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CTA Architects Engineers, Great Falls Office Revitalization, Great Falls, United States

Tuesday 03 Jul 2012

Recycle, Reuse, Rebuild

Cta, Inc. 
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CTA Architects Engineers push the boundaries of energy efficiency in adaptable reuse 

The three-story, 25,000 sq. ft. Orange Crush building was originally constructed in 1917 as a downtown grocery and warehouse. Throughout much of the 20th Century and beyond, the building served as an industrial distribution facility which was under-maintained and ultimately, fell into disrepair.

Originally a machine for distribution, the Orange Crush building has been repurposed as a machine for sustainable development. In 2008, the design team was charged with engineering the structure and its systems to be exceptionally efficient, quiet, and highly sustainable. To accomplish these goals and enable the architects to retain the original character and industrial nature of the structure, the team implemented sustainable core technologies.

These technologies included a 675-foot DEQ-approved water-source withdrawal well to capture energy from the earth's water. High-efficiency heat pumps extract energy from the near-constant 53-degree water and distribute it to the building's custom-designed conductive radiant floor system. Not only does the radiant floor heat the structure, it is uniquely utilized for cooling, requiring further system engineering and technological control to monitor humidity and condensation levels. Paired with passive solar preheated ventilation air and demand-based ventilation, the result is a tightly-engineered, cohesively sustainable system created with minimal intrusion into the space.

Tested repeatedly during the design phase with advanced energy modelling software and life-cycle costing equipment, the solution responds to and exceeds all the design criteria. For this region of North America, the design pushes the boundary of precedents for energy efficiency in adaptable reuse. Since its completion in 2010, the building's operation costs are $.52 less per sq. ft. than a typical building of equal size in a similar setting, equating to a 42% cost savings

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CTA, Inc.

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