By Stephaine Joy Smith | From Preservation | January/February 2008
|Location: Ogden, Utah|
|Built: c. 1900|
|Architect: Cooper Roberts Simonsen|
|LEED Rating: Silver|
During the height of its prosperity,
Ogden was nicknamed Junction City, and the Scowcroft Building, located in the heart of downtown, was home to one of the largest dry-goods wholesalers west of the Mississippi River. But by the 1950s, the city was in decline, and after the Scowcroft closed its doors in 1958, the four-story landmark sat empty for nearly half a century. All that changed in 2002, when the federal General Services Administration began looking for more office space in the city and set its sights on the Scowcroft.
The ensuing $12 million project converted the National Register-listed building into offices for more than 400 people. Cooper Roberts Simonsen Architects had been integrating green techniques with historic preservation for more than a decade, but the firm's work on the Scowcroft resulted in the first LEED-certified building in Utah also to qualify for historic preservation tax credits—which means that LEED's standards had to be met without significant alterations to the building's appearance.
The thick brick walls already provided energy efficiency, but additional high-performance equipment should result in a 23 percent savings in energy costs. To reach LEED standards, the architects replaced the original single-pane windows with double-paned replicas. Reflective roofing boosted efficiency, and two atria increased the natural light in the building. A new floor hides the high-efficiency heating system, eliminating the need for ducts in the wood-paneled ceiling, and an innovative seismic reinforcement system hidden in the walls strengthens the structure without covering up the brick or the timber posts and beams.
Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey says that the city's historic buildings are among its greatest assets, especially when green technology makes them more efficient. "It's helped us attract tenants that we wouldn't have had otherwise," he says.
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