SWA’s Project Receives Highest Honor in 2014 GSA Design Awards Program

MAY 19, 2014

The U.S. Land Port of Entry in Van Buren, Maine, a Steven Winter Associates, Inc.(SWA) ( project has received the highest award in the 2014 U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Awards Program. SWA was the Sustainability Consultant for the project. The entire project team was recognized at a ceremony on April 30, 2014 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC.

The project team consists of:

    Julie Snow Architects, Design Architect
    Robert Siegel Architects, Build Architect
    Arup & Partners, Civil and MEP Engineers
    Sasaki Associates, Landscape Architect
    Anastos Engineering Associates, Structural Engineers

SWA provided LEED consulting services on this project, and along with the project team members, was recognized for the substantial work in sustainability at the LEED® registered Port of Entry, currently targeting Silver certification.

Every two years, GSA celebrates the accomplishments of their employees and the talented architects, engineers, landscape architects, urban designers, interior designers, artists, conservationists, and preservationists who create and safeguard the nation’s landmarks. A jury of private sector professionals reviewed more than 120 projects for this cycle of GSA’s Design Awards, receiving submissions in 17 categories such as architecture, preservation, engineering, art, workplace environment, urban design, sustainability, and construction.

About U.S. Land Port of Entry, Van Buren, Maine
In spring 2008, snowmelt and heavy rain caused flooding of the St. John River, forcing residents of northern Maine to evacuate their homes. In the town of Van Buren, where the river marks an international boundary, floodwaters also destroyed the land entry that welcomed travelers from Canada. The loss of the existing port building necessitated acceleration of the design and construction of a new facility to serve U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations through the year 2030.

The project location was a major challenge, as it is situated in one of the most northern cities in the continental United States, making it difficult to use facilities and find materials without crossing the border. However, there were multiple project highlights brought about with the cohesiveness of the design and natural features of the site. The forests that still cover much of the St. John Valley provided inspiration for a rhythmic pattern of exterior cladding evokes both surveillance and camouflage. Another important measure incorporated into the project was the addition of a sustainable stormwater management system.

After sustainable design concepts were incorporated and the project was completed, final results demonstrated that there was an overall annual energy savings of fifteen percent. With the new port’s commercial capability, it is likely to increase trade and travel through Van Buren. Concentrating port operations on the site’s northernmost ten acres of the site not only allows CBP to better control the secure area, but also allows visitors on foot, bike, or snowmobile to enter the town.

About GSA
Founded in 1949, GSA serves as a centralized procurement and property management agency for the federal government. GSA provides workplaces by constructing, managing, and preserving government buildings and by leasing and managing commercial real estate. Their acquisition solutions offer private sector professional services, equipment, supplies, telecommunications, and information technology to government organizations and the military. GSA policies promote management best practices and efficient government operations. Their mission is to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and e-travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.

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