The Montana State Fund (MSF) project is a new office building driven by business needs of MSF and made possible by a partnership between the City of Helena and the MSF workers’ compensation insurance company. MSF needed to consolidate the operations of their 350 employees from three existing leased downtown buildings to a single State Fund operated facility that would accommodate future growth to 400 FTE. MSF worked closely with the City of Helena to identify potential sites in the urban center of Helena and settled on a 59,742 square foot lot in the downtown area directly adjacent to a city owned surface parking lot of 90,060 sf.
In order to increase parking in the region, the City began work on a new parking structure on their lot in coordination with the MSF Building. Both sites are directly across Front Street from the Great Northern Town Center, a new high density mixed use development. Both the new State Fund lot and the Great Northern Town Center lie directly north of the historic downtown district. In order to most efficiently accommodate the parking garage footprint, maximize street orientations, and allow a more ideal solar orientation for the office building, the design team designed the structures independent of the existing lot lines and then re-platted the lots to accommodate the final design.
Project design began with a road trip and goal setting charrettes which resulted in setting a goal of LEED Gold certification. State Fund’s decision to pursue LEED stemmed from many factors, first among those was the desire to create a safe, healthy, and productive workspace for their employees, and serve as a demonstration project for the many businesses they insure. State Fund also wanted to set an example for the public buildings in other areas of sustainability.
Strategies & Results
In general, the MSF building:
- The space was designed with workflow efficiency in mind to facilitate collaboration, while protecting policyholder and worker privacy
- With its energy saving features, the building is estimated to save 50% on utility costs per square foot
- Sensors adjust lighting according to available natural light
- The heating and cooling system is among the most energy efficient available
Team MembersArchitect: Mosaic Architecture
Commissioning Agent: CTA Architects and Engineers
Contractor: Dick Anderson Construction
Developer: Montana State Fund
Interior Designer: CTA Architects and Engineers
Landscape Architect: CTA Architects and Engineers
LEED Consultant: Kath Williams + Associates
MEP Engineer: CTA Architects and Engineers
Owner: Montana Board of Investments