News: Celebrating Energy Efficiency Day 2022

In honor of Energy Efficiency Day 2022, Architectural Nexus is pleased to announce the findings of the first year of occupancy in our Living Building Pursuant Salt Lake City Office. The results? SLC is at a net positive energy production rate of 109%. This building is generating more energy than it consumes!

The dashed line on the above graph represents predicted energy use based on analysis done during design. The Peaks in the shaded graph indicate periods of higher actual energy usage, and the valleys represent lower energy use. While they do not coincide exactly, you can see that the predicted and actual use follow a similar pattern. Energy efficiency was a key strategy to achieving our energy positive goal. One of the measures taken to conserve energy was to encourage the building occupants to become active stewards of our office environment. Take June’s energy consumption in the graph below. Instead of running the air conditioning all day, staff open windows and doors to let a breeze cool down the office. This, along with the use of Solatubes instead of electric lights, greatly reduced the energy used throughout the office.

Even if you are unable to utilize solar panels, other efforts can still create measurable energy efficiency.  During the summer, close blinds and shades to keep the sun out and reduce the need for air conditioning. During the winter, do the opposite. Let the sun in to warm your home, reducing the need for a heater. These small every day actions amount to larger impacts.

As you can see in the above graph, the energy predicted to be generated as represented by the dashed line, and the actual energy produced, as indicated in the shaded area, were nearly identical. This on-site produced energy via photovoltaic panels equated to 109% of the energy used meaning that Arch Nexus SLC is net energy positive. After our first year of closely tracking the energy production and consumption of the SLC office, one can see clear conclusions. Sustainable design and occupant actions work together create optimal energy efficiency.


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News: National Ability Center Breaks Ground in Park City

The National Ability Center is a non-profit organization that makes recreation and outdoor adventures accessible to people of all abilities – and is a treasured client of Architectural Nexus. What began as the Park City Handicapped Sports Association in 1985 has grown to a global leader for adaptive recreation and outdoor adventures.

After 20 years of operating their winter sports center “temporarily” from a double wide trailer at the base of Park City Mountain Resort, it is a thrill to see the National Ability Center turn the first shovels on the Arch Nexus designed, Park City Mountain Center.

The 9,400-sf facility, will be ski-in, ski-out, and serve as home base for the organization’s ski and snowboard programs. It will increase the NAC’s ability so serve significantly more people, with adequate indoor space for fitting and storage. Once fitted, participants will slide on an artificial surface directly to the snow! The space will include a specialized sensory room for calming and on-site accessible restroom facilities.

Project Designer and Arch Nexus Associate Jeff Tuft is particularly inspired by the purpose driven mission of the National Ability Center. “The new building will be a beacon that shines light on the NAC organization and will inspire individuals of all levels of ability to get out and enjoy outdoor recreation. Architectural Nexus is grateful for the strong relationships that have been formed in the years that this project has taken to get off the ground and the working partnerships that have been forged. What an exciting day!”

For more news on this great event you may visit these news sites:



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News: Robb Harrop Named New President at Architectural Nexus

Architectural Nexus, an employee owned company with offices in Salt Lake City, Ut. and Sacramento, Ca., is excited to announce that Robb Harrop has been elected to serve as Arch Nexus President.

Mr. Harrop brings a wealth of experience to this position, strengthening Arch Nexus’ status as a diverse, multi-disciplinary design firm. As Vice President of Design for the past 8 years, Robb has directed the overall design efforts for the firm and has proven his skills for design, leadership, and integration of the widely diverse array of talents at Arch Nexus. Major projects for which Robb has led the design include University of Utah Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Daybreak Library as well as numerous LDS temple projects including those in Payson And Syracuse Utah.

Robb has gained the respect of his peers, industry partners, as well as numerous clients through his tremendous ability to quickly visualize, illustrate, and conceive beautiful structures that inspire. His deep understanding of biophilic design principles, forged through Arch Nexus practice of sustainable design, has been key to the development of some of this region’s most regenerative projects. Arch Nexus Chairman of the Board, Mark Davis expresses his confidence in this new appointment by stating that “Although change in leadership can be a challenging time for a firm, we are very fortunate to have Robb step into the role of President as he is a true collaborator and consensus builder. He will strengthen our firm in many new ways and we are all very excited for the future.”

Having joined the firm very early in his career as an intern architect, Robb holds 25 years of tenure with Arch Nexus. He earned his Master’s in Architecture from the University of Utah in 2000 and has been licensed in the state of Utah since 2004. Robb describes his experience in the business of Architecture by sharing, “My father always taught me to work with people of integrity. I am honored to have great mentors to learn from, a great team to collaborate with, and excellent people around me with whom I share deep trust.”

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News: Utah Construction & Design: Sprague Library

Utah Construction and Design Magazine takes a deep dive into the history and architecture of the Sprague Library, located in the heart of Salt Lake City’s Sugar House neighborhood. After a devastating flood in 2017, the library underwent a renovation designed by Architectural Nexus. Interestingly, the construction for this renovation was performed by Paulsen Construction, the same company that built the original library in 1928!

The two level 34,00 SF library was updated while maintaining the beautiful, high-gabled, English Tudor-style exterior. Named the “Most Beautiful Library in America” in 1935, the stakes were high for designers to preserve and improve the iconic structure.

It was about being able to have the connection to the culture, the history, the people who designed and constructed that building, and [those] who used it for almost 100 years, said Mihnea Dobre, Project Architect for Salt Lake-based Arch Nexus. At the same time, [we wanted]to make it a modern, useable space that people can be inspired by and create memories. It was very inspiring and rewarding to preserve that history and make it something of today that is productive in bringing the community together.

I’m very proud of the projects we do as a company, in taking something old and giving it new life and new meaning, or at least a renewed appreciation within its place within its localized culture,” said Brian Cassil, Director of Communications at Arch Nexus. People, generally, really love history […] and buildings that are emblematic of history that can be expressed through architecture. Sprague Library is an excellent example of that.

In terms of design, the way colors and shape move throughout the building is truly innovative, continuing to tie it to other historical Sugar House buildings and businesses such as the Granite Furniture Sputnik, Snelgrove Ice Cream, and Nu Crisp Popcorn, maintaining the classic sugar beet iconography.

It’s a careful balancing act, said Cassil of designing functional, aesthetically pleasing, modern spaces into a historic building. There is this modern approach to space planning, with careful attention to helping everyone feel welcome. […] It’s a very modern library in terms of amenities and space planning, but done in a way that the design pays homage to the Art Deco era—visual elements that pay tribute to the original design of the building.

Click here for more images and the full story from UC&D, page 22.

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News: Architectural Nexus Award Winning Designs, ENR 2021

Arch Nexus is honored to be recognized as the Architectural Designer in several project awards from ENR Mountain States. The 2021 Best Projects competition encompasses a seven-state region with a panel of 10 judges from all areas of the industry.

Taking home the award for Best Small Project (Under $10M) is the Architectural Nexus Office Remodel in Salt Lake City, with General Contractor, Jacobsen Construction Co.

In the Health Care category, the Huntsman Cancer Institute Proton Therapy Center in Salt Lake City received the Merit Award also with Jacobsen Construction Co.

The winner of Renovation/Restoration award is United States Cold Storage Warehouse, in Syracuse, Utah with General Contractor Big-D Construction Corp.

When presented with the best small project award, Senior Principal Architect and Director of Design, Robb Harrop, stated “We set a high expectation for ourselves to do something better than ‘less bad’. We are thankful for the partners who helped us achieve that vision.”

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News: Hexcel Breaks Ground in West Valley City

Hexcel Corporation has broken ground on a new, 100,000-square-foot facility that will be home to a state-of-the-art laboratory in West Valley City, Utah. Once completed in late 2022, scientists and researchers will collaborate with customers on the latest composite technology developments for aerospace, space and defense, and industrial applications. It will be the company’s largest center for innovation and product development in North America.

The new site is also designed to serve as a customer care center, allowing groups to gather in the lobby and conferencing areas, then proceed along a looping path through the laboratories to tour the processes in development at the Research and Technology center.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Hexcel Chairman, CEO and President Nick Stanage said when the Center opens, “you will be surrounded by everything it means to be a leader in advanced composites technology. You will see high-tech labs and cutting-edge research and testing equipment.”

Architectural Nexus is pleased to provide the architectural design for this exciting addition to Utah’s business landscape.

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News: Arch Nexus SLC Receives LBC Ready Designation

Arch Nexus SLC received LBC Ready designation today; a first under version 4.0 of the Living Building Challenge. This designation is achieved through successful completion of an initial audit, a step in the certification process for projects pursuing Living certification. It’s based on performance predictions – with ongoing water and energy monitoring over a 12 month period. This means that Arch Nexus SLC is now in the final stretch to become a Certified Living Building!

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News: Kelly Holland Becomes Certified Passive House Consultant at Architectural Nexus

Architectural Nexus is proud to announce that Kelly Holland has become our first Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC). The PHIUS+ certification process is a quantifiable building performance standard. It uses specific climate data to optimize energy efficiency within an explicit occupant comfort level. Every project striving for PHIUS+ certification is required to have a CPHC.

As part of the design team, the CPHC guides a project towards certification with an understand the major building science principles of low-energy buildings, including:

  • High levels of continuous insulation
  • An extremely airtight envelope
  • High-performance windows oriented and optimized for project-specific conditions
  • Balanced ventilation
  • Minimal space conditioning

According to PHIUS, “Passive building principals offer the best path to Net Zero and Net Positive buildings by minimizing the load that renewables are required to provide.” This connects to the Arch Nexus focus of Inspiration, Regeneration, and Stewardship, as passive buildings are incredibly resilient and require less operational costs than traditional, energy code minimum construction. The CPHC certification adds to the Architectural Science node as it is a critical piece of a low-energy net positive future.

Congratulations Kelly!

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News: Salt Lake Tribune Shares Comprehensive Look into Utah’s Greenest Regenerative Design

If you picked up the Labor Day issue of the Salt Lake Tribune, you may have found a comprehensive look into Utah’s greenest regenerative design. Arch Nexus SLC is the first commercial building in the Intermountain West aiming to achieve Living Building Certification. With the piece See inside Utah’s first ‘living building’ — Can this approach help save the world?, Tony Semerad paints an incredible overview of why this matters and how it can be achieved, offering a “beam of hope” amid the worsening climate crisis.

Ornately designed solar panels installed on the rooftop and parking lot gather all the energy that Arch Nexus office dwellers inside need — and more. The same goes for water, which is collected as rainfall then used, recycled and treated on-site with appealing indoor wetlands known as living walls. The building seems to breathe through open doors, windows and sumptuous courtyards, digitally adjusting to its surroundings and connecting inhabitants with natural daylight, fresh air, copious greenery and vibrant art.

More fundamentally, the 30,909-square-foot, two-story edifice, built as a warehouse in the 1950s, now functions completely free of carbon emissions, at a time when buildings represent roughly 45% of global greenhouse gases.

Learn more about the Living Building Challenge and Arch Nexus SLC, click here.

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News: Arch Nexus SLC Net Positive Journey Begins

Commissioning on the Arch Nexus SLC Living Building Challenge pursuant project is complete and the first month of energy data shows the the project is off to a very good start. The predictions for energy usage and energy production are very close to the actual use and production. The predicted results for July 2021 were 34,672 kWh for energy production and 22,016 kWh for energy use. Actual results were 37,708 kWh for energy production and 21,068 kWh for energy use. A lot of hard work went into modeling energy behavior for the renovated office and it is rewarding to see that those efforts have created a reliable prediction for net positive energy use.

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