Alchemy of a Team: Achieving Collaborative Culture Gold on UW Tacoma's New Interdisciplinary Building

Recorded On: 11/03/2022

Back to Package

  • Register
    • Non-member Practitioner - $35
    • Practitioner Member - $25
    • Owner Member - $15
    • Academia Member - $15
    • Industry Partner Academia Member - $15
    • Industry Partner Practitioner Member - $25
    • Industry Partner Owner Member - $15

CONTENT EXPIRES: December 31, 2024

As teams shift to more fluid ways of working that integrate healthy team dynamics, the University of Washington Tacoma's (UWT) Milgard Hall project is a case study in creating a collaborative culture for design-build success. The new mass timber building creates a welcoming interdisciplinary space for engineering, business school departments, and community groups of the South Puget Sound. Andersen Construction, Architecture Research Office (ARO), and UWT's Facilities and Project Delivery Groups intentionally molded and maintained a dynamic culture, working as a cross-country team. Applying principles of engagement, innovation, inclusivity, and sustainability to guide design and ensure equity in the built environment, Milgard Hall embodies UWT's mission to be an "urban-serving university". From team selection through design and construction, creative tools and techniques such as comprehensive onboarding, risk and contingency analysis, fluid virtual and co-location strategies, and psychological safety surveys supported a seamless (and fun) design-build process. Leadership from Andersen, ARO, and UWT will share how a collaborative design-build process is essential to creating an equitable space for engagement. They will share tools for how they crafted their culture, including what worked and what went wrong. Attendees will learn how to implement similar processes to achieve collaboration gold on future projects.

Kimberly Yao, FAIA


Architecture Research Office

Kim Yao, FAIA, is Principal of Architecture Research Office (ARO), a New York City firm united by their collaborative process, commitment to accountable action, and social and environmental responsibility. This philosophy and ARO's diverse body of work earned the firm the 2020 National AIA Architecture Firm Award. Kim has taught extensively and has lectured both nationwide and abroad. She was President of AIANY in 2020 and serves on the Board of the Center for Architecture.

Jeannie Natta, DBIA

Interim Director, Project Delivery Group, Univ. Facilities

University of Washington

Jeannie Natta is an Interim Director for University of Washington Project Delivery Group. Prior to this, Jeannie spent 10 years in the electrical trade as a commercial electrician, and 12 years as an educator in university residential life programs. Jeannie draws upon her varied career background to manage multiple projects for the University. She received a Certificate in Construction Management in 2009 and MS Construction Management in 2013 from the University of Washington.

Susan Bouthillette, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Project Manager

Andersen Construction Co., Inc.

Susan Bouthillette is a Project Manager at Andersen Construction and manages primarily higher education projects. She obtained a Bachelor of Architecture from Auburn University and practiced architecture for 9 years prior to shifting into construction. During that time, she managed projects across the country including science & technology, higher education, commercial office, and multifamily residential. Susan has been the project manager for UWT Milgard Hall since the project started pre-design in February 2020.

Jennifer Myers, Legacy LEED AP

Construction Project Manager

University of Washington Tacoma

Jennifer Myers, graduate of University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, began her career in General Contracting in San Francisco. Her projects includes ground up construction and tenant improvements including hotel remodeling. After a decade, she became Construction Administrator for Boeing working on a wide variety of projects including the new Workforce Readiness Center. Five years ago, she moved to University of Washington Tacoma as their Construction Project Manager for Facilities.


Open to view video.
Open to view video.
Conference Session Survey
7 Questions
1.25 CEU credits  |  Certificate available
1.25 CEU credits  |  Certificate available