The rankings are based on design excellence, sustainable ethos and fiscal responsibility. Our dramatic growth this past year is due in part to our growing reputation for design quality as evidenced by several prestigious design awards.
 
Engineering News-Record Ranks NAC Architecture 42nd on its list of Top Green Design Firms
Engineering News-Record has ranked NAC Architecture 42nd on its list of Top Green Design Firms. The ranking is based on the percentage of the firm's revenue that is generated by projects that employ sustainability strategies that are verified by a third party. NAC Principal, Matt Rumbaugh, was interviewed for the companion article on green design trends.
 
Architectural Record Ranks NAC Architecture 75th on its list of Top 250 Firms
Architectural Record has ranked NAC Architecture 75th on its list of the Top 250 Firms, up from 93rd last year. The rankings appear in the July issue of the magazine.
Oak Harbor High School Awarded Citation
Oak Harbor High School was awarded the Crow Island School Citation in the 2011 Educational Interiors Showcase - Cafeteria/Food Service Area category. The high school is the main educational and civic institution in the small City of Oak Harbor, Washington, and the new cafeteria immediately started to serve unfulfilled community needs. In a city with no dedicated performance venue, the new commons was designed as a true multifunctional "hybrid" space, welcoming a number of different uses. Jurors also appreciated sustainable design in the choice of interior materials.
Green Day Forum
Senior Partner and Director of Sponsorships of CAUSE AND EFFECT Evolutions, Jeff Zotara, along with Matt Rumbaugh, of GSHS Partner NAC Architecture, spoke at Earth Advantage Institute's Green Day Forum on November 3, 2011, in Portland, Oregon. This annual event brings together professionals from the green building industry with regional leaders and experts in design, technology and government to discuss the latest trends and policies in sustainable building. Zotara and Rumbaugh discussed how The Green Schoolhouse Series establishes robust public-private partnerships with leading corporations to build high-performance, LEED Platinum-designed buildings for Title 1, low-income public schools.
Learning By Design Recognizes Two NAC Architecture Projects
Learning By Design recently announced that NAC Architecture has won two Education Design Awards in their Fall 2011 Edition.
Ardmore Elementary School in Bellevue, Washington was awarded a Grand Prize, and Deer Park High School in Deer Park, Washington won a Citation of Excellence. Learning By Design showcases the nation's best education design projects, from pre-K through college and university facilities.
Merrill Gardens University Wins Citation of Merit Award
Featuring interior design by NAC Architecture, Merrill Gardens University was recently honored with a Merit Award in Long-Term Living magazine's special supplement, Design Environments for Aging 2011. A panel of 16 jurors representing interior designers, architects, providers and educators honored the project among dozens of submissions. Located in the established Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle, Merrill Gardens at The University combines 123 independent and assisted living units with 103 market-rate apartments, which are inhabited by University of Washington students. In addition, the ground level features restaurants and specialty retail shops. The editors of Long Term Living call it "A true multigenerational complex."
Spokane Office Addition Project Takes Home Three Awards
NAC Architecture's Spokane Office Addition was the Grand Award winner at the Washington Aggregates and Construction Association's 2011 Excellence in Concrete Construction awards. The project also won first place awards in the Sustainable Merit and Cast-in-Place categories. The Washington Aggregates and Construction Association received more award entries in 2011 than any previous year.
Melissa McFadgen One of "20 Under 40"
In their annual showcase of 20 "inspiring and unstoppable professionals" under the age of 40, Inland Business Catalyst magazine honored architect and Associate Principal, Melissa McFadgen from a list of over 65 nominations. The list recognizes young professionals who are shaping the growth of business in the Inland Northwest region. "I advocate for advancement in environmental sustainability and elevating our level of design while achieving the functional needs of our clients," Melissa says. When asked about a professional risk she took and how it paid off, she responds, "I completed a nine-month internship in New York City. Although it was very demanding, I emerged with a cogent vision of what I wanted out of my career, which motivated me to move toward my professional goals immediately." Melissa has been Project Manager for two new middle schools for Cheney School district and the Campus Classroom Building at Spokane Falls Community College. She has served as President of the AIA Spokane Chapter and is active in the Cascadia Region of the Green Building Council.
Three Schools Win Awards from Learning By Design
Out of 70 projects from across the country entered in the Spring 2011 Learning By Design Awards, three schools designed by NAC Architecture were honored with awards. First Creek Middle School in Tacoma, Washington, won a Grand Prize and was lauded by the judges with comments such as, "very few projects do such a great job of orienting it to the outdoors, not only for daylight but also the view." Sage Point Elementary School in Moses Lake, Washington, and Shadle Park High School in Spokane, Washington, were both recognized with Honorable Mention Awards.
"A Dandy Piece of Architecture"
So said the jury of The National School Boards Association (NSBA) when awarding a citation to Ardmore Elementary School in Bellevue, Washington. The project was exhibited at the NSBA annual convention in San Francisco, April 2011. "The jury really liked this compact design that connects the building to nature through the use of windows, clerestory and skylights. This design solution offers equal access to internal and external areas by providing significant transparency between various spaces for all. The design accommodates small learning neighborhoods with informal study areas for small groups as well as individual study. The jury felt this school was stylistically suited for the age group it serves. The scale, materials, and details, both inside and out, are well coordinated and indicate a non-busy, simplified approach. A dandy piece of architecture."
Staff Advancements
We are pleased to announce staff advancements.
NAC Architecture and AR7 Architects Merge
Bruce Blackmer, FAIA, CEO of NAC Architecture, announced today that AR7 of Denver, Colorado, has merged with NAC significantly expanding the firm’s presence in the Rocky Mountain Region and adding complementary expertise to the architectural practice. AR7 President, Gary Desmond will continue to lead the Denver office as Managing Principal along with former AR7 Principals, now all owners of NAC.

"We’ve recognized that AR7's values, experience and commitment to design quality made this partnership the ideal way to realize our goal of providing clients with nationally recognized expertise in design using talented architects who live in and understand the Rocky Mountain region," said Blackmer, "We look forward to bringing AR7's national expertise and reputation in higher education work to our clients in Washington, California, and throughout the western United States."

Blackmer has worked closely with Desmond for the past two years, exploring cultural alignment and refining all operational aspects that are now resulting in a seamless merger. "Everyone in the firm is excited about the merger and the great two-way fit of the two firms," said Desmond. "We look forward to enhancing the breadth and depth of our 30+ year practice in the Rocky Mountain Region, which is recognized for balancing exceptional design with personalized high quality service." Founded in 1978, AR7 provides programming, planning, and design services for a variety of building types including education, housing, mixed-use, commercial, governmental, and transit-oriented development. Current major projects include three new residence halls at the University of Arizona in Tucson, several master plans and projects for Colorado Community Colleges and the new Mixed-Use and Post Office building for the Denver Justice Center.