711 High Street (Des Moines)

711 High Street exterior view, 2020 Preservation at Its Best

2020 Preservation at its Best: Sustainability

Architectural Record christened 711 High Street the Building of the Decade the year it was built. By 1939-standards, the beautiful art deco building incorporated many unique and innovative systems. Principal understood the building’s significance as well as the impact it would have on current and future employees.

The 473,000 square-foot building, which occupies an entire city block, was completely gutted and remodeled. Preserving, respecting, and restoring the historic art deco features in the building, and making use of existing materials was a priority for the design team. The project scope included renovations to update systems, meet current fire and life safety codes, integrate new mechanical systems within the existing envelope, and create a central hub on the third floor to streamline wayfinding.

Throughout the design and construction, sustainability was always at the forefront. OPN guided Principal in the development of a sustainability strategy for the renovated building as well as day-to-day operations to ensure the design would positively impact the building users. Energy models informed architectural and mechanical system selections and performance requirements. The project achieved LEED Gold.

711 High Street lobby view, 2020 Preservation at Its Best winner

Preservation Iowa’s two most visible programs are Iowa’s Most Endangered and Preservation at Its Best. These two programs work well together because being listed as Most Endangered often times leads to awareness, a preservation effort, and a high-quality, award winning project.

The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2020 Preservation at its Best award winners includes: