VIA architects receive energy-efficiency award

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury’s Vermont Integrated Architecture, P.C. (VIA), was recently named Efficiency Vermont’s Commercial New Construction Partner of the Year. Nominated by Efficiency Vermont (EVT) collaborative partners, VIA garnered a unanimous vote of EVT officials to receive the award. EVT announced this and other awards at its annual conference, Better Buildings by Design, held in early February. Award winners demonstrate excellence in designing, building, and renovating energy efficient and sustainable buildings.
In the award narrative, EVT noted that “Vermont Integrated Architecture’s commitment to energy efficiency goes beyond its project design work. Sustainability is embedded in VIA’s culture and evident in its buildings. Under the leadership of principals Andrea Murray and Ashar Nelson, the Middlebury-based architectural design firm takes a holistic approach to high-performance building design, weaving in considerations of people and planet while remaining focused on the client’s goals. With an attitude of collaboration, VIA engages all project players to achieve the most efficient design.”
Andrea Murray echoed the sentiment, commenting that “We have enjoyed our collaboration with Efficiency Vermont over the years, most recently on the Vergennes Community Housing project and the new Pierson Library in Shelburne. Our close work with Efficiency Vermont ensures that our projects showcase the best strategies for energy efficiency and help advance sustainable design. We are very fortunate to have this unique utility in Vermont that is championing the challenges architects and builders face with respect to climate change.”
VIA has been working with EVT for many years, specifically with a pilot program promoting Net Zero Energy buildings in Vermont. The Waterbury Municipal Center, designed by VIA and completed in 2016, was among the first in the program and helped solidify its viability. In addition, VIA has conducted research into energy modeling software for EVT, and as a result now shares that knowledge with its clients. VIA also contributed to evaluations of commissioning services, which help ensure that building envelopes and building systems operate optimally for the most efficient outcomes.
“This year’s winners are achieving the highest levels of building performance in a state that boasts a statewide network of highly skilled efficient designers, builders, and contractors,” said Efficiency Vermont Director Rebecca Foster.
VIA is a 10-person, full-service architecture firm located in the Marbleworks in Middlebury. Andrea Murray and Ashar Nelson formed the firm in 2011 with a vision to design delightful spaces that benefit communities and their respective environments.

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