Ann Wilder Richards Building: Mixed Use Apartments

Site Plan

The Ann Wilder Richards Building is a 28,900 SF mixed use facility in the heart of West Brattleboro. It was originally constructed in 1992 as a banking operations center. Eventually the operations occupancy was phased out, leaving only about 4,000 SF of office space occupied by and investment advisor. This was the situation when J Coleman + Company Architects began working with Housing Vermont and the Brattleboro Housing Authority to convert this structure to a mixed use residential/commercial project. The completed project opened in April of 2010.

The AWR Building is a 3 level, brick clad structure that was designed specifically as a banking operations center. As such it presented some major design challenges, generic and specific, to conversion to a mixed use facility that would be 70% residential. We responded to these challenges as follows:

  • Provided 21 attractive adaptable apartment units, including (3) ADA units
  • Modified the existing HVAC system for residential use, providing 1 heat pump unit per apartment to provide heating and cooling
  • Added solar domestic hot water heating
  • Sharply upgraded the insulation level of the building shell for existing and new construction
  • Expanded and upgraded the parking area, illuminated by LED cut-off luminaires
  • Modified the existing fixed glazing panels to remove the floor-level glazing and provide awning windows in the apartments
  • Utilized energy efficient lighting technologies, including electronically ballasted fluorescents in common spaces
  • Provide smart lighting controls at both the interior and exterior of the building