Wellesley MLP Administrative Building

In 2011, Gienapp Design was contracted to provide designer services for a new 8,200 sqft. administrative office building for the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant that would connect with the 26,000 sqft. garage and warehouse building that was constructed in 2009. The Wellesley Municipal Light Plant previously shared a building with the Department of Public Works, which had limited space for both departments to sufficiently function.

The Town of Wellesley wanted to keep the design of the building consistent with existing approvals from the local authorities, including the Zoning Board of Appeals. With many parameters already in place, the project took on many challenges. One of these challenges was strict building height restrictions, which limited the new building’s floor-to-floor height. Exterior finishes were coordinated with the existing MLP Garage Building by specifying the same brick and metal panels of the same color.

The Town was very interested in sustainability and having an energy efficient building. Gienapp Design and our HVAC consultant worked closely with the Permanent Building Committee to select the energy efficient Variable Refrigerant Flow System (VRF), which also fit within the limited floor-to-floor height. The entire building was designed to meet the elective requirements of the Stretch Energy Code.

The building site posed additional challenges. The adjacent garage and warehouse building was built on Rammed Aggregate Piers (Geopier® System) due to loose soils (liquefaction). Gienapp Design and our geotechnical engineer investigated all alternatives in order to ensure the most cost effective solution was used, and ultimately selected the same Geopier® System.

Gienapp Design worked carefully coordinating the work of the consultants with selection of building systems to stay within the estimated construction cost for this project. Construction began in February 2012, and was substantially complete in July 2013.