Wednesday, November 12, 2014


By Michael Young

After my junior year of undergrad at SIU I returned home to Springfield, IL for a summer internship. The experience I received that summer was amazing. A man named John Shafer established Shafer and Associates in the late 1980’s. When the firm first begin it was solely ran by John himself. John Shafer and Steve Warren joined together and became the head architects of the firm. Today the firm employs 5 different positions, Principal Architect, Project Architect, CAD Drafter, Intern Architect, and a secretary. It’s a small firm but I had a chance to get good experience in many different areas of work. John Shafer attended the University of Illinois at Chicago and has worked for 2 other firms before establishing his own firm. He has been practicing architecture for 35 years now. Steve Warren is considered to be the project architect and he is to oversee the production of projects and field observation while John does most of the design work. Steve majored in Residential then Commercial Architecture with a structure’s minor. After he became licensed in 1980 he has worked for various Architects in Springfield for over 40 years now. Shafer and Associates strives for design excellence, and have produced high quality construction documents that result in close bidding proposals. They always excel in client relations because this is a very tedious type of work. “Our firm is small in size, but we give the clients close hands on personal service and coordination through all phases of the project” (Warren, November 24, 2011). Projects they have done are: new construction of the Salvation Army in Springfield, the Illinois Education Association building, AOIC building, the State Fair entrance, and multiple high-end. The most well known project of Shafer and Associates’ is their newly constructed office building located at 1230 S. Sixth St. has recently won awards for sustainable design. The office was designed around the principal of energy conservation dealing with light and heat. The north side of the building has oversized windows to capture as much indirect light as possible, while on the south side they have small windows with distinctive sunshades. The building orientation will have to most impact on lowering energy costs. The idea was to minimize windows and walls on the east and west facades. By doing so, on sunny or even overcast days, they don’t typically turn on the lights till about 4 in the afternoon. For heating a cooling, the firm decided to go with a geothermal system. The AIA committee that selected this building for its awards comments they truly went into deep thought about everything in this building.

Image 1: (Above) Perspective of Shafer & Associates office building          

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