October 31, 2012

Otak is currently providing full-consultancy services to a government agency for their staff accommodation in Mirfa, a city in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. The development includes 40 buildings comprising 400 residential units and retail services, all of which are consistent with the 2030 Mirfa Master Plan.

The project has been approved by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC), and Otak is now finalizing the Estidama approval process for a 2 Pearl Building rating and 1 Pearl Community rating for the design-rating stage. Estidama is Abu Dhabi’s sustainability program, and, according to the UPC, the aim of the Pearl Building Rating System is to “promote the development of sustainable buildings and improve quality of life.” This project will provide a higher quality of life, longer building lifespan and long-term cost savings through sustainable measures associated with an integrated design process. Otak is proud to be the lead consultant on this groundbreaking project, which meets all new design guidelines for streets, the public realm and sustainable practices.

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   October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

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   October 29, 2012

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission’s October newsletter features an extensive article about the creation of the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance (the Alliance). The Alliance is the lead champion in advocating for decent, safe and affordable housing in Washington State. One of the people who helped shape this organization is Kurt Creager, Otak’s Director of Housing & Community Development. Kurt recounts his experience as a founder one of the precursors to the Alliance, The Washington State Housing Congress when he was President of the Washington Coalition for Rural Housing (WCRH). The WCRH provided the startup money to establish the Congress.  Creager later went on to manage King County’s Housing and Economic Development programs and the Vancouver Housing Authority before affiliating with Otak, Inc.

To read the full article, please click here.

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   October 22, 2012

Otak is pleased to announce that Nico Vanderhorst, PE, has been elected to the Otak Board of Directors! Nico is a managing principal working out of our office in Kirkland, Washington, where he leads the transportation and infrastructure services team in Washington, Colorado and Arizona. Nico has been with Otak for 17 years and in that time has managed many of Otak’s most significant Puget Sound projects. With his appointment to the Board of Directors, Nico joins R. Nicholas Loope, FAIA, Otak’s President and CEO, as well as Jong Hoon Kim, Soon Kwang Lee and Kwang Sik Shin from Otak’s strategic partner HanmiGlobal, all now comprising the Otak Board.

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   October 15, 2012

Otak’s Parvathi Nampoothiri, LEED AP, AICP, PQP, participated in a full-day workshop at the Future Cities conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on October 4, 2012.

Delegates and speakers from various disciplines across the industry gathered at the conference to discuss planning and urban development practices from around the world, with special focus on the opportunities and challenges in the Middle East.

The workshop was structured as a master class on creating livable and sustainable communities using the principles of New Urbanism. Parvathi’s presentation, ‘Rethinking Urban Streets in Abu Dhabi,’ looked at walkability and connectivity as key elements in creating livable communities. Her talk focused on creating pedestrian-friendly, multi-modal streets based on the design principles and practices established by the Abu Dhabi Urban Street Design Manual.

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   October 10, 2012


DesignIntelligence, a publication released by the Design Futures Council, featured Otak on their list of Top U.S.-Based Multinational Design Firms. Based on projected 2012 non-U.S. gross revenue, Otak placed 28 out of 50 design firms. This is Otak’s first appearance on the survey, and we are honored to join this elite group of peers. 

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   October 4, 2012

Otak’s Brad Bielenberg attended the Valley Forward Association’s 32nd annual Environmental Excellence Awards banquet last Saturday in Scottsdale, Arizona. The event is Arizona’s oldest and most prestigious awards program focused exclusively on sustainability initiatives. Tempe Council Member Cory Woods accepted the Valley Forward Award for the Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge on behalf of the City of Tempe and the T.Y. Lin team for which Otak was a subconsultant on this project.

At the banquet, the Bridge received yet another distinction! The bridge won a Crescordia Award, which is given to the top project for a specific category. The Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge was in the “Buildings and Structures: Industrial & Public Works” category. The display developed for the award will rotate through all Phoenix communities through the upcoming year.


To learn more about Otak's involvement in the Tempe Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge project, please click here.


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   October 2, 2012

Otak’s Rudayna Abdo spoke at the Oman Transport Infrastructure Summit, which was held on September 10-13 in Muscat, Oman. The event is billed as “Oman’s only high-level networking event for executives and senior officials involved in transport infrastructure.” Over 140 local and international industry professionals attended the summit, which highlighted interest in the country as the government is embarking on massive transport and infrastructure developments. Rudayna’s topic was titled “Designing Abu Dhabi urban streets to enhance the city’s life quality and sustainability.” Her presentation included designing pedestrian-friendly streets, improving street connectivity and designing street networks to improve safety for all modes of transportation.

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