When Judith Hayward, CEO of HCRS, and her staff set out to design and build a new facility for the organization, she very clearly stated: “We must strive to make this agency an island of safety and care for all those who come to us. Our objective is to create quality, healthy spaces where individuals feel uplifted by the color, light, texture, and harmony of their surroundings.”
In the fall of 2005, HCRS teamed up with Bread Loaf Corporation of Middlebury, Vermont, to help consolidate seven of their scattered office and treatment centers into one new 30,000 square-foot facility. Together we developed a concept for a healthy, sustainable building. This building is not just “green” and environmentally friendly; rather, it was designed to last, or sustain, by being flexible and enduring. Bread Loaf’s unique integrated design and project management process allowed this to happen by assembling an extensive project team and defining and embracing HCRS’ project goals early in the process.
The new building has been recognized widely for these remarkable efforts. It was awarded first place in the New Construction category of the Better Buildings by Design 2008 Design Competition, sponsored by Efficiency Vermont. This award recognizes the innovative and integrated design approach towards energy efficiency and high performance building. The project also received the 2007 Excellence in Design Award from the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, citing excellence in sustainability.
Last week, Bread Loaf Architects Andrea Murray and Jan Becker presented Ms. Hayward and staff with framed copies of these awards for display in the building. In addition, Ms. Murray read a recent letter from Bernard Sanders, U.S. Senator, commending all involved for demonstrating an extraordinary level of innovation for sustainability.
As Ms. Hayward mentioned in closing, “Both patients and staff reward us every day with the evidence that our dream has indeed become a reality for us all. From patients I have heard the words, ‘I feel excited when I come in the building, just like I did when I came out of the hospital and got my first apartment, like I’m worth something!’ and; ‘You did this for us?’ and; “I love to be in this building. It is beautiful and I think I could fix my place up too.’”
HCRS is a multifaceted, non-profit, community mental health agency which has served Vermonters since 1967. By 1990, the agency had evolved into the comprehensive human services provider it is today with major programs in mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities. HCRS currently serves more than 4,500 Vermonters each year. HCRS’ mission is to provide exemplary service by a team passionate about improving the quality of life in our communities.
Bread Loaf Corporation integrates planning, architecture, and building solutions to help clients grow their businesses, campuses, communities, and cultural institutions. Bread Loaf recognizes the value of both our built and natural environments and strives to create a sustainable balance between the two.