Peck Peck & Associates Inc.
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Ryan Fecteau
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Since 1973, Peck Peck and Associates Inc. (PP&A) has been providing clients throughout the mid-Atlantic with integrated design services for a range of commercial, industrial and institutional spaces. Dianne and Gerald Peck established the business together, which has grown significantly over the course of 42 years. Their daughter, Alexis Peck Cognazzo, current vice president of design for PP&A, has been a fixture in the office since the age of two. She has worked in the family business since 2000.
“Aside from architecture and interior design, we also provide some unique services,” says Alexis. The team’s flexibility and diversity provide an advantage in a market that is significantly comprised of government projects and other public work. With services on the docket such as building evaluation reports, master planning, adaptive reuse, historic restoration, move management and increasingly relevant architectural and design programming, PP&A is vertically integrated to provide value and efficiency to clientele.
The team averages between 20 and 30 projects every year, an impressive figure considering the mission-critical nature of federal contracts – and the firm’s small staff size. Clients receive personal attention without sacrificing large-scale capabilities. The company is also well-versed in sustainable design, a factor that has become vital to working in the government and institutional markets.
PP&A has long used the U.S. Green Building Council as a resource. In 2013, Alexis decided to sign the firm on as a partner organization. “The biggest thing that I noticed was our clients knew what USGBC was immediately,” she explains. “Our existing clients were very pleased and impressed that we had joined. It has been a big plus. It shows our clients that we provide more than lip service to green building design and that we go step beyond just the nomenclature of being green.”
Over the last decade, she and her colleagues have seen a major shift in sustainable design and its popularity. “Especially in government work, it is a given that there is going to be some sort of sustainable design element to the project,” she explains. “It is now easier than ever before to convince a client that it is more valuable than just the stewardship of the earth. It is cost-effective, employees are more productive and the products and materials are not nearly as expensive as they were just some years ago.”
Beyond building and interior design, PP&A is applying green principles more to the space-use consulting aspect of the business. “We have always looked at how our clients operate and how that fits into the big picture, but I think our clients are more attuned to what this means,” she notes. “More and more are actually building to be LEED-certifiable and then they can get certified if they want to.”
While LEED is still the most renowned measurement of sustainable building, PP&A is exploring other options for clients looking to go green. Green Globes is one emerging certification program that is comparable to LEED. The federal government recently recognized the program as a viable alternative.
Sustainable projects – whether LEED-certified or simply leaning green, have long been a staple of PP&A’s portfolio. In 1983 long before the boom in popularity of renewable energy, the firm designed a solar-powered fire station. Since that early project, the company’s experience and expertise in sustainable design has grown immensely and Alexis and her colleagues continue to champion the green cause.
Over the course of 10 years, PP&A provided design services for renovation of the historic, 1.5 million-square-foot U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO). The team developed plans to make the GAO the premiere state-of-the-art government office building for modern technology, while increasing its occupancy capacity. Due to the building’s tremendous size and the client’s need for constant occupancy, construction was phased on a floor-by-floor basis closely following hazardous material removal and infrastructure upgrades.
PP&A developed a master plan for the GAO space, drawing data through interviewing pertinent staff members in order to determine space, adjacency and functionality requirements. The final plan optimized space to improve workflow, organizing staff and facilities in a deliberate, efficient pattern, while consolidating operations and reducing total amount of space required. While the project did not require certified sustainability, PP&A integrated a number of energy-saving, low-impact elements.
The firm provided full architecture and engineering services for the new National Archives at Atlanta, a 117,000-square-foot National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) building in Atlanta. The agency desperately needed a new facility that could be easily extended as required while successfully separating public, private, research and storage space. This facility would house the National Southeast Region’s archival records dating from 1716, while providing a research library facility, exhibit space and event space for large functions.
The now complete spaces – very busy and public – meet heightened security requirements while still appearing welcoming and open. In addition, the entire project was seen as a prime opportunity for extensive sustainable design, from the integral site design to the building components and is expected to receive a LEED Silver rating. The materials used include local Georgia granite, enamel-finished metal panel wall systems, terrazzo floors, and tinted glazing and solar screens.
In 2012, PP&A provided complete architecture and engineering services required to completely renovate the historic North Street Building in Leesburg, Virginia. The building, first constructed in 1922, was originally Leesburg High School, later used as offices and then abandoned with only a small area in use as an emergency call center. The brick and block structure, comprising 34,000 square feet on two levels, has been adaptively reused to house a 15,000-square-foot Senior Center, an 11,000-square-foot Library Services Department and a 6,000-square-foot Emergency Call Center. Each tenant has its own entrance and supporting facilities within the building.
PP&A was responsible for all reviews and approvals, including site plan, zoning, historic improvements and others. Maintaining the buildings historic aesthetic and integrity was paramount as well as incorporating sustainability. Sustainable design objectives included: preservation and planting of indigenous tree species; achieving energy savings and air quality benefits for the town; and promoting green building techniques – specifically LEED principles in design and construction.
Over the coming years, PP&A has a long backlog of innovative and sustainable projects. Alexis and her colleagues continue to strive for quality and efficiency in all aspects of the design and implementation process, providing continued budgetary and timeline discretion while delivering value.
With a lasting dedication to ingenuity, integrity and the environment, Peck Peck and Associates Inc. stands as a leader in architecture and design in the mid-Atlantic.
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