Build Washington Awards Program Acknowledges Public Buildings for Excellence in Safety, Innovation, Service and Diversity
SEATTLE – Clark Construction Group was recently recognized for The Spark, a new, high performance digital classroom building located on the campus of Washington State University. The award, designated for public buildings costing between $20 million and $50 million, is presented annually by the Associated General Contractors of Washington. Clark Construction completed the building $127,000 under budget.
Clark partnered with Washington State University and primary designer ZGF Architects on the $43 million design-build project. WSU envisioned The Spark to be a technology-rich, revolutionary academic hub that would also accommodate the university’s population growth and the advancements in student learning — like teach “teach in the round” classroom.
“The client, architect and contractor fostered a culture of transparency and trust from the start, while equally involving the needs of the students, faculty and the greater Pullman community,” said Brett Earnest, vice president at Clark Construction Group in Seattle.
Clark has delivered nearly $20 billion of design-build projects nationwide. The company has deep expertise in the education sector, having constructed nearly $5 billion in award-winning academic facilities projects ranging from classrooms and residence halls to sports venues and research centers.
Clark delivered The Spark project early, and helped WSU to identify some $5 million in project savings during the design-validation period. The Spark also included $750,000 in technological and student experience enhancements that the Clark team incorporated into the project.
The Spark required Clark to understand WSU’s mission, respond to the owner’s unique needs, and employ a team mentality throughout the building cycle. Clark’s management practices also made a positive impact in Pullman by permitting oversight from the City of Pullman, setting the benchmark for how a contractor should support their community. Clark was the first contractor in WSU’s history to approach the Pullman Fire Department to ensure that the City’s Emergency Response Teams were prepared in the event of an emergency on the jobsite.
The building includes a state-of-the-art circular, 250-seat learning hall, faculty innovation studio, media studio with 3-D printers, cafe, student development studio, and event and office space. The Spark achieved LEED® Silver certification and was designed for 33% energy savings from the ASHRAE standard for this building type.