NASCC 2017

Night School


Armstrong Oil and Gas project in Denver Wins National Architecture and Engineering Award

July 15, 2009 from American Institute of Steel Construction

Structural steel modifies historic downtown building into contemporary work place

(Chicago, IL) – The Armstrong Oil and Gas adaptive re-use office project has earned national recognition in the 2009 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program (IDEAS2), and members of the project team will be presented with awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) during a reception on the building’s roof top deck on Thursday, July 16 at 5 pm. Conducted annually by AISC, the IDEAS2 awards recognize outstanding achievements in engineering and architecture on structural steel projects around the country.

Project team members include owner Armstrong Oil and Gas, Denver; architect Lake/Flato Architects, San Antonio; associate architect Bothwell Davis George Architects, Denver; structural engineer McGlamery Structural Group, Denver; general contractor Sprung Construction, Denver.

The Armstrong Oil and Gas project is a National Winner in the category of projects Less than $15 Million, making it one of only four projects around the country to earn an award in this category. Each year, the IDEAS2 awards honor National and Merit award winners in three categories, based on constructed value: projects less than $15 million; projects $15 million to $75 million; and projects greater than $75 million. Each project is judged on its use of structural steel, with an emphasis on creative solutions to project requirements; design innovation; aesthetic and visual impact of the project; innovative use of architecturally exposed structural steel; technical or architectural advances in the use of steel; the use of innovative design and construction methods; and sustainable design.

The Armstrong Oil and Gas project is an adaptive re-use office of an early 1900s machine shop that has helped to launch a new identity for an established local business, Armstrong Oil and Gas, in lower downtown Denver (LoDo). Charged with bringing new life to the underutilized building, the design team planned the enclosed program around existing elements in place and created generous, sophisticated spaces filled with daylight, natural ventilation, and views to the Denver skyline.

“The structural-steel elements of this project are aesthetic attributes of the building,” commented Christina Koch, LEED AP, editor in chief, eco-structure and metalmag magazines, a judge in the competition. “It's nice to see existing buildings adapted in a thoughtful and beautiful manner. This is a building I'd like to work in.”

The building maintains its existing shell and structure, eliminating tons of waste from local landfills while preserving a respected landmark in downtown Denver.

The existing corrugated steel roof over the main second floor office had deteriorated over the years due to water infiltration and was replaced with corrugated zinc roofing. The original structure consisted of four gabled steel trusses with riveted connections, with wood framing spanning between. Saw-tooth trusses over the second-floor office area were built with the same-size members. The wood framing was replaced with an 18-gauge steel deck clear spanning between trusses, and the existing cupola vent was replaced with a steel-framed and glazed monitor to provide additional light and ventilation to the office.

The building was upgraded for earthquake and wind loads by integrating new brace frames and creating moment-resisting rigid frames from the new steel columns and trusses that form the saw-tooth roof. Where new openings were made in the existing brick walls, the lintel was created by sandwiching the head of the opening with a steel channel on each side, secured in place with through-bolts. The expressed lintel not only contributes to the historic aesthetic of the space, but also allowed for a safe and economic construction sequence; by installing the lintel first, the brick could be removed and the need for temporary shoring avoided.

The 11 IDEAS2 winners for 2009 were chosen from nearly 100 submissions received by architectural and engineering firms throughout the U.S. Each submission is reviewed and award winners are selected by a nationally recognized panel of design and construction industry professionals.

The IDEAS2 awards are the highest project-based awards bestowed by the structural steel industry, with the annual program dating back over 70 years to the earliest years of AISC’s existence. Roger E. Ferch, P.E. president of AISC, said, “The entire Armstrong Oil and Gas project team has shown how structural steel can be used to create sustainable buildings that combine beauty and practicality. The result is a facility that serves its employees extremely well, while providing an example of what can be achieved when designing and constructing projects with steel.”

Photos of the Armstrong Oil and Gas project are available upon request. Please contact Tasha O’Berski at AISC via e-mail, [email protected], or by phone, 312.670.5439.





IDEAS2 Armstrong Oil and GasIDEAS2 Armstrong Oil and Gas (2)


American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC’s mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

130 East Randolph St. Suite 2000
Chicago IL 60601
Phone: 312.670.2400
Fax: 312.626.2402