Tag Archives: SmithGroup


The Residences at CityScape Rising Amid the Downtown Phoenix Skyline


RED Development is bringing the final phase of CityScape into focus as it begins construction on 224 residential apartments atop the newly opened Hotel Palomar — The Residences at CityScape.

The project marks completion of the $500M mixed-use destination after seven years of development.

Earlier this year, RED began construction on the 14-story apartment tower that includes studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom plus den floor plans. There will be 23 penthouse units that grace the top floors.

Residents will have 24-hour access to the services of Hotel Palomar, including housekeeping, in-room dining by Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, concierge, valet parking, business center and laundry services.

The design of the residences will enhance the existing architectural palate and will provide a contemporary urban experience. Each residence will have a view of Downtown Phoenix overlooking the city skyline and the mountains beyond.

Phoenix-based Alliance Residential Company is working with RED Development on the design and construction aspects of the residential development; upon completion, Alliance will lease and manage the 224 residential apartments.

Hunt Construction is the general contractor and SmithGroup is the architect. Subcontractors include Jen Electric, Suntec Concrete, Maloney Plumbing and Walters and Wolf.


Working Internationally - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

Working Internationally: Designs on the International Market

AIA Arizona members are bringing their skills to the global stage by working internationally.

From Tucson to Phoenix, the rush and excitement of working internationally has hit Arizona architectural firms. With projects in a range of countries from China to France, AIA Arizona  members are bursting upon the global scene and blazing a trail of innovation and expertise in a once untapped market.

The following firms, with niche expertise and wide reaching diversification, are some of the ones to watch.

Vision at Orcutt|Winslow

Working Internationally - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011Vision and high-tech presentation made the difference for architects at Orcutt|Winslow. Though they were able to make initial contact with investors in India, through personal contacts, Vispi Karanjia explains that it was their renderings and video that set them apart from their competitors.

“When proposing this project we went over and above what the client was expecting and that is what gave us the success,”  Karanjia says.

There are two reasons that Karanjia says he believes American companies, specifically Orcutt|Winslow, can be successful in countries such as India.

One is vision and the ability to present that vision expertly. One visit to Orcutt|Winslow’s website will allow you to see that vision in the stunning video that highlights the Sahana Pride at Sion project the firm currently is taking from vision to reality. This high-rise luxury residential building is currently in the works and will meet the needs of India’s growing economy.

The second reason Karanjia gives for success in the international market is the growing need for countries such as India, China and even Brazil.

“As the people are exposed to a rise in disposable income and success they have a increased need and desire for a better lifestyle, better housing and infrastructure,” Karanjia says.

This is where companies such as Orcutt|Winslow can find opportunities. Karanjia explains that though Mumbai has a need for more building, sometimes it is difficult to find architects who are not generalized in India.

“Our company offers expertise and specialization that is sometimes hard to find,”  he says. Which is what opens the door to the International arena.

Building Bridges

For Eddie Jones, principal, at Jones Studio, working internationally is more about getting “a much better perspective of what we all share.”  For his firm and its projects in China and on our own border with Mexico, the opportunity to work internationally is an opportunity to embrace a philosophy of respect for the “dignity of everyone.”

A major border project, the Mariposa Land Port of Entry, is an effort by Jones Studio to build a bridge in international commerce. An area of contention in Arizona and one that has a huge impact on both international relations and homeland security, the Mariposa Land Port of Entry is an international project that poses more challenges than most.

Jones asserts that his studio endeavored to create a welcoming space that minimizes fear and apprehension. In an area that is surrounded by desolation, Jones Studio created a garden of respite.

Jones Studio is committed to creating spaces that people can both live in efficiently and enjoy. The studio’s dedication to opening communication lines across political boundaries is true to a global mindset. Something that is surely needed as the world becomes smaller and communication becomes pivotal to the future of the U.S. economy.

Scientific Expertise

In the arenas of forensic science and laboratory research, the design team at SmithGroup is a leader in architectural innovation.  International governments and universities alike seek the expertise of SmithGroup’s Arizona office to design high quality research labs.

“The international community looks to us as global experts in forensic and medical laboratory design,” explains SmithGroup’s Arizona leader, Mike Medici.

In a stunning effort, SmithGroup designed the largest forensic science facility in the world in Toronto. International governments are beginning to look to emulate the forensic science standards found in the U.S. and SmithGroup is on the cutting edge of such design, poised to take the lead in this growing market.

In addition to the forensic science laboratories, medical facilities and university research labs are at the top of SmithGroup’s international projects list. At Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea, the firm is designing a digital research facility and the university’s first science and tech lab for marine biology.

[stextbox id=”grey”]


Read about AIA’s Sharing Success here.


AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

AIA Arizona - AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

AIA Arizona: Sharing Success

AIA Arizona members thriving and forging ahead with diverse projects.

Despite tough economic times, there are innovative architectural firms and members of AIA Arizona that are thriving and pushing ahead in a shallow market pool. There are many reasons these firms are doing well, some of which may be surprising.

Open to Risk and Flexibility

One thing most successful firms can agree upon is that being open to taking risks with both design and in diverse markets, is a major key to staying busy in a slow economy. Kim Fernandez of ABA-Architects details that, “you have to be a risk taker and push for the growth of the firm.”

Additionally, Eddie Jones of Jones Studio asserts that his firm’s success comes from being open to new opportunities when they present themselves and successful firms a have a sort of “fearlessness,” in accepting diverse projects. Andrew McCance of Andrew A McCance, Architect took the biggest risk when he went out on his own three years ago.

“I started my company on my own three years ago and I am still here and working,” he says. The risk takers in architecture seem to be those who are leading the way in success during this tough economy.

In addition to taking risks, firms must be flexible with how they approach business. Those who are flexible are often able to maneuver into an optimal and timely position.

Mike Medici of SmithGroup explains that one way his firm is staying successful is by being at the right place in the market at the right time. Fernandez has also found that a need to tap markets her firm  would not have gone to in the past is important. She asserts that firms really need to go for the work and expand their circle.

ABA-Architects in Tucson has ventured to Arizona’s neighbor, New Mexico, to find some success in the Southwest part of that state. The DLR Group is finding flexibility in staffing by being able to utilize its Arizona talent pool to balance with its national offices in a work share agreement.

Tom O’Neil, principal at DLR Group says, “This way we can keep talented people and keep tax-paying employees in Arizona.” This flexibility has proven lucrative for firms proving that flowing with the market can provide success even when that market is flowing a bit slower than the industry would like.


A major driving force in finding new business opportunities is sustainability. With the Architect 2030 initiative, which challenges the building community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by the year 2030, as a guide, many firms are striving toward green building practices as never before.

“Sustainability is a driving force with government and university projects because they are looking at usable facilities for long stretches of time,” Medici explains. “Thirty or 50 years into the future they want to still be able to utilize their space efficiently.”

SmithGroup’s work with the University of Hawaii at Hilo proves this dedication with a design that integrates harmoniously with the surrounding landscape. Another design firm driven by the 2030 initiative is DLR Group. O’Neil explains that “energy modeling” is paramount in sustainability helping drive new business and cut costs for clients.

Fernandez has also found that federal projects are one of the leading sources for her firm’s project proposals. These projects require builders to use sustainable practices and track those practices clearly. Additionally, Henry Tom with Line and Space tells of how its work with the San Diego National Wildlife Preserve (above) pushes the team to hold to its role as a leader in “resource-conserving design.”

He explains that much of its work puts the firm in contact with environmentalists who are working to preserve those areas and want their architecture to do the same.  The DLR Group’s Arizona office is in the building stages of a “near NetZero” elementary school in Paradise Valley, which is utilizing not only less energy but is striving toward sustainability with rainwater collection initiatives and other innovative strategies.

[stextbox id=”grey”]



AZRE Magazine November/December 2011

People to Know 2011 Reception & Awards Ceremony

People To Know 2011 Industry Leaders And Photos

AZRE Magazine’s People to Know 2011 reception and awards ceremony was held on November 10, 2011 at the Scottsdale Waterfront. In attendance was Arizona’s largest local and national real estate audience, including the following People to Know recipients: attorneys, accountants, city planners, property managers, economic developers and brokers.

Throughout the night, we also announced the top 11 industry leaders. Congratulations to our finalists and winners!

People to Know 2011 Industry Leaders

Architects & Engineers

Michael Medici, AIA

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersSmithGroup
455 N. 3rd St., #250, Phoenix
www.smithgroup.com · (602) 265-2200

Responsibilities: Managing director and member of the firm’s board of directors, architectural management and design
Years at Company: 30
Years in CRE: 32
Accomplishments: Medici has been with SmithGroup since 1980 and has remained active in managing several of its key projects including TGen, Arizona Biomedical Collaborative, Freeport McMoRan Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Energy Systems Integration Facility, and the POW/MIA Forensic Laboratory at Hickam AFB in Honolulu. He is active in the the community and has served as event chairman of the Annual Cystic Fibrosis Stair Climb & Firefighter Challenge; as a member of St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation Board; and as past president of ASU Council for Design Excellence. His leadership enables SmithGroup’s Phoenix office to achieve success in the Valley, Arizona and the Southwest.


Michael E. Tiffany
Managing Attorney

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersTiffany & Bosco PA
2525 E. Camelback Rd., 3rd Floor, Phoenix
www.tblaw.com · (602) 255-6000

Responsibilities: Managing attorney and head of the real estate practice group
Years at Company: 40+
Years in CRE:
Accomplishments: In addition to his duties as managing attorney, Tiffany concentrates in the area of commercial transactions, primarily in strategic planning, business solutions, real estate and finance. His accomplishments include closing HUD insured loans for more than 170 multi-family housing projects on behalf of borrowers, for an aggregate loan amount in excess of $2.2M; and preparing a development agreement between a landowner and the Town of Buckeye as a form for future development agreements. He is a member of the State Bar of Arizona and Maricopa County Bar Association. He is active in with the Thunderbirds and the Sheriff’s Mounted Posse of Maricopa County.

Don J. Miner

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersFennemore Craig PC
3003 N. Central Ave., #2600, Phoenix
www.fclaw.com · (602) 916-5000

Responsibilities: Focuses on various aspects of commercial real estate
Years at Company: 14
Years in CRE: 32
Accomplishments: Miner was the buyer’s counsel in sale of a portfolio of $101M of loans secured by residential real estate mortgages, and the seller’s counsel in the sale of an 832-acre farm for development of a master-planned community. He was the landlord’s counsel in negotiation and documentation of a 115,000 SF office lease, and tenant’s counsel in negotiation of a 130,000 SF office lease. He represented the ground lessee and developer in the negotiation and drafting of a 65-year ground lease covering 37.5 acres of Native American reservation land for purposes of the development of a commercial sea water aquarium, a butterfly pavilion and related entertainment and restaurant uses. Miner is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Real Estate Law, 2003-2011.


Anthony J. Lydon
Managing Director – Industrial/Supply Chain Logistics Solution

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersJones Lang LaSalle
3131 E. Camelback Rd., # 400, Phoenix
www.us.joneslanglasalle.com · (602) 282-6300

Responsibilities: Manages and directs the industrial supply chain marketing for institutional property owner clients and serves as an advocate for corporate occupiers of space
Years at Company: 1
Years in CRE: 30
Accomplishments: Lydon has spent his 30-year career focused on the industrial commercial real estate sector. In that time, he has become one of Phoenix’s most accomplished industrial brokers. In the last 18 months alone, Lydon has directed some of Phoenix’s top industrial transactions, bringing jobs and capital to the market via deals like the 1.4 MSF Amazon.com lease and the long-term, 153,000 SF Schoeller Arca Systems lease. Lydon has been recognized as a Top Industrial Broker by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), named a CoStar “Power Broker” and a NAIOP Industrial Broker of the Year. He is a 25-year SIOR Designee, as well as a member of the Jones Lang LaSalle Global Supply Chain Group. On a personal note, Lydon is part owner of a Michigan-based Class A minor league baseball team.


Kurt Rosene
Senior VP

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersAlter Group
7500 N. Dobson Rd., #151, Scottsdale
www.altergroup.com · (480) 302-6600

Responsibilities: Manage development, leasing and acquisitions for the Western Region
Years at Company: 20
Years in CRE: 24
Accomplishments: Rosene has led The Alter Group to accomplish remarkable things in Phoenix during the past 10 years. After opening the office a decade ago, he has helped solidify the company as one of the premier developers in the Valley. Nationally, Rosene has been able to develop more than $1B worth of real estate in 24 states. His expertise and level of customer service have led to numerous repeat clients. He’s earned the respect of the entire industry and made friendships throughout the country. Recently The Alter Group and John F. Long Properties of Phoenix announced a joint development of three major business parks in the West Valley totaling in excess of 1,500 acres. It is expected to create an estimated 65,000 jobs.

Economic Developers

Christine Mackay
Economic Development Director

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersCity of Chandler
P.O. Box 4008, Chandler
www.chandleraz.gov/ed · (480) 782-3030

Responsibilities: Directs economic development division, implementing programs to increase and diversify City’s economic base
Years at Company: 14
Years in CRE: 19
Accomplishments: Mackay has been with the City of Chandler for 14 years. During the past five years, she has helped locate or expand more than 145 companies in Chandler, and brought more than $8.9B in capital investment into the community. She was instrumental in helping land the $5B Intel Fab 42 chip manufacturing facility. In 2007, she was named the Economic Developer of the Year, Large Community, for the State of Arizona by the Arizona Association for Economic Development (AAED). In 2010, Mackay was named Leader of the Year in Economic Development-Public Policy by the Arizona Capital Times. She has spent most of her career in commercial real estate. Before coming to Chandler, she was in private sector commercial real estate where she was the research director for a commercial brokerage firm.

Financiers & Accountants

William L. Spart
Senior Vice President

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersWells Fargo Bank – Real Estate
8601 N. Scottsdale Rd., #200, Phoenix
www.wellsfargo.com · (480) 348-5333

Responsibilities: Business development for Wells Fargo
Years at Company: 21
Years in CRE: 30
Accomplishments: Spart, a 30-year veteran of commercial real estate finance, has witnessed the ups and downs of the industry firsthand. Perhaps that’s why he has taken a leadership role. During his tenure at Wells Fargo, Spart has been active with NAIOP (as a board member), Valley Partnership, Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers (as a member). Spart is a regular speaker at public forums around the Valley and was a member of the 2010 NAIOP roundtable in AZRE Magazine. In his position at Wells Fargo, he manages a diverse portfolio of commercial real estate loans and lenders.

General Contractors

Hamilton Espinosa
National Healthcare Leader

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersDPR Construction
222 N. 44th St., Phoenix
www.dpr.com · (602) 808-0500

Responsibilities: Developing DPR’s strategic healthcare vision
Years at Company: 13
Years in CRE: 21
Accomplishments: Espinosa, LEED AP, brings more than 20 years of construction industry experience to DPR. Based in Arizona, Espinosa is key to building the company’s healthcare experience locally and nationally. Instrumental in building more then $3B in healthcare projects, including the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, his reputation of producing results and developing long-term working partnerships is acknowledged throughout the industry. DPR is one the country’s top technical builders and has been ranked among the Top 50 general contractors in the U.S. for the past 10 years. Espinosa serves as vice chair of the St. Joseph’s Foundation board and is a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation board.

Property Managers

Mark Stromgren, RPA
Vice President, General Manager of Real Estate Services

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersNorthMarq
1110 W. Washington St., #110, Phoenix
www.northmarq.com · (602) 254-5790

Responsibilities: Oversees 600,000 SF of Class A office space, including three buildings which are 100% occupied
Years at Company: 4
Years in CRE: 25
Accomplishments: Stromgren joined NorthMarq when the organization acquired his previous employer, Opus Property Services, a move that doubled its portfolio to 60 MSF. For nearly 10 years, Stromgren served as a senior property manager with Opus West Management. Prior to that, he was a general manager with LaSalle Partners. He is an active member of BOMA and NAIOP. He was recently elected to serve as president of BOMA Greater Phoenix for the 2011-2012 board year. He is also a past president of the chapter and has served on the board of directors for 13 years. In addition, he has earned the organization’s RPA designation. He is aso a LEED AP and holds real estate brokerage licenses in Arizona and Colorado. He earned a BS degree from UCLA.


Daniel Puente
Founder & President

People to Know 2011 Industry LeadersD.P. Electric Inc.
6002 S. Ash Ave., Tempe
www.dpelectric.com · (480) 858-9070

Responsibilities: Provides the necessary planning, organization, direction, coordination and control to meet company growth
Years at Company: 20
Years in CRE: 30
Accomplishments: Big events lit up the offices at D.P. Electric. Puente, founder and president, was awarded the W.P. Carey Spirit of Enterprise Gary L. Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award, and the company celebrated its 20th Anniversary — growing from a firm with four electricians in a garage to a multi-million dollar local success story. Puente is a strong supporter of education and training aimed at fostering personal and professional growth within his organization. He acts as a mentor to educate small minority-owned businesses within the community. He oversees all aspects of the company, including profitability, staffing, marketing efforts, and customer and vendor relations.

Up and Comers

Kimberly Mickelson
Marketing Associate

People to Know 2011 Industry Leaders

Small Giants
4531 N 16th St #124, Phoenix
www.smallgiantsonline.com · (602) 314-5549

Responsibilities: Social media, proposal development and website management for clients
Years at Company: 2
Years in CRE: 8
Accomplishments: Not only is Mickelson one of just three Certified Social Marketing Specialists in the Arizona, she is also heavily involved in the commercial real estate industry. With SMPS Arizona, she is an active member, programs committee member, publicity committee member and social media chair. She is also moderator for the SMPS Twitter account and is in charge of blog submissions for the Building Arizona blog. She is an active affiliate member of AIA Arizona, and an active young leaders group member of ULI. She has coached and trained many organizations and individuals on valuable emerging marketing practices. She recently received the 2010 SMPS Arizona Chapter Rising Star Award. Her desire to make an impact goes beyond personal accomplishments or within her work with Small Giants.

View the People to Know 2011 photos on our Facebook!

Did YOU take photos in the photo booth? Check them out!

People to Know 2011 Photo Booth

Click on the photo above.


Gestamp Solar Steel, AZRE May/June 2011

Industrial: Gestamp Solar Steel


General contractor: Mortenson Construction
Architect: SmithGroup
Location: Peoria Ave. and Dysart Rd., on Solar Canyon Way, Surprise
Size: 75,000 SF manufacturing; 6,000 SF office ground floor with vacant 6,000 SF on second floor for expansion

The first phase of the $6M project is 75,000 SF of high bay manufacturing space, with a 12,000 SF office. The first phase is master planned to allow expansion of future 75,000 SF bays to an estimated growth close to 500,000 SF for the production of steel for a range of solar power plants destined for the Southwest. Subcontractors include W.W. Smith Construction and Blount Contracting. Construction to begin 2Q 2011.

AZRE Magazine, May/June 2011
BIG Green Expo & Conference 2011

Speaker: Mark Kranz ~ BIG Green Expo & Conference 2011

Mark Kranz, SmithGroup

Mark Kranz, SmithGroup

Mark Kranz, AIA, LEED AP, is the design principal and lead designer for the Phoenix office of SmithGroup’s Higher Education and Science and Technology Studios.  Mark’s work has been published locally, regionally and nationally.

He speaks publicly about sustainable design strategies for laboratory and academic facilities, and his work is consistently recognized by the design and construction industries.  Kranz works regionally within the Western United States with research institutions and institutions of higher education creating laboratory and instructional facilities that elegantly reflect their specific context and function.

He has spent the past 11 years with SmithGroup, creating the vision for some of the most significant architectural contributions for some of the most prominent institutions and public entities in the Southwestern United States including Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, the City of Phoenix, the State of Utah, The City and County of Denver, and the Maricopa County Community College District.

He is currently behind the design visions for numerous landmark projects for clients including the National Renewable Energy Laboratories in Golden Colorado, The University of Hawaii at Hilo, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Honolulu, Hawaii, as well as Gateway Community College in Phoenix, Arizona.

Topic: Sustainable Strategies for Higher Educational Facilities: A case study of four sustainable educational facilities in four unique settings.

Conference Speaker
Friday, April 15, 2011
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Room 155

BIG Green Conference 2011


BIG Green Expo
Friday & Saturday
April 15th & 16th 2011
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.



BIG Green Expo & Conference 2011

Speaker: Mark Roddy ~ BIG Green Expo & Conference 2011

Mark Roddy, SmithGroup

Mark Roddy, SmithGroup

Mark Roddy, AIA, a design principal and lead designer for the Phoenix office of SmithGroup’s Office Workplace Studio, has over 18 years in the architectural field.

Mark received his bachelor degree from the University of Arizona in 1991 and a Masters in Architecture from UCLA in 1996. He has taught architecture design at the University of Arizona, Montana State University and Arizona State University.

His expertise produces civic/municipal spaces that respond to the surrounding community and its culture, while his office/workplace designs are efficient without sacrificing environmental responsiveness. This is most evident in the recently completed Chandler City Hall that is tracking LEED Gold Certification. This commitment to sustainability is also demonstrated in the “green” addition to his historic home in Central Phoenix that has won numerous awards including a Crescordia from Valley Forward. Mark’s work has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally.

He believes architecture should be expressive and environmentally responsible, but above all it should seek and find a balance between beauty and function.

Topic: Sustainable Office Design, Two Case Studies in Regional Office Design: Strategies and benefits of sustainable office building design, focusing on three main topics — regional design-buildings, performance strategies and employer & employee benefits.

Conference Speaker
Friday, April 15, 2011
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Room 155

BIG Green Conference 2011

BIG Green Expo
Friday & Saturday
April 15th & 16th 2011
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.



RED Awards Banner

Best Office Project 2011

Chandler City Hall

Best Office Project 2011: Chandler City Hall, SmithGroupDeveloper: City of Chandler
Sundt Construction
125,000 SF
175 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler
October 2010

Chandler City Hall is a low-to-mid-rise complex consisting of administrative offices, a public TV studio and Council Chambers. City Hall is a modern, efficient and environmentally appropriate building. The complex is designed with open space and shaded walkways. Flexibility within the building allows for change as both the community and the city’s technological needs evolve. The space within the building is multi-functional, able to accommodate individuals, small social groups and large gatherings. Space also includes bicycle storage and changing rooms. Above all, the new Chandler City Hall is not just another office building. It creates a sense of place and identity, giving the residents of Chandler a destination that serves as the city’s new community center.

Honorable Mention: Mercy Medical Commons

Honorable Mention, Office Project 2011: Mercy Medical CommonsDeveloper: Irgens Development Partners
Okland Construction
Architectural Nexus
Grubb & Ellis
47,000 SF
3645 S. Rome St., Gilbert
September 2010

RED Awards Banner

Best Education Project 2011

Sedona-Oak Creek Red Rock High School Performing Arts Center

Sedona-Oak Creek Red Rock High School Performing Arts CenterDeveloper: Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District
McCarthy Building Companies
23,000 SF
995 Upper Red Rock Loop Rd., Sedona
August 2010

Red Rock High School’s new Performing Art Center combines sustainable building strategies and state-of-the-art technology for students and the community, while embracing the character of Sedona-Oak Creek. The arts center is the final portion of the construction and renovation project initiated by the school district and the community to expand educational and cultural resources. The 750-seat performance hall is on target to earn LEED Gold status. The project also includes a 850 KW solar component, which is among the largest school-related solar plants in the Southwest. The project also features the use of natural light, including large windows and skylights.

Honorable Mention: Mesa Community College Red Mountain Campus

Honorable Mention: Mesa Community College Red Mountain CampusNew Saguaro Building and Palo Verde Renovation

Developer: Maricopa Community Colleges
Johnson Carlier
36,995 SF
7110 E. McKellips Rd., Mesa
August 2010

National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Science & Technology Facility, SmithGroup, Carbon Measurements

Carbon as the New Metric for Measuring Building Performance

The design of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Science & Technology Facility along with on-site generation of renewable energy and purchase of green power has yielded a carbon reduction of 95 percent or 6 lbs/sf/yr.

The stakes are high! There is an increased sense of urgency to address the problem of global climate change. As has been well-documented over the past few years, ever-rising greenhouse gas emissions have been attributed in large part to human activity. The situation was stated by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their Fourth Assessment Report issued in February 2007. In reality, emissions are accelerating at a much faster rate than even the IPCC has predicted over the last eight years.

As documented in the report, there is agreement among the scientific community that a 2o C (3.5o F) rise in temperature constitutes a tipping point where the damages of global warming will be irreversible. This equates to an atmospheric CO2 equivalent concentration of 450 parts per million (ppm). The current CO2 concentration level is around 386 ppm. CO2 represents greater than 75 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. If we add in all other sources, we may currently be reaching an equivalent CO2 concentration of 430 ppm. As you can see, there isn’t much room, especially considering the CO2 concentration curve is accelerating.

Building Industry
The building industry is a major contributor to the greenhouse gas inventory through both direct (project site) and indirect (source) emissions. Source emissions account for a majority of building sector impacts and are those that are generated elsewhere, mainly by fossil fuel-based power plants, as a consequence of our actions. The Architecture 2030 Challenge has indicated that buildings account for more than 48 percent of all energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions annually, and consume 76 percent of all electricity produced by power plants. Because we are responsible for creating the built environment, the building industry must take a leadership role in helping to solve this crisis.

New Carbon Economy
There are several options for how best to deal with climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Because carbon dioxide represents a majority of the greenhouse gases, several schemes have been created — Carbon Cap and Trade, Carbon Tax, and other variations — to deal with that element. Cap and Trade is a market-driven system where a central authority sets a limit on emissions as well as a price. The cap total is divided into allowances or permits which are allocated to participating entities based on current emission levels. Every year, the cap and number of allowances is reduced, forcing participants to either cut their emissions or purchase unused permits to offset their pollution.

Proponents believe that these systems will provide a financial incentive for companies to reduce their emissions. Opponents feel that imposing a cost on carbon would translate into higher energy costs. The new administration is taking up this issue currently, but no matter which scheme is implemented, there is a clear sense of urgency if the U.S. — and the world — hopes to affect climate change.

New Direction for Measuring Building Performance
Building performance is often measured in terms of Energy Use Intensity (EUI) in kBTU’s per square foot annually, or Energy Cost Savings in dollars per square foot annually. Even though these metrics are important to evaluate, they do not easily translate to environmental impacts. If we are ever going to bring the discussion to the language of mitigation, we must define a different metric for measuring building performance. I suggest that the common metric should be in terms of carbon reduction per project in pounds (or tons) per square foot annually.

As we move into this new economy, organizations and companies will most likely be required to report their carbon emissions annually and to find ways of reducing their impacts. So why doesn’t the building industry jump on board and start informing building owners of how their buildings are mitigating climate change? Owners will soon demand this as part of their organization’s commitment. Climate change must be addressed in the design and construction of their facilities. Owners will also demand to know what the design and construction industry’s experience and expertise is in addressing climate change when hiring firms.

The stakes are high and we, in the building industry, must be the leaders in providing buildings that succeed in the new carbon economy.

Kristy Kevitt - AZRE Magazine November/December 2010

After Hours: Kristy Kevitt

After Hours: Kristy Kevitt

Knowing more about the people we work with is the fun side of the business. It helps start conversations and strengthens business relationships. To nominate a colleague, request an After Hours form from Peter Madrid, peter.madrid@azbigmedia.com.

Kristy Kevitt

  • Principal, Business Development, SmithGroup.
  • Born in Witchita, Kan.
  • Attended Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.
  • With SmithGroup for 10 years.

Personal Insight

Growing up I wanted to be a sports doctor.


Sports Teams: Kansas State Wildcats, Arizona Cardinals.

Activities: Running, swimming, biking, surfing, hiking, lifting weights and skiing.

Destinations: I’ve been to Africa, Bora Bora, Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain, Costa Rica and Germany. I’d still like to see parts of the world – Greece, Italy, Paris, Thailand.. the list is unlimited.


Guiding my blind friend (veteran Tom Hicks) up Mt. Kilimajaro, breaking four world records in the process; Alcatraz Challenge (swim/run); Completing nine marathons; 1st Degree Black Belt in Taekwono; 1st and 2nd places at Junior Olympics for Taekwondo.

Community Service

I’m training for an ironman in 90 days to raise money for The Action Foundation, a local nonprofit group fighting childhood obesity. My goal is to raise $35,000 by Dec. 10 (You can watch Kristy training and learn more about her campaign at www.theactionfoundation.com).


Received: Nothing is bigger than you.

To Share: Take time to discover your passion in life. Focus on your strengths more than your weaknesses.

AZRE Magazine November/December 2010

Asset Repositioning - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010

REAP What You Sow: The Benefits Of Asset Repositioning

When it comes to the bottom line, companies that want to be in the black — go green. As building owners, developers, brokers and designers, the industry is trying to re-define how they do business to stay in business, and it is vital that these efforts align with the paradigm toward green building.

Existing assets — empty buildings, existing properties with leases expiring, etc. — may be the most marketable commodity right now. Building owners should look at new ways to use this economic downturn as an opportunity, and not a road block. By incorporating four simple measures, owners and developers can reposition their real estate assets to be more marketable — a concept better known as real estate asset positioning (REAP).

Going Green

Invest in sustainable strategies. A building that can call itself “green” is much more marketable than one that lacks environmentally conscious attributes. Leading organizations are demanding green designs, while employees increasingly view sustainability as a corporate responsibility. In fact, a Harris Poll found that 33 percent of Americans would be more inclined to work for a green company, than one that did not make a conscious effort to promote sustainable practices.

Daylighting, shading, varied glass types and occupancy sensors are just a few strategies that have demonstrated a quantifiable Return On Investment (ROI), and are proven to benefit occupant health and well-being. Furthermore, increased building value and elevated rents often have been cited as benefits of green buildings, according to Turner’s 2008 Green Building Market Barometer. Going “green” is a great way for building owners to leverage their assets for strategic market repositioning.

Energy Reduction

Incorporate measures to reduce consumption by investing in sustainable strategies that are efficient in their use of water, energy and other resources. Examples include using low-flow plumbing fixtures, high-efficiency lighting and air quality monitoring.

Out of 754 commercial real estate executives surveyed, Turner’s report found:

» 84 percent of respondents cited lower energy costs in green buildings

» 68 percent noted overall operating cost savings

» 72 percent say green creates higher building values

Sundt Construction, currently in the process of realizing a lab building for an Arizona university, conducted energy consumption metrics showing the cost to provide occupancy sensors for a 294,000-square-foot building would be $15,598. The owner’s savings for the first year were estimated at $29,905 — a noticeably fast payback on an initial investment.

Building owners and some tenants also may receive tax deductions of up to $1.80 per square foot if they install energy-efficient interior lighting; upgrade the building envelope; and install heating, cooling, ventilation and/or hot water systems to reduce energy consumption by 50 percent, in comparison to meeting minimum ASHRAE 90.1 requirements.

Market Driven

Focus on looks and extras. When it comes to attracting the best tenants in today’s real estate market, there has never been a more prudent time to assess an existing building’s worth.

Upgrading and retrofitting 40-, 20- and even 10–year-old buildings during this economic downturn can result in significant cost savings, as the current market experiences up to a 30 percent drop in construction costs.

New lobbies and entries, updated restrooms and elevators will attract potential tenants and retain existing ones, who may be considering relocation. Providing additional amenities to elevate an existing building to Class A office space provides the competitive edge necessary to exist in the new, highly competitive marketplace.

In addition, envelope and exterior skin upgrades from Low-E insulated glazing units to new, longer lasting and maintenance-free, environmentally friendly materials will enhance the building’s appearance, as well as its internal support systems.

By incorporating aesthetic upgrades and modernizations to reposition assets, a building’s life can be extended well beyond its initial years.

Adaptive Reuse

Innovate. It’s easy to envision an existing historic structure retrofitted into a modern, trendy boutique hotel. However, it takes a creative mind to realize that a brand new, empty, speculative high-rise office building has that same potential.

The real estate is there — it’s a matter of incorporating flexibility into the process of assessing the market’s changing demand. Introducing a new function or use into an existing asset, based on what the market is saying, is a cost-effective way to extend the longevity of a building and exceed the ROI on existing real estate.

What better way to “go green” than to recycle and re-use an existing building?

As asset repositioning — or REAP — continues to catch on, the value of revitalizing existing buildings is becoming paramount to how the economy will affect the design and construction industry in Arizona for the next 10 to 20 years. Understanding the market demand and how it affects an existing asset is the first step. Secondly, developing an analysis of the property may be the most viable way to determine its future potential — whether it makes sense to update, retrofit or green-up, the possibilities are infinite.

This is not a new practice, just a smart one that will provide ongoing opportunity for those willing to take the plunge and invest in what already exists. Let’s REAP the benefits together!

Martha Abbott is an architectural senior project manager for the Workplace Studio of SmithGroup’s Phoenix office, with 20 years of experience.

For more information about SmithGroup or asset repositioning, visit smithgroup.com.

AZRE Magazine July-August 2010

Ranking AZ 2010

Ranking Arizona: 2010 Hall Of Fame

These Ranking Arizona Hall of Fame Inductees have been ranked No. 1 for 10 years.

Congratulations to our Ranking Arizona Hall of Fame Inductees!

Ranking AZ 2010 Hall of Fame

Corporate Job Bank

Ranking AZ 2010 Hall of Fame


Ranking AZ 2010 Hall of Fame

Moon Valley Nursery

Ranking AZ 2010 Hall of Fame

New Horizons of Arizona

Ranking AZ 2010 Hall of Fame

Salt Cellar Restaurant

Ranking AZ 2010 Hall of Fame

Schumacher European

Ranking AZ 2010 Hall of Fame


Ranking AZ 2010 Hall of Fame

Target Commercial Interiors

Ranking AZ 2010 Hall of Fame

Gainey Village Health Club & Spa

Best of the Best Awards 2010

Architect Of The Year 2010


Winner of Best Medical Project: Banner Ironwood Medical Center
Winner of Best Educational Project: ASU College of Nursing & Health Innovation
Winner of Best Office Project: One Central Park East

SmithGroup ranks as the 7th largest architecture and engineering firm in the United States and employs 800 professionals. The firm is composed of client industry-focused practices serving the higher education, healthcare, workplace, and science and technology markets.

Sustainable design is at the core of every SmithGroup project. With 346 LEED Accredited Professionals and 42 LEED-certified projects, SmithGroup is a national leader in sustainable, environmentally intelligent design. It continues to raise the bar by adopting the rigorous energy standards of the AIA-AZ Architecture 2030 Challenge. SmithGroup has been an active presence in the Valley of the Sun since 1973, and is the longest continually operating architecture and engineering firm in the U.S. Architect of the year 2010

Past accolades for SmithGroup include being chosen as the AIA Arizona Architectural Firm of the Year in 2007, a distinction that “recognizes the continuing collaboration among individuals in a firm who have produced distinguished architecture over a period of 10 years, and have made significant contributions to the Institute, the profession and their community, and have transcended their local boundaries in making these contributions.”


AZRE Red Awards March 2010 | Previous: Developer | Next: General Contractor of the Year

2010 Best of the Best Awards

2010 BOB Awards: Real Estate Commercial

The following companies won the Gold, Silver and Bronze rankings in the Real Estate Commercial category of the 2010 BOB Awards.

2010 Best Of The Best Awards: Real Estate Commercial

2010 Best of the Best AwardsCB Richard Ellis
Brokerage Firms: 25 Brokers or more

Year Est.: 1952
Brokers: 104
Principal(s): Craig Henig (Arizona/Phoenix), Tim Prouty (Arizona/Tucson)

2010 BOB AwardsReliability and value: a combination Arizona businesses and consumers have come to depend on from Verizon Wireless. We offer the value of Friends & Family, plus a Mobile to Mobile calling community of more than 80 million — all backed by the nation’s largest and most reliable wireless voice and 3G network. Since 2000, we have invested more than $755 million in our wireless network in Arizona and more than $50 billion nationally. This means customers can make more calls, send e-mails, text and picture messages, plus enjoy expanded wireless access to the Web.

2010 Best of the Best AwardsSmithGroup

Architectural Firms: 11 Architects or more

2010 BOB AwardsYear Est.: 1973
Lic. Architects: 35
Principal(s): Michael Medici, Bob Colletta, Mark Kranz, Mark Roddy, Brad Woodman, Mark Patterson, Eddie Garcia, Eric Kirkland, Mark Adams, Kristy Kevitt

2010 BOB AwardsMcCarthy Building Companies

Contractors: General 100 Staff or more

2010 BOB AwardsYear Est.: 1977
AZ Staff: 218
Principal(s): Bo Calpert, Deniss Tucker

2010 Best of the Best Hall of Fame


RED Awards 2010 - AZRE Magazine March/April 2010

2010 RED Awards Winners & Honorees

On Thursday, March 4, 2010, AZRE | Arizona Commercial Real Estate Magazine presented the 5th Annual RED Awards — Arizona’s most comprehensive annual real estate awards. The reception honored the Biggest, Best and Most Notable commercial real estate projects and transactions of 2009. The top projects were announced and awards given to the developer, general contractor, architect and broker/teams of each winning project. All of the award winners and honorable mentions were featured within a special award section published within the March/April 2010 issue of AZRE Magazine.

2010 RED Awards Winners & Honorees

Best Education Project:


ASU College of Nursing & Health Innovation

Honorable Mention:

Ironwood Hall

Best Hospitality Project:


Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino

Honorable Mention:

aloft Hotel

Best Industrial Project:


Rockefeller Group Distribution Center

Honorable Mention:

Spectrum Ridge, Phase I

Best Medical Project:


Banner Ironwood Medical Center

Honorable Mention:

Banner Thunderbird Medical Center Tower

Best Multi-Family Project:


Grigio Metro

Honorable Mention:

Ninety Degrees Paradise Ridge

Best Office Project:


One Central Park East

Honorable Mention:

Orbital Sciences Corp.

Best Public Project:


Surprise City Hall

Honorable Mention:

Camelback Ranch Spring Training Facility

Best Retail Project:


Scottsdale Quarter

Honorable Mention:

Aspen Place at the Saw Mill

Best Re-Development Project:


300 M

Honorable Mention:

Phoenix Country Club Modernization

Best Tenant Improvement Project:


Barneys New York Interior Build-Out

Honorable Mention:

Arcadia Gateway Reimaging

Most Challenging Project:


Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites

Honorable Mention:

3900 Camelback Center

Most Sustainable Project:


Appaloosa Branch Library

Honorable Mention:

Flagstaff Courtyard by Marriott

Developer of the Year:


Ryan Companies US Inc.

Architect of the Year:



General Contractor of the Year:


McCarthy Building Companies

Brokerage Team of the Year for Leasing:


CB Richard Ellis

Brokerage Team of the Year for Sales:


Cushman & Wakefield

For information on sponsorship opportunities, corporate tables or attendance, please email events@azbusinessmagazine.com or call (602) 277-6045.

AZRE Magazine March/April 2010


Best Medical Project 2010

Banner Ironwood Medical Center

Banner Ironwood is a 24-bed, start-up facility with the ability to grow to 86 beds without any building expansion. The selection of sustainable products was highly considered throughout the design and construction process. BIM was an integral piece of the project’s design and construction process, allowing the team to design and deliver the project in 22 months — six months for design and 16 months for construction. One unique approach utilizing BIM that McCarthy and SmithGroup developed was the virtual mock-up of a typical patient room. Using this mock-up, the construction team was able to show user groups months ahead of physical construction how the room would appear, as well as figure out the measurement and placement of critical equipment.

Developer: Banner Health
Contractor: McCarthy Building Companies
Architect: SmithGroup
Size: 230,000 SF
Location: Gantzel & Combs roads, Queen Creek
Completed: September 2009

Honorable Mention: Banner Thunderbird
Medical Center Tower Best Medical Project 2010

Developer: Banner Health
Contractor: McCarthy Building Companies
Architect: NTD Architecture
Size: 332,890 SF
Location: 5555 W. Thunderbird Rd., Glendale
Completed: October 2009

AZRE Red Awards March 2010 | Previous: Best Office Project | Next: Best Educational Project


Best Office Project 2010

One Central Park East

One Central Park East is the first new high-rise spec office building built in Downtown Phoenix in more than eight years. The $175M development contains 495,000 SF of Class A office space on 16 floors, resting atop a 9-level parking garage. The design philosophy took a functional and efficient office floor plate and articulated it with shading devices on each façade in response to the harsh environment. This enabled the team to take a typical developer-driven office model and create a building with a sophisticated layer of shade fins to make it appropriate for Phoenix’s desert climate. The project is adjacent to the light rail system, making it one of the first transit-oriented developments in Downtown Phoenix.

Developer: Mesirow Financial
Contractor: Holder Construction
Architect: SmithGroup
Broker: CB Richard Ellis: Brad Anderson
Size: 700,000 SF
Location: 50 E. Van Buren, Phoenix
Completed: November 2009

Honorable Mention: Orbital Sciences Corp. Best Office Project 2010

Developer: Gilbane Development Company
Contractor: McShane Construction Company
Architect: Gromatzky Dupree & Associates
Broker: CB Richard Ellis:
• Jerry McCormick & Team
Size: 83,183 SF
Location: 3377 S. Price Rd., Chandler
Completed: September 2009

AZRE Red Awards March 2010 | Previous: Best Industrial Project | Next: Best Medical Project