bws | Architects

Dave Burns
December 31, 2013

Dave Burns has retired from BWS Architects after 22 years with the firm.

David Wald-Hopkins
November 22, 2011

David Wald-Hopkins has retired from BWS Architects after 20 years with the firm.

Robin Shambach
July 7, 2011

“Enjoying the Nitty-Gritty: UA alumna Robin Shambach demonstrates good citizenship through architecture”

by Margaret Regan, photo by Jaco Chinn

Download the PDF.

Frank Slingerland
December 7, 2010

Frank Slingerland named Principal of BWS Architects

Frank Slingerland, AIA LEED AP, will become a Principal of BWS Architects in January 2011. He joined the firm as a Project Designer in November 2009 after 14 years with Durrant Architects where he served as a Design Principal until the firm closed its Tucson office.

Frank is a Tucson native and graduated from The University of Arizona College of Architecture with his Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1990 and Masters Degree in 1991.

"Frank is a talented designer and architect, and we are delighted that he has agreed to join us as an owner and Principal", said Dave Burns, one of the three current BWS Principals. "He has designed many distinguished buildings that have a strong resonance with the culture and climate of Arizona: Marana Municipal Center, Posten Butte High School in Florence, El Pueblo Senior Center and Manzanita Park Aquatics Center in Tucson, to name a few.

Frank is currently designing a new Administrative Compound for the San Xavier District of the Tohono O'odham Nation. This 32,000 square foot project draws on the geography and culture of this Native American community.

BWS Architects was formed in 1992 by Dave Burns and David Wald-Hopkins who were joined in 2004 by Robin Shambach as the third Principal. BWS Architects provides architectural services across the State of Arizona and is well known for its public architecture, school design and work in sustainable buildings. The firm is responsible for the first Arizona project certified in the U.S. Green Building Council L.E.E.D.™ program, and also designed the highest scoring L.E.E.D.™ project in Arizona, the Applied Research and Development Building at Northern Arizona University.

BWS Architects has offices in Tucson and Flagstaff and has a staff of 13.

Northern Arizona University campus
June 8, 2010


BWS Architects is proud to announce the Gold L.E.E.D.® Certification of the Northern Arizona University Extended Campuses & Arizona Universities Network Building in Flagstaff, Arizona. This 23,000-square-foot facility is the fifth building to be U.S. Green Building Council L.E.E.D.® certified by this Arizona firm. Starting with the first L.E.E.D.®-certified building in Arizona, the Plaza Building at the Desert Vista Campus of Pima Community College, BWS Architects has now completed projects at all levels of the L.E.E.D.® certification – Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

The ECC & AZUN Building houses classrooms, offices, and production studios to support NAU's extended campuses and online programs, utilized by students throughout the state. The building, clad in aluminum composite metal panels and northern Arizona sandstone, incorporates many resource-frugal technologies to achieve the advanced level of sustainability that the Gold Certification represents. Approximately 43% less energy is used in this building for lighting and air-conditioning than a typical building of the same size, through passive ventilation, solar-preheating of outside heating air, an innovative HVAC system called "active chilled beams", and sophisticated lighting and environmental controls. Water use is reduced more than 60% through low-water use plumbing fixtures, and using reclaimed water to flush toilets and irrigate plants. More than 30% of building materials have significant recycled content and were locally harvested and manufactured.

Connected to the School of Communication, the building is a striking and compatible addition to the University campus. Though contemporary in expression, its form and material integrates well into the physical context of the NAU campus.

Kinney Construction Services of Flagstaff was the Construction Manager-at- Risk.

BWS Architects takes pride in providing regionally contextual, aesthetically pleasing, and efficient buildings that meet all their clients' needs.

For additional information, contact Robin Shambach at 520.795.2705 or

July 30, 2009

Frank Slingerland AIA has joined BWS Architects

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July 28, 2009

The applied research and development building at Northern Arizona University received Leed Platinum Certification

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June 10, 2009


The Tucson firm of BWS Architects has been ranked one of the top 10 firms in the U.S. by Architect magazine, a national publication that serves the architectural design community. At number seven in the ARCHITECT 50, BWS Architects is grouped with some of the best known firms in the country Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (2), Perkins & Will (5), NBBJ (19) and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca (45).

Reporter Amanda Kolson Hurley wrote: "Under-the-radar BWS has extensive experience in library and school design. Its Applied Research and Development Building at Northern Arizona University received LEED Platinum certification."

In creating this new ranking, the magazine looked beyond firm size as a measure of success, because "size is just one, not-terribly-revealing measure of an architecture firm." Hurley goes on: "We designed the ARCHITECT 50 quite simply to promote a more well-rounded definition of success. The criteria for inclusion comprise a trifecta of critical goals for every practice: profitability, sustainability, and design quality."

BWS Architects is led by Dave Burns, David Wald-Hopkins and Robin Shambach, three architects who have worked quietly - "under-the-radar" together for 16 years, designing award-winning public buildings with a strong emphasis on environmental sustainability. They are responsible for the Applied Research and Development Building at Northern Arizona University, one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the U.S. They also designed the Edith Ball Aquatics Center at Reid Park which provides shade for the pools with a large tent structure, and the stone-clad Public Library for the Town of Oro Valley.

BWS Architects was recognized by the Cornerstone Foundation as the Architect of the Year in 2008.

For further information, contact David Wald-Hopkins at (520) 795-2705 or

July 6, 2009
For Immediate Release

BWS Project receives International Award from British Architects

Northern Arizona University's Applied Research and Development building has received a 2009 International Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects. The building is the work of BWS Architects of Tucson in collaboration with Hopkins Architects of London.

The award from the British Architects, given to 15 international projects, places the NAU project in the ranks of two iconic buildings from the Beijing Olympics the "Bird's Nest" and the "Water Cube" as well as the Saxo Bank building in Copenhagen and the British High Commission in Sri Lanka.

The Applied Research and Development building in one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world with a Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council's LEED program, and it was this that brought the project to the attention of the judges. They felt the architects' ability to "reshape their designs to take on board the need for more sustainable construction and lower energy consumption" was impressive. The building uses almost 90% less energy than a typical academic building, incorporating many innovative sustainable strategies including low-pressure under-floor air distribution, an efficient heat-recovery air conditioning system, reclaimed water flushing of toilets, and a green roof on the meeting rooms. A 160-kilowatt off-site photovoltaic installation generates about 20% of the building's electricity.

Behind the south facing glass wall is a three-story naturally conditioned gallery that creates an informal gathering space for interdisciplinary interaction. Louvers and blinds shade the gallery from the high summer sun and operable windows provide effective cooling with convective ventilation. In the winter the low sun penetrates the gallery to warm the concrete structure and its occupants. The gallery also serves as a thermal buffer for the offices behind.

The full list of RIBA award winners is available on line

Review NAU's news release on the International Award at

For additional information contact David Wald-Hopkins: or (520) 795-2705