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Iowa City Public Works Facility Earns APWA Project of the Year Award

July 15th, 2021 | 2 min. read

Iowa City Public Works Facility Earns APWA Project of the Year Award

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The recently completed Iowa City Public Works (ICPW) facility has been named 2021 Project of the Year in the Small Cities/Rural Communities category by the American Public Works Association (APWA). APWA, a not-for-profit organization, presents national awards related to Public Works projects, including buildings, public transportation, and more. Building projects are judged against several criteria, including safety performance, community relations, sustainability, and construction management techniques.

Consolidating ICPW’s Operations

Designed by Neumann Monson Architects and constructed by Merit Construction, the facility represents the first phase of a master plan that provides a centralized campus for ICPW. Historically, ICPW’s staff and equipment fleet have been spread across Iowa city at numerous locations. The new campus reduces commute times and enables the staff to do their job more safely and efficiently. Neumann Monson designed the master plan through workshops and interviews with the city staff related to the operations and maintenance practices of all seven Public Works divisions.

“The work done at this facility keeps Iowa City running. Providing the safest and most efficient work environment possible is the least we can do to help these crews keep the city on the move,” said Principal Architect Dave Zahradnik.  

Improving Energy Efficiency

The award-winning facility houses the Streets, Traffic Engineering, and Water Distribution Divisions, along with their associated vehicles and equipment. Design decisions were informed by the City’s Climate Action and Adaption plan, which details goals to reduce carbon emissions significantly by target years 2030 and 2050. Neumann Monson performed volumetric energy modeling to maximize the efficiency of the building’s heating and cooling systems. The facility is projected to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, the second-highest LEED certification below LEED Platinum. Additionally, the facility has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) at the state and regional level for awards in design excellence.

Receiving the APWA Award

APWA award recipients exemplify infrastructure projects that are designed, constructed, and maintained to advance the quality of life in the community. This recognition represents the City of Iowa City’s commitment to sustainabile and effecient infrastructure planning. In response to the project’s recognition, Project Architect Jesse Bulman says, “It was an honor to serve the often-unsung heroes that make modern urban living possible. We enjoyed the challenge of the City’s vision to create a vital and functional building that provides an excellent work environment, respects the environment, and is aesthetically pleasing.”