AVA Receives a Hanover Chamber 2011 Business Innovator Award!

We are thrilled to announce that AVA Gallery and Art Center will receive the 2011 Business Innovator of the Year Award from the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce (HACC). HACC will present four awards to individuals and businesses who, in accordance with the chamber’s mission, have contributed in various ways to invigorate the economic health of the Upper Valley, while adding to its well-being.

The Business Innovator Award, to be presented during a festive ceremony at Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center on November 15, 2011, is “given to an area business whose ingenuity and creativity enhanced the vitality of the community.” The award notification letter notes “how AVA has evolved into a critically important contributor to the culture, economy and lifestyle of the Upper Valley.” It also emphasizes how AVA has succeeded in bringing together “disparate people and organizations” to create “a regional art center where people of all ages and experiences can come to pursue personal interests that continue to elevate the profile of the arts in the Upper Valley.”

Doug Wise, HACC’s Leadership Awards Event Chair, points out that “all four of this year’s winners are strongly committed to sustainability and the ‘greening’ of the Upper Valley.”

Doug states, “AVA’s impact in Lebanon and beyond is awesome!”… a claim we will surely not refute!

AVA’s 11 Bank Street Building Honored with Multiple Awards

Since 2007, when AVA finally reopened the doors to its newly renovated 11 Bank Street building, the awards have been coming in:

June 2008. Our renovation receives a Plan-NH Merit Award for Excellence in Planning, Design and Development.

November 2008. Our renovation is awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold-Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

December 2008. The American Institute of Architects – VT Chapter, gives Banwell Architects of Lebanon, NH a Citation Award for Excellence in Design in the Historic/Preservation/Restoration category for the AVA project.

September 2009. The project’s construction company, Trumbull-Nelson of Hanover, NH, receives an Award for Excellence in Construction from the NH and VT Associated Builders and Contractors.

October 2010, AVA is one of six organizations nationwide to receive a MetLife Foundation Innovative Space Award based upon the merits of the renovation.

AVA Awarded LINC / MetLife Innovative Spaces Award

Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC) and MetLife Foundation recently announced that AVA Gallery and Art Center (AVA/Alliance for the Visual Arts) in Lebanon, NH is one of six winners of a 2010 MetLife Foundation Innovative Space Award. This highly competitive national award recognizes outstanding efforts in the design and development of affordable space for artists, an integral part of LINC’s Space for Change: Building Communities through Innovative Art Spaces program. “The winning organizations,” states a press release issued by LINC and MetLife, “provide a firm base from which artists may pursue their work while simultaneously contributing to shaping vibrant, healthy communities.” The six winning projects were selected from nearly 100 applicants from 37 states. “The MetLife Foundation Innovative Space Awards acknowledge best practices in the field of artist space development,” said Dennis White, President and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “We are proud to partner with LINC to recognize outstanding programs and the important role that art plays in our communities.”

“Artists need affordable and appropriate work spaces to create new work. The recipients of the 2010 MetLife Innovative Space Awards address this challenge in diverse ways, offering solutions that foster creativity, spark neighborhood revitalization and invest in community,” said Judilee Reed, Executive Director of LINC.

The Grand Prize of $50,000 went to Side Street Project in Pasadena, CA. The five Honorable Mention recipients, including AVA Gallery and Art Center, each received a $10,000 unrestricted cash award. The other winning organizations are located in Boston, MA; Kona-Big Island, HI; Houston, TX; and Seattle, WA.

AVA Gallery and Art Center’s 2006-2007 renovation of its 11 Bank Street facility – formerly known as the H.W. Carter Overall Factory—was recognized for its variety of spaces, including four exhibition galleries, seven teaching studios, a sculpture garden, and 21 individual artists’ studios that together embody the creative, multi-faceted and community-oriented spirit of AVA. The sustainable strategies that were implemented as part of the renovation project, which resulted in LEED Gold-Certification, were also recognized.

AVA’s original application was submitted in April 2010; in June, AVA was selected as one of 15 finalists. The finalist status required additional follow-up, including demographic information about the local community; the “green” initiatives that were undertaken in the development of AVA’s spaces; notable building features; and the experience of using the building as an artist, as a community member, and as a staff member. In July, LINC’s Program Manager, Risё Wilson, came from New York City on a site visit to learn more about AVA. A highlight of the visit was a two-hour meeting with some 30 participants, including founding members of AVA, artists with studios in the building, board members, staff, community members, interns, key players in the renovation project, city councilors, as well as a Lebanon resident who worked in the building for more than 30 years when it was a clothing factory. All contributed invaluable perspectives on the impact that AVA and its innovative art spaces, have had, and continue to have, on the community.

More Awards for the Renovation of AVA’s 11 Bank Street!

The most recent award for the remarkable renovation of AVA’s 11 Bank Street building was given in fall 2009 to Trumbull-Nelson Construction Company of Hanover, New Hampshire. The company received an Award for Excellence in Construction from the NH and VT Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors for their work on the renovation and historical restoration of the former H.W. Carter & Sons overall factory, now the home of AVA Gallery and Art Center. Blending historical features with contemporary approaches to construction, architectural design and environmental responsibility, the construction team – under the superb guidance of construction manager Todd Thompson and field supervisor Paul Tremblay – was able to provide state-of-the-art mechanical, electrical and fire protection systems and safe handicap accessible egress without changing the character of this unique community-centered resource. Challenges included coordinating an elevator shaft addition with an 1800’s out -of -plumb building and replacing the existing heating plant, a 1920’s ship’s boiler from a Lake Champlain craft. The building had numerous 19th-century additions, which resulted in many unforeseen conditions being discovered during construction.

This is the fourth award that the renovation of the AVA building has received. This project has previously been honored with an Plan-NH Merit Award, which is given to exemplary projects that incorporate the principles of “smart growth, sustainability, and social responsibility”, a Citation Award to Banwell Architects from the American Institute of Architects – VT Chapter for excellence in design in the Historic Preservation/Restoration category; and the prestigious LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Congratulations to Trumbull-Nelson Construction Company for a job well done!

LEED Gold Certification Celebration

On Saturday, May 2, 2009 from 5:00 to 7:00pm, AVA Gallery and Art Center is hosting a public reception to celebrate the recently received LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification, awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for the comprehensive renovation of the organization’s Eleven Bank Street building in Lebanon, New Hampshire. The official LEED Gold plaque will be unveiled by the main entrance to the Carter-Kelsey Building, followed by a “LEED-inspired” tour. The project’s head architect – C. Stuart White of the Lebanon-based firm, Banwell Architects – will talk about the various initiatives and improvements that, together, helped transform this old mill building – formerly known as the H.W. Carter Overall Factory – into one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the Upper Valley. In addition to White, many of the other professionals who contributed to making the AVA renovation a LEED Gold-certified building will also be present, including Paul Leveille – AVA’s LEED consultant – of the Jordan Institute in Concord, New Hampshire.

The LEED process is a so-called “integrated process,” during which all the involved parties – in this case Banwell Architects, Trumbull-Nelson Construction, all the engineers, consultants and other construction and design professionals, along with AVA’s board, staff and building committee – worked closely together from the earliest planning stages of the renovation (beginning December 2004), to make this project a “green” and sustainable one. The LEED Green Building Rating System™ places emphasis on quantifiable, measurable and documented environmental benefits. The certification criteria are determined by the number of accumulated points achieved within a series of categories established by the USGBC. These categories are: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy Performance and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design. LEED Gold Certification is the second highest rating level awarded by USGBC, which, in its award letter to AVA, stated that the renovation is “a pioneering example of sustainable design.” The project received 47 LEED points, just shy of Platinum rating (which is 52 and over).

Some of the various measures that were taken to transform Eleven Bank Street into a high-performing, energy-efficient facility include an airtight building “envelope,” thanks to the foam spray insulation between the exterior and interior walls, and the replacement of the 141 ill-fitting windows that were a legacy from the days of the overall factory. In addition, 95% of all construction waste removed in the course of the renovation was recycled (in other words, only 5% went to the landfill). The 41,500 square-foot building is kept at a comfortable temperature during the winter, heated by three small liquid propane tanks that replaced an enormous, unreliable boiler. The building saves considerable energy by not being air-conditioned; it is kept comfortable in the summer thanks to sunshades on the south side of the building and a low-impact air-exchange system. The renovation has already resulted in an impressive reduction in energy consumption and savings; according to the models established by LEED for comparisons of actual energy savings, the AVA building boasts an impressive 71.5% in energy savings compared to that of an average new commercial building. (The project’s mechanical engineer, Bill Root of GWR Engineering, proudly compares the energy- efficient AVA building to “a Prius on steroids!”)

Ultimately, though, one of the renovation’s main achievements was the recycling of an entire building and the successful combination of historic features with new and contemporary approaches to construction, architectural design and environmental sustainability. These accomplishments have received recognition beyond the LEED certification. In June 2008, the renovation project earned a merit award from Plan-NH. This award is given to “exemplary projects that incorporate the principles of smart growth, sustainability, social responsibility, and employ creative approaches to partnership and collaboration.” In addition, in January 2009, Banwell Architects received a Citation Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) – VT Chapter in the Historic Preservation/Renovation Category for the AVA project. The jury specifically emphasized how the architects had “thought through the issues of sustainability and how to integrate it into the existing fabric.” This successful architectural combination of old and new – where the integrity of the building’s past is honored and juxtaposed with contemporary design – makes a visit to AVA’s renovated Eleven Bank Street building a unique and rewarding experience.

AVA’s May 2nd celebration is made possible by the generous support of Peter and Jane Kitchel McLaughlin.