Minneapolis — Kodet Architectural Group, Ltd.’s design of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Maple Grove Maintenance and Truck Station has earned a 2014 Merit Award from the American Institute of Architects’ Minneapolis chapter (AIA Minneapolis). Kodet Architectural Group is a Minneapolis-based full-service architectural firm. Structural engineer for the project was Mattson MacDonald Young, Inc. of Minneapolis.

AIA Minneapolis Merit Awards encompass the views of business professionals, real estate developers, community advocates, and academic leaders, as well as architects. In the words of the owner: “With this building design, MnDOT will be able to provide better customer service through enhanced equipment availability for road maintenance and by prolonging the life of taxpayer-supported equipment.”

AIA Minneapolis Merit Awards tell a story of excellence beyond design, reflecting the variety of forces that shape a building – from the client/team satisfaction to technical innovation and environmental responsibility, from budget/business success to community impact. For MnDot Maple Grove Maintenance and Truck Station, the jurors’ comments included such descriptions as “the garages are beautiful,” “balance of interior and exterior” and “six percent below budget and on time.”

Completed in August 2013, MnDOT Maple Grove Maintenance and Truck Station was estimated at $13.8 million and bids totaled at $12.9 million. “This project makes a unique design statement out of an ordinary utilitarian building type, using simple economical materials, such as precast concrete, metal panels and painted steel,” said Ed Kodet, Jr., FAIA, president of Kodet Architectural Group.

Encompassing 108,000 square feet, this new facility combines the functions of the Golden Valley and Maple Grove Maintenance Facilities into one building. It functions as a hub for MnDOT, providing 34 vehicle maintenance stalls, four large welding bays, as well as space for 27 vehicles in heated storage. The Field Supply Inventory Center is the building’s core, providing access to both vehicle maintenance and storage, and servicing other MnDOT facilities with a loading dock for vendors’ access.

“Combining the station operations and mechanics facility in one location centralizes these functions and reduces maintenance and operations costs for the Metro District,” according to MnDOT. “The main building layout is more efficient for MnDOT staff’s use and provides a safer and healthier work environment due to design of HVAC, lighting and materials distribution systems.” These systems were developed working closely with local utilities to achieve energy rebates, incorporating occupancy and daylight sensors and high efficiency.

Kodet Architectural Group’s design followed the Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines (MSBG), incorporating materials that are locally available and recycled. Sustainable concepts implemented include a geothermal system with wells on site, and clerestory windows and skylights in vehicle maintenance to provide daylight. Computer modeling was used to optimize the openings’ locations. Kodet also used computer 3-D modeling for renderings and cost estimate takeoffs.

“The design was a successful collaborative effort between the design team, Metro District staff and MnDOT Building Services staff, which worked closely through the programming, design and construction phases,” praised MnDOT. “This project is a tremendous addition to MnDOT’s facilities and will support metro operations for many decades into the future.”

MnDOT Maple Grove Maintenance and Truck Station is one of four projects are recognized as 2014 AIA Minneapolis Merit Award Winners. Kodet Architectural Group also will be honored for the Hmong College Prep Academy’s design.