Why Didn’t I Think of That?

One of the fun things we’re able to do at KWA Construction is learn about creative construction projects from all around the world. In this series, we’ve selected our favorite projects that showcase awe-inspiring design and industry-changing features that make us ask ourselves, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Grand Junction, Colorado

Architects from Westlake Reed Leskosky were tasked with making the historic Wayne N. Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse far more efficient than what was originally planned. The firm worked with the Beck Group to add a number of sustainable elements, including ventilation-only ductwork, energy-efficient lighting fixtures, interior storm windows with high-performance UV control film, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and rigid roof insulation with an average thermal resistance of R-35.

They discovered that the building’s original 3-foot-thick walls included a 2-inch layer of terra-cotta covered by a thin coat of plaster to form the interior surface. By removing the terra-cotta and replacing it with foam insulation, they were able to meet some sustainability goals without losing any square footage. And with the addition of a 32-well geothermal system for heating and cooling, they reached the net zero goal.

Roger Chang, Westlake Reed Leskosky’s director of sustainability, says the building demonstrates that it is possible to modernize a nearly hundred-year-old structure while retaining its original character.


Click here for more innovated buildings that made us ask, Why Didn’t I Think of That?