ZAPATA received the 2020 Design-Build Award for Best Office Building, in the $10 million or less category, from Design-Build Institute of America–Southeast Region (DBIA-SE). Our award-winning project is the new Administrative Annex Building at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW).

Together with K-Nort Contracting (K-Nort), our design-build (D-B) partner, we designed and constructed a 35,000 square foot, Georgian-style, steel-framed building with brick veneer exterior and four, 24-foot high columns, which replicates the appearance of other prominent academic buildings and blends seamlessly within the UNCW campus.

“The Design-Build team of ZAPATA and K-Nort have worked together for approximately 10 years,” recalled ZAPATA’s architecture director, John Paquin, AIA, LEED AP. “We are proud to have delivered the Administrative Annex Building on-time and within budget, while addressing owner and user requirement changes throughout the design and construction process.”

For the 20th annual design-build competition, DBIA-SE assessed award submittals based on adherence to criteria such as: D-B principles and best practices, design excellence, team performance and interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation, sustainability, safety, cost control and value-added elements, and the D-B to budget process.

The UNCW Administrative Annex project had dimensions requirements and lot size restrictions, in addition to zoning and building height regulations established by City of Wilmington, all of which impacted the D-B process. Solution: K-Nort/ZAPATA adjusted the design of the roof slope, removed interior columns, and switched from a traditional mechanical system to a variable refrigerant flow system.

The K-Nort/ZAPATA D-B team faced additional challenges throughout the project, including a hurricane. The City of Wilmington was severely impacted by Hurricane Florence—and UNCW was closed for four weeks. Logistical delays and damage caused by weather postponed construction for 21 days, but the D-B team quickly made up for the lost time.

In addition to K-Nort Contracting, ZAPATA acknowledges and thanks the following companies, each with their respective expertise, for the successful completion of the new Administrative Annex Building at UNCW: Skan Electric, LBE, LJB, Drye-McGlamery Engineering, Quality Consulting Engineers, and Crenshaw Consulting Engineers.

ZAPATA® is a full-service architecture and engineering (A-E) and construction management firm. We have a wealth of proven process knowledge and experience in the delivery of high quality design-build facilities and infrastructure. ZAPATA has completed more than 350 design-build projects, from $500K to over $275M, for state and federal clients throughout the Southeast. At ZAPATA, we earn our clients’ Trust by conducting our business with Integrity and providing Quality services every day.