News Release


Historic Steam Plant at Duke University wins three AIA North Carolina Design Awards

The renovation and restoration of the Duke University East Campus Steam Plant was honored with three different awards for excellence in historic preservation and adaptive reuse at the 2010 American Institute of Architects (AIA) North Carolina Design and Chapter Awards Gala.

The project was presented with a Merit Award for overall design excellence, a Tower Award which recognizes historic preservation and adaptive reuse in renovations, and a Brick Award for its exemplary use of brick. SmithGroup, a leading, national architectural and engineering firm with an office in Durham, North Carolina, served as the design architect for the project.

"The recognition this project has received is a testament to the quality of the original design and to the University and design team's commitment to restoring the building in a way that celebrates its history while accommodating modern technologies," said Brian Dautel, AIA, LEED AP, project architect for SmithGroup.

Built in 1928, the Duke University East Campus Steam Plant sat vacant for over thirty years. In an effort to reduce the university's carbon footprint while meeting infrastructure needs, this historic building was restored and the plant was converted to burn natural gas instead of coal. The main volume of the plant houses 15 energy-efficient Miura boilers, the largest installation of these boilers in North America. As a result, Duke University has reduced its reliance on coal by 70%, with a proportional decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. The restoration also allowed Duke to salvage a piece of its architectural heritage, turning the decaying structure into an admirable campus building. The Steam Plant is currently on track to achieve LEED Gold Certification.

The Awards Gala was held at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina on September 18, 2010. Of the 104 entries submitted, 27 were awarded. Projects were selected based on outstanding architectural design, structural composition and the application of design theory.

SmithGroup is a national leader in sustainable design. The 800-employee architecture, engineering, interiors and planning firm is composed of client industry-focused practices serving the education, healthcare, workplace and science & technology markets.

For More Information:

Kimberly Fowler, LEED Green Associate

For General Media Inquiries:

Sandra Knight, APR