Northern Arizona Real Estate Holdings


Northern Arizona Real Estate Holdings, University Services Building

Flagstaff, Arizona

45,000 SF; 4,180 M2

Architecture, Engineering, Interior Architecture

“The challenge of this project was due to the extremely aggressive design and construction schedule and tight budgets. I do not believe we could have accomplished the same successful results with a different team. ”

—Ron Ensley, Senior Project Manager - Mortenson Construction


Tight budgets and schedules are typical design challenges. However, delivering a great project with less than 12 months for design and construction took “tight” to a whole new level. These were the requirements set forth by the Northern Arizona University Foundation for their new University Services Building, a project that would also mark the first design-build endeavor on campus. Together with Mortenson Construction, SmithGroupJJR accepted the challenge and delivered a modern, efficient and flexible building—under budget.

Located on a tricky site near the edge of campus, the three-story administrative building consolidates office space for several departments previously scattered throughout campus. Flexibility and functionality are maximized within by pushing the building’s core to the exterior perimeter providing for a column free floor space. Efficient interior planning optimizes the natural daylight delivered into the space. To reduce construction time and costs, a pre-fabricated, pre-insulated metal panel was implemented and quickly erected providing optimal thermal performance and weather tightness in a singular system. This system was instrumental in taking full advantage of the interior usable area due to its thin profile, and delivering the project at record speed.

The completed project epitomizes a true design-build collaboration and showcases successful integrated project delivery: not only saving the University time and money; but demonstrated the possibilities of creative solutions when all team members are engaged from day one.