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News: Architectural Nexus Earns JUST Label

Architectural Nexus has become the first organization in the Intermountain West and the first design firm in the State of California to earn the distinction of a JUST label. The social justice and transparency initiative is promoted by the Living Future Institute, the same organization that administers the Living Building Challenge.

The JUST program acts as a “nutrition label” for socially just and equitable organizations by providing measureable criteria on a wide range of organization and employee related indicators. These indicators fall into categories such as diversity, equity, safety, worker benefit, local benefit, and stewardship. Each of the indicator metrics asks for simple yet specific and measurable accountabilities in order for the organization to be recognized at a One, Two, or Three Star Level, which is then summarized elegantly on a label.

JUST Label

“In a relatively short timeframe since program launch, the JUST Program has garnered worldwide interest and is helping organizations to develop better employee engagement policies and community stewardship practices”, says JUST Program Manager, Francis Janes. “We are delighted to see Architectural Nexus join the ranks of JUST labeled organizations with the distinction of being the first design firm in Utah and California States to earn the JUST Label.”

For Architectural Nexus, an Employee Owned company, the value of pursuing and garnering the JUST label has revealed confidence in existing business customs such as pay-scale equity and continuing education for employees as well as areas where the company must yet strive to outperform standard professional practice.

Architectural Nexus president Kenner Kingston sees the JUST label as an extension to other transparency initiatives that the company is involved in. “The design and construction industry is currently undergoing a revolution relative to the full disclosure of building material ingredients, especially those known to be harmful to human health,” says Kingston. “Architectural Nexus has been a leader in this regard by requiring all of our vendors to provide transparency documentation so that we can make appropriate choices on behalf of our clients and the public-at-large. The JUST label is our way of demonstrating this ethic internally and has helped to reinforce our values of inspiration, stewardship, and regeneration by demonstrating that, after all, what we do is for people, not buildings.”

This label marks the beginning of a new era of corporate transparency. The International Living Future Institute invites organizations everywhere to evaluate themselves through this social justice and equity lens and become a JUST organization. With support from participating organizations, a better, more socially just and equitable world can be created.

For more information about the JUST label please visit living-future.org.

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News: Architectural Nexus Volunteering Featured in News

The Deseret News has just released an article that focuses on the benefits of volunteering in the office workplace. Arch Nexus president Kenner Kingston is quoted saying “Business thinks people are motivated by monetary rewards, but that is only partially true. It’s OK to have the value of money, but you have to have additional values, and we do.” Also mentioned in the article are other companies that are seeing results from encouraging employees to be active volunteers in their communities. Benefits like improved worker happiness, motivation, and added skills that translate directly to the workplace are noted along with suggestions on how to become an active volunteer. Check out the whole article by clicking here.

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News: Awards for Payson Temple and Cornerstone at Cottonwood

Utah Construction & Design has awarded Most Outstanding Project of the year to both the Payson Temple in the Community/Institutional Large category and Cornerstone at Cottonwood in the Commercial/Office category. Additionally, these two projects were honored by Engineering News Record (ENR) with Outstanding Project awards for 2015.

The Payson Temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints provides a sacred place of spiritual connection for LDS Church members in Southern Utah County. It is a beautiful valley setting, with landscaped walks and water features that enhance the experience of visiting the Temple. The stone and highly articulated pre-cast concrete on the exterior of the building and the beauty of the marble and finishes in the interior enhance the spiritual connection the Temple provides.  We are honored to have been able to work with the LDS Church, Wadman Construction and the vast team of design and construction professionals who were involved in this project.

Cornerstone at Cottonwood includes two Class A office buildings totaling 250,000 rentable S.F. and structured parking for 850+ cars, and is being designed for LEED Gold Certification. It is located on an 8.8-acre parcel in Cottonwood Corporate Center, an established corporate campus that was developed in the late 1990s. The buildings are designed with materials and detailing that reflects enduring quality commensurate with the other buildings on the campus, while being distinctly different in character. The simple palette of materials includes red sandstone complimented by gray-green metal panels and aluminum framing, with high-performance glass with a subtle blue-green overtone. Exterior design features include slightly angled curtain walls and various shading devices to control direct sunlight and minimize solar heat gain.  The level of quality in both the materials and the craftsmanship is unmatched in the Salt Lake Valley. Congratulations to Cottonwood Partners for creating a new standard for Class A Office in the Salt Lake Valley. Big-D Construction was a pleasure to work with and we look forward to the next successful endeavor together.

Congratulations to everyone involved in making these truly special places.

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News: Three of the Arch Nexus Family Promoted to Principals

Architectural Nexus is excited to announce the promotion of three new principals! We are happy to recognize the following individuals, all of whom have been a part of the integrated design practice at Arch Nexus for many years, for their hard work and inspirational thought leadership.

  • Hilton Ripplinger, Director of Interior Design: Structures are built to capture space: the space within. This, more than any place and with the greatest intimacy, is where human/building interaction occurs. Hilton has spent thirty years pushing, pulling, carving, molding, sculpting the space within. His work to create captivating yet practical interior architecture, capped off with enduring finishes and furnishings, results in successful spaces of virtually all types.
  • Holli Adams, AIA, LEED GA: Great Civic architecture demands collaboration, vision and dedication. Holli had been championing the creation of successful public facilities for over 20 years. From Recreation Centers to Libraries and Senior Centers, Holli employs her expertise to develop projects that positively impact people. Combining excellent project programming and planning skills, technical knowledge and the most up to date understanding of sustainable design, Holli crafts projects that are embraced by the communities they serve.
  • Aaron L. Arbuckle, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, CNU-A: With over 15 years of broad architectural experience, Aaron Arbuckle provides a keen eye for how to improve the process of design and construction. He feels strongly that successful projects are a combination of vision, function, and economic stewardship. He brings a passion for creating spaces that encourage social interaction where ideas can be shared, friendships formed, and tribes originated. His recent projects include a new community center in the Millcreek Township for Salt Lake County, a Hope Lodge for the American Cancer Society, and LDS Temples in Fort Collins, Colorado and Cedar City, Utah.

We look forward to many more years of enthusiastic design collaboration with Hilton, Holli, and Aaron and congratulate them for their accomplishments!

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News: Arch Nexus Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity in Sacramento

On October 22nd and 23rd Arch Nexus took time away from the drawing boards in Sacramento to volunteer and work on the other side of our industry by helping to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. The houses will provide safe, decent, accessible and affordable places for two different families of four: The Cebrero-Lara family and the Dixon family. Both families are contributing significantly in the process by providing 500 hours of sweat equity. Once their homes are complete they will be home owners by paying a 30 year interest free mortgage. All of the Nexus employees who were involved said that the work was a wonderful experience and that they had a great time volunteering for their community.

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News: Arch Nexus at “When I Grow Up.”

For the second year in a row, Architectural Nexus represented the architecture and design profession at Salt Lake County Library’s interactive job fair for kids, “When I Grow Up.”  Held at the Library’s Viridian Event Center in West Jordan, the fair featured participants from a variety of professions in our community including a chemist, an engineer, a music teacher, a pharmacist, a funeral director, the police, an interior designer, and many others.  Peter McBride, Josh Allred, Elaine Janis, and Kait Underwood represented Arch Nexus at the “Architect” booth by sharing models, drawings, and videos and engaging families with a hands-on marshmallow and toothpicks creative activity.  An estimated 400-600 children and their families attended the event this year.

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News: Sacramento Office Relocating to R Street!

Architectural Nexus is very excited to announce that we will be relocating our Sacramento office to the historic R Street district! We would like to invite all of the local businesses and residents there to an event that we are hosting on Monday August 10th where we hope to gain a better understanding of the social, cultural, and business values of the neighborhood as well as what some of the challenges may be, and how our building and business can become a positive part of the community. Light refreshments will be served August 10th from 4:30PM until 8PM at our future home on 930 R Street. We look forward to meeting everyone and hearing what your ideas are for making R Street an even better place to work, live, shop, and dine.

 

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News: Huntsman Cancer Institute earns elite national designation

The Huntsman Cancer Institute, designed by Arch Nexus, has received comprehensive cancer center status, the highest designation from the National Cancer Institute. This makes the Huntsman Cancer Institute the only comprehensive cancer center in the inter-mountain west.

The cancer center located on the University of Utah campus is now recognized among the top cancer centers in the world along with other distinguished centers such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, MD Anderson in Texas, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins’ Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. The new designation, accomplished through a rigorous process of compiling a 1,500-page document and an invasive site visit, officially recognizes the “exceptional” and ongoing laboratory, clinical and population-based research.

Mary Beckerle, CEO of the institute, stated “We have reached the pinnacle designation that is possible from the National Cancer Institute, but we are tireless in our pursuit of new ways to treat and prevent and detect cancer, and we have a lot of work to do. Cancer remains the most challenging medical problem of our time. We will not rest until this disease is eliminated from the earth.”

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News: Cottonwood Corporate Center Grand Opening!

Phase I of the Cottonwood Corporate Center recently had it’s grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony. Many of the talented folks who worked hard to bring this project to life were on hand to celebrate the event including Arch Nexus principal Julie Berreth.

Cornerstone Phase I at Cottonwood Corporate Center raises the bar high for speculative office buildings in the Intermountain West and beyond.  Every building component and amenity is a step up compared to competing properties, not the least of which is the 8,000 s.f. grand entrance lobby enhanced by a major commissioned artwork extending two stories high and 60 feet long.  Cottonwood Partners is the developer with a vision to create exceptional value out of exceptional design.  Julie has been working with Cottonwood Partners’ CEO John West since 1995.

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News: International Living Future Institute Unveils New Building Energy Declaration Program “REVEAL”

On April 2nd the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), administrators of the most rigorous building performance standard, the Living Building Challenge, announced plans to launch a new initiative to showcase the world’s most energy efficient buildings. The REVEAL program is intended for any existing building that meets certain energy criteria whether it’s a certified Living Building, a net zero building, LEED building, Passivehouse project, or any project with accurate measured energy data.

Following in the path of other ILFI programs like DECLARE and JUST, REVEAL harnesses the power of transparency for positive environmental change. By tapping into performance based reporting from measured energy use, REVEAL will provide a new platform for projects to showcase how efficient they are relative to other buildings. Buildings that receive the REVEAL label are date stamped and must be renewed on  a two-year basis. Essentially, the labels become a ‘nutrition’ label for building energy performance.

As part of the program the ILFI will be publishing Energy Use Intensity (EUI) performance charts by building type to create a benchmarking baseline. This effort will also give buildings that are highly energy efficient an opportunity to be showcased and see how their project stacks up to other exemplary projects.

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