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  Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News     
          Monthly Newsletter
May 2016
In This Issue


Topic of the Month: Valley Performing Arts Center

Architectural Firm of the Month: HGA Architects

Helpful Links for Architects     

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Welcome to the May issue of our newsletter! In each issue we present you with interesting and informative articles about the various projects architects and designers are working on around the country. If there is a project you would like to share with us, please contact us and tell us about it! Your project could be featured in one of our upcoming issues of this newsletter. To learn more about our "high-end" cut-to-size Glacier Blue® Devonian Sandstone products, please click here to visit our website.

HGA is a full service, integrated firm where multidisciplinary teams of experts work together throughout the life of a project to create holistic designs for our clients. Our culture of collaboration, knowledge sharing, and design investigation enables our clients to achieve success with responsive, innovative, and sustainable design.
From our original Minneapolis headquarters, HGA has expanded into eight national offices with more than 600 employees sharing resources firm-wide to better address our client's evolving needs. Each office recruits the best talent in its area to build core strengths in design, engineering, planning, project management, and construction administration. 

For more information visit:

The modern, dynamic architecture of the Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University-Northridge in Los Angeles, California was designed by HGA Architects and is LEED Gold Certified. The 166,000-square-foot, three-tier concert hall features a professional stage-house with an 85-foot-high full fly-tower. Stainless-steel mesh panels along the sides and rear shimmer in the light when a performance is taking place.

Gary Reetz, Principal Architect at the firm's Minneapolis office, worked on the project. Reetz is a recognized design leader focusing on arts-related projects. His work includes museums, performing-arts centers, studio-arts spaces, concert halls and theaters. As a long-time supporter of the arts, Reetz is a national voice promoting the arts and arts education as a means to build business and engage the community. He states, "Arts clients, in particular, are open to having their buildings express their cultural identity. They are visual clients and they want something that is visual."

Prominently located on the southwest corner of campus, the Valley Performing Arts Center includes a 1,700-seat concert hall, 175-seat back box studio theater, rehearsal and events space, classrooms, 230-seat lecture hall, and a broadcast facility for KCSN public radio. A grand lobby visually opens the interior to the surrounding neighborhood, setting a new standard for performance spaces in the San Fernando Valley while serving the greater Los Angeles area.

Because the building is LEED Gold Certified by the United States Green Building Council, the primary challenge was designing a building that would combine the complex mechanical, electrical, theatrical, acoustical, audio visual, and structural systems into a cost effective, energy efficient and sustainable design that provides a superior acoustical environment for the audience while serving as a memorable architectural and cultural landmark.

"The mechanical system accommodates varied programming needs while delivering optimal energy performance. The HVAC system taps into the university's four existing chillers for cooling and dehumidification. In addition, the system utilizes recovered heat from two hydrogen fuel cells feeding the campus electrical grid to provide heating and domestic hot-water load. Within the performance hall, a displacement-ventilation system uses the natural buoyancy of warm air to provide ventilation and comfort with air supplied from floor-mounted registers under audience seats. By taking advantage of the seating slope, the design utilizes concrete tunnels to deliver supply air to the floor outlets."

The Valley Performing Arts Center has won numerous design awards for architectural excellence, including an AIA Minnesota Honor Award, an AIA Los Angeles Merit Award, an ENR California /McGraw-Hill Construction Award of Merit, a Design Award in the Institutional Category by the Southern California Development Forum, a AIA San Fernando Valley Building Team Award, Regional ASHRAE Technology Award, New Public Assembly, Los Angeles Business Council Architecture Award, and a IES/IIDA Section Guth Award for Interior Lighting Design. The AIA Minnesota Awards jury remarked, "The project had the confidence to let the program speak for itself. We loved the clarity of vision and attention to detail. The auditorium, in particular, is refined and beautifully detailed."

The construction cost was $125 million, and it was well worth it to have such a striking design for a performing arts center. Reetz explains, "Art and performance have the power to inspire people in creative and meaningful ways. Great architecture is a tool to enable creative expression." 

Helpful Links for Architects

AIA Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) 

The Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN), a Knowledge Community of The American Institute of Architects, is committed to the promotion of all residential architecture based on architectural content irrespective of style. For more information visit:  

AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community

The AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community provides leadership and expertise to practitioners of interior architecture and design, working cooperatively with its members and other interiors organizations to address relevant, timely practice issues, markets, and trends, such as licensing, liability, environmental, and technological considerations. Through the Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, important links are maintained with allied professionals, service providers, and manufacturers. If you wish to become a member of the AIA Interior Architecture Knowledge Community, call AIA Member Services at 800-242-3837, or visit: 


Architect Online's Continuing Education Center

Architect Online's Online Continuing Education Center gives professionals a convenient way to earn necessary continuing education credits without having to set foot in a classroom. The courses listed, sponsored by the companies noted, are accessible from anywhere you can establish an online connection. Just register, read the required material, and then take the test, either through a downloadable mail-in form, or free via a secure online connection, depending on the course. You'll be able to maintain your professional credentials, at your pace, and at a location that works for you. Visit: 


Architectural Record Continuing Education Center

Architectural Record magazine has a free Continuing Education Center where architects can earn AIA Continuing Education Credits online. Visit:

Architectural Record Discussion Forums

The McGraw Hill Construction Community, publisher of Architectural Record, has provided architects with a forum to express ideas, opinions, suggestions, and gripes. The discussion forums are open to all, and include topics such as Green Building Projects, Virtual Design, Practice Matters and a forum for younger architects. Visit:

CORA - Congress of Residential Architecture 

CORA is a grass root organization that encourages our members to participate in the dialog of improving residential architecture in a way that suits them best. The purpose of the CORA is to provide a continuing forum for advocating and enhancing residential architecture by all individuals, both professionals and non-professionals, that share a common interest in improving the quality of the homes and communities we live in. Visit: 

The Green Meeting Industry Council

The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) is a non profit 501(c)(6) membership-based organization. Their goal is to encourage collaboration within the meetings industry toward the development of green standards that will improve the environmental performance of meetings and events on a global basis. The GMIC is the only professional green meetings organization that is a member of the Convention Industry Council. For more information visit: 


The World Architecture Community
The World Architecture Community invites all architects to create a free profile on their website. The World Architecture Portal is a unique comprehensive international directory and catalog of contemporary architecture where all architects, scholars and institutions may submit their work and links to share with colleagues from around the world.
For more information visit:

We hope you enjoyed our informative monthly e-newsletter. For questions, comments or more information, please e-mail or call us today.





Liz Benton, Editor 
Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.

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