William Maclay - Vermont Architects and Planners
Choices in Sustainability
Waterbury State Office Complex - Weeks + Hanks Building Renovations

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DESIGN CHALLENGE

The Weeks and Hanks Buildings, both programmed as office buildings within the Waterbury State Office Complex, present many challenges. The Hanks Building is recognized as an historic structure, meaning that any work done to the building must take special care to preserve the historic character and features of the building. The Weeks Building, while not classified under the same standards, is still an historic part of the Vermont State Hospital complex, and efforts must be taken to preserve it's integrity. Vacant since the flooding of Tropical Storm Irene, both buildings have previously been wet flood-proofed. Maclay Architects was hired to upgrade both buildings to meet the state's current requirements for secure, accessible, flexible office space.

APPROACH

Weeks: The building was wet-floodproofed in a previous phase. Mechanical and envelope upgrades planned for the basement aim to reduce moisture and humidity. Occupant comfort and energy efficiency will be balanced with historic sensitivity by insulating the interior of the currently uninsulated brick wall, airsealing the existing historic replacement windows, and the installation of a new HVAC system. Non-historic exterior stair towers are being removed, and new code-compliant exit stairs will be constructed inside the historic envelope. Historic features including porch spaces, interior transoms at historic door openings, and a porte cochere railing lost over time will be restored. 

Hanks: The Hanks building will also receive insulation on the interior of the brick walls, and HVAC upgrades to address moisture, efficiency, and occupant comfort. A new, historically sensitive covered ramp will provide an accessible entrance through a new door in a previously infilled historic opening. The historic windows will be carefully restored and new storm windows will be added. Inside, non-historic modifications will be removed, and historic features including doors, transoms and trim, will be preserved. 

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OUTCOME (ANTICIPATED)

Both the Weeks and Hanks building will provide functional office space with improved occupant comfort for the state into the future, while maintaining the historic character of the complex.