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Overhead view of the Russell southeast stairwell, an open staircase serving all floors of the Russell Building.
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The Architect of the Capitol strives to perform all work at a high level of excellence and has been recognized for its efforts through many awards.

U.S. Capitol Dome Restoration Project receives Engineering News-Record Renovation/Restoration Award

The Architect of the Capitol's U.S. Capitol Dome Skirt Restoration was honored with the Engineering News-Record's Renovation/Restoration: Award of Merit in December 2013. The project was completed under budget and ahead of schedule in 2012. The work to restore the skirt level of the Dome included interior and exterior lead-paint abatement and repainting of all cast-iron plates and trusses; repair of severely deteriorated cast iron; repair and cleaning of sandstone and historic brickwork; the application of protective epoxy coatings; and drainage redesign and improvements.

Construction Division Wins Washington Building Congress Award

The Architect of the Capitol's Construction Division recently won a Washington Building Congress 2013 Craftsmanship Award for its Emergency Lighting and Electrical Services Upgrade.

The newly installed emergency distribution system was distributed throughout the Russell Senate Office Building infrastructure. The project included the addition of new distribution panel boards, transfer switches and transformers along with extensive exposed feeder and branch circuit conduit systems.

The project required multiple seamless transitions of normal power and lighting to the new emergency sources, which were accomplished through careful planning and implementation by the AOC's Construction Division and Senate Superintendent's Office.

The project was performed in tight and exposed spaces throughout the building, which required the AOC to use innovative techniques to transverse the floors in the building and navigate through crowded hallways and mechanical spaces. Throughout the project the AOC worked to minimize the disruption of the fit and finishes of the historic Russell Building and ensure United States Senate and staff were able to continue their day-to-day work uninterrupted.

AOC honored with two 2012 Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) National Capital Chapter Project Achievement Awards

The Architect of the Capitol won two 2012 Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) National Capital Chapter Project Achievement Awards for the U.S. Capitol Dome Skirt Restoration Project and the Capitol Power Plan Tunnel Rehabilitation Program.
The Dome Skirt Restoration Project was recognized for its outstanding management in the category of projects with a constructed value of less than $30M, while the Tunnel Rehabilitation Program won the achievement for projects with a constructed value of more than $100M.

East House Underground Garage (EHUG) wins the 2012 General Services Administration Achievement Award for Real Property Innovation Program

The East House Underground Garage (EHUG) Interior Rehabilitation Project won the 2012 General Services Administration Achievement Award for Real Property Innovation Program under the Sustainability Category. 

This award helps support federal agencies achieve the goals of the President's Management Agenda and improves federal real property stewardship as a whole, and the EHUG project demonstrated the Architect of the Capitol's commitment to innovation and excellence.

Alex Santos accepted the award for the Architect of the Capitol at the ceremony in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 26, 2012.

Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting

The Architect of the Capitol received the Association of Government Accountants' prestigious Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting for its 2011 Performance and Accountability Report.

The Certificate of Excellence recognizes outstanding accountability reporting and is the highest form of recognition in Federal government management reporting. This award recognizes Federal agencies that have achieved the highest standards in communicating results and demonstrating accountability.

"We are honored to receive this award that recognizes the AOC's accountability for the public funds entrusted to our care," said Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP.

Architect of the Capitol's Office of Security Programs Recognized for Customer Service Excellence

The AOC's Office of Security Programs (OSP) was recently recognized by Building Operating Management magazine with its FMXcellence Award for customer service excellence. The FMXcellence awards recognize facilities management teams that "spearhead and execute stand-out projects and programs." The honorees are chosen for demonstrating that they add significant value to their customers by helping to achieve their broader goals.

"Providing extraordinary customer service and going the extra mile are among our agency's strategic goals, and receiving this award that recognizes that we are achieving our mission is a great honor," said Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP. 

OSP is responsible for the care, maintenance, and operations of the U.S. Capitol Police's buildings and grounds as well providing customer service and support with regard to the physical security of the Capitol campus. To improve its customer service concerning the issuing, tracking, and responding to customer work orders, the Office of Security Programs staff implemented a new and improved work order system in conjunction with the U.S. Capitol Police. The new work order process eliminated the use of redundant systems across the two agencies by consolidating all work orders into one system; created a new customer service center as the central point of contact for all customer requests and to ensure timely response and close-out of work orders, and implemented a "Pulse Survey" that provided immediate feedback from the customers as to the quality of the service they received.

East House Underground Garage receives LEED for New Construction Gold Certification

The AOC East House Underground Garage received a LEED for New Construction certification at the Gold level on January 19, 2012. The project was recognized for:

  • Construction activity pollution prevention, controlling dust and debris from contamination of the air and sewer run-off systems.
  • Providing new water efficient plumbing fixtures that increased water savings by more than 50 percent.
  • Optimizing energy performance and provided high performance mechanical systems that reduced energy consumption by more than 24% above ASHRAE.
  • Diverting over 99% of the 8,500,000 pounds of construction debris from landfills, utilized 8,700,000 pounds of new materials with more than 18% recycled content including 28,000 pounds of new reinforcing steel and 2,500 cubic yards of new concrete, and more than 50% of new materials obtained from regional sources.
  • Excelling in indoor environmental quality by maintaining a non-smoking facility, utilizing new mechanical systems with increased ventilation and incorporating new materials and finishes with low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) content.
  • Installing efficient LED lights with significantly longer life and with no mercury content and establishing a green cleaning program. 

2011 Webby Award for Best Government Website 

The Architect of Capitol's Virtual Capitol website, www.Capitol.gov, received the 2011 Webby Award for Best Government Website. The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. Established in 1996 during the Web's infancy, The Webbys is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which includes an Executive 1,000-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities, and Associate Members who are former Webby Award Winners and Nominees and other Internet professionals.

Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections

As a model of exemplary stewardship of the historic collections in its care, the Architect of the Capitol was presented with the 2010 Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections, presented annually by Heritage Preservation and the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

Combined Federal Campaign Award

The Architect of the Capitol received the 2009 Combined Federal Campaign's Summit Award in recognition for a 59.9% increase in total dollars raised. The AOC also received the Participation Achievement Award for a 49% increase in employee participation.

The Combined Federal Campaign promotes and supports philanthropy through a program that is employee focused, cost-efficient and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all.

AIA Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter Special Citation Design Award

In order to achieve the objectives outlined in the AOC's Strategic Plan for Heritage Asset Stewardship, the AOC developed a set of specifications for a Historic Inventory Database (HPID). The goal of the database was to identify and document the historic buildings, landscapes and architectural features throughout the Capitol Campus and to assess their conditions from a historic preservation and architectural perspective. The database was designed to collect a great deal of data, identify sets of recurring conditions and trends, then establish a set of planning priorities for future preservation efforts. A prototype for the HPID was built by a private A/E contractor, Entech Engineering and the data was gathered in a pilot project at the third floor of the Longworth House Office Building in the spring of 2008.

This effort was recognized by the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the AIA and awarded a Special Citation in the Chapter's 2008 Design Awards Program. Juror comments commended the preservation efforts initiated by the AOC and carried out via the AOC contractor, Entech Engineers, stating the HPID represented a "vital pre-design planning service / exercise that should be required before any historical preservation design phase begins."

Washington Building Congress Craftsmanship Awards

The Architect of the Capitol's Capitol Visitor Center project was recognized by the Washington Building Congress with several 2008 Craftsmanship Awards. Teams of skilled tradesmen were recognized for displaying exceptional skill in their fields, including door and hardware fabrication, skylight design and installation, exterior hardscape installation, and stone masonry.

Specifically, the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) project was singled out for the high-quality, professional workmanship throughout the facility by individuals who are "creative, precise, and possess the special skills associated with quality craftsmanship." These features include the six skylights which allow natural light into the CVC; the custom light fixtures located throughout the CVC and Expansion Spaces that complement the existing fixtures in the Capitol Building; the installation of major hard scape features such as stairs and seat walls, as well as the re-installation of historic elements such as fountains and lanterns on the East Front; and the installation of monumental interior wall stone and marble, and ornamental staircases, doors, and other hardware.

Technical skills of the teams responsible for electrical and fire alarm systems installation, and plaster work were also honored with Craftsmanship Awards.

In addition to the 11 awards presented, several of the winners were extended additional honors with the receipt of two of the three "Star Awards" presented to projects demonstrating the highest level of quality and achieving exceptional visual and technical excellence.

"Great American Gardeners" Award

Holly Shimizu, Executive Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG), was honored by the American Horticultural Society as a recipient of its 2008 Great American Gardeners Award at a ceremony held on June 6, 2008. She was recognized with the Professional Award which is given to a public garden administrator whose achievements during the course of his or her career have cultivated widespread interest in horticulture.

American Public Gardens Association Professional Citation

At an awards ceremony at the American Public Gardens Association's (APGA) Annual Conference on June 26, 2008, Dr. Christine Flanagan, public programs manager of the U.S. Botanic Garden, received the Association's prestigious Professional Citation. The Professional Citation recognizes achievements in public horticulture of an individual member who has excelled in one of the disciplines associated with the work of public gardens. Flanagan was recognized for her vision and innovative approach to exhibits and public garden educational programming.

National Construction Management Award

The Architect of the Capitol's West Refrigeration Plant Expansion project at the Capitol Power Plant recently received a National Project Achievement Award from the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA).

The annual Construction Management Project Achievement Awards program recognizes outstanding achievement in the practice of construction management. The West Refrigeration Plant Expansion Project was recognized as "Best Infrastructure Project with Constructed Value Less Than $100 million."

Since 1999, CMAA has been presenting its Project Achievement Awards to recognize instances in which professional Construction or Program Management has made a significant contribution to the successful completion of a challenging project or program.

Accreditation from the American Association of Museums

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) has achieved accreditation from the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum.

Of the nation's nearly 17,500 museums about 775 are currently accredited. Notably, of several hundred public gardens in North America, the U.S. Botanic Garden is one of only 19 that have been awarded accreditation.

AAM accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 35 years, AAM's museum accreditation program is the field's primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.