Architecture Request for Qualifications


Request for Qualifications has closed
New Mexico Inter-faith Housing (NMIF) and Creative Santa Fe (CrSF) seek qualifications from collaborative architecture teams interested in designing the Santa Fe Arts + Creativity Center (A+CC). A team approach has been chosen to incentivize collaboration among local architects and promote the inclusion of smaller firms, architects yet to be licensed, solo architectural practitioners, and the opportunity for existing firms to incorporate new members who broaden skill sets and design perspectives.

Since its inception, the A+CC has been envisioned as a innovative approach to addressing the ever-present need for affordable rental housing in Santa Fe, while also positively impacting economic development in the creative economy sector. The A+CC will be a major resource, reducing significant obstacles of rent for live/work space and affordable shared work and commercial space. It is our goal that A+CC is so unique and well executed that it garners national, and even global attention, for the community’s long-term investment in affordable space, economic development and the future creative economy.


The A+CC project will serve “creatives”and their families — people who materially participate in or support the creative economy. These are individuals working in the visual arts, music, theater, dance, media arts, designers, applied artists, entrepreneurs, writers, craftspeople, builders, makers, or people in related industries that support those professions.

Applicants may submit their qualifications as early as April 19, 2016 and as late as May 6, 2016.
The RFQ submission form will open April 19th.


RFQ Timeline

Date Action
April 19 at 11:00 AM Walkthrough and site visit @ MAKE Santa Fe, RFQ Submission Form Open
April 25 11:59 PM MDT Written Questions Deadline
April 29 Addenda Issued
May 6 11:59 MDT Statement of Qualifications Due
May 11 Finalists notified
May 16 or 17 Finalist Interviews

Informational Meeting
A RFQ walkthrough was held on April 19th at 11:00 AM at MAKE Santa Fe1352 Rufina Circle, Santa Fe, NM.

All RFQ related questions (other than walkthrough logistics) must be submitted in writing to the “Submit Questions” tab.

Question submission has closed.

View Questions

Project Description

The selected development site is five (5) acres on Siler Road, and is planned for up to 70 new housing units, at least 51 of which will be funded through the New Mexico Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program; a residential shared amenities building of approximately 2500 SF; and a non-residential shared resources building assumed to approximately 6000 SF. Site plan design will involve higher density housing typologies and open space requirements, outdoor play and recreation space, private outdoor space, and other features as identified through the design and outreach process. The project will be expected to meet or exceed the 2015 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. Emphasis will be placed on design excellence, sustainability, context driven approach, community and artist engagement, collaboration, and affordability.The project has been awarded an “Our Town” creative placemaking grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. As part of the design process, the selected team will work with the project outreach team to co-develop a design outreach approach utilizing public “prototyping events” and design charrettes.

The A+CC is intended to represent design excellence through aesthetics, contextual approach, creative utilization of the site, and functionality. The design should be contemporary and reflect the primarily industrial character of the neighborhood, while also providing comfortable and adaptable living and working spaces.

Sustainability is a core value of the A+CC. The project should at a minimum comply with the 2015 Enterprise Community Partners Green Communities Criteria, the intent stated in the Sustainable Santa Fe Plan, and with the goal of achieving the highest level of energy efficiency and water conservation possible within the funding constraints inherent to LIHTC programs. Attention should be given to recycled and salvaged materials, and ways in which residents can effectively lead and maintain ongoing sustainability efforts during occupancy.

The A+CC aspires to highlight local talent, and support local employment and workforce development throughout the design and construction process. Further goals include the local sourcing of contructions materials and other project elements. 

The design process should effectively utilize Building Information Modeling (BIM) software to aid the cost estimating process throughout all phases of the project, to provide clarity on design and cost assumptions and variables.

Project Site

The site is five (5) acres in size and located on Siler Road immediately across from Trades West Road.
Siler Parcel The site is largely free of topography but is bounded on the north by the Acequia Madre which exists as an significantly incised arroyo with 5-6 foot drop in grade from the predominate terrain level. There are several significant easements to be considered when assessing the site, including a trunk sewer line and high tension power lines that impede portions of the street frontage. The site was historically used as a waste water treatment facility until its decommissioning in the 1980’s. The site is currently home to miscellaneous activities for five city departments including materials storage, waste bin storage, scoria piles, as well as streets and sewer equipment storage. A Phase II environmental assessment has been completed with the only adverse finding being elevated salt levels in the soil relating to scoria storage. A preliminary Site Engineering Feasibility Report contains information about setback, easements, and utilities access.

Proposed Program

The following building program represents the culmination of three years of planning and outreach work and is the general program to be used for planning purposes. It is expected that some modifications to the program will occur through the outreach and LIHTC application process.

Housing: 60-70 Units

  • At least 51-61 Units of Very Affordable LIHTC units and up to 9 units of Market Rate Live/Work Rental
  • Units will be a mix of 1-­3 bedrooms in a mix qualifying for New Mexico LIHTC Projects Serving Families Criteria
  • Unit sizes will range from 700-1100 SF; larger than typical because of need for workspace
  • Buildings will be two story, multi-family

Residential Shared Amenities Building

  • Estimated to be approximately 2500 square feet, exclusively for use of residents and their guests
  • Envisioned to include a laundry facility, meeting/multi-purpose space, computer lab, office space for resident services coordinator, and space for resident-specific services

Dedicated Open Space

  • Open space must total at least 10% of total project acreage; a minimum 30% open space is desired to achieve sustainability goals and to address the lack of public outdoor space in the Siler Road area

Non-residential Shared Resources

  • Approximately 6000 SF, depending on identified needs and resources
  • To include shared workshops for types of work that are too messy/loud/dirty to include in residential amenities
  • May include space for other non-profit/ community organizations and retail/micro-retail spaces
  • To be accessible to public and act as a neighborhood and community asset
  • To include other amenities/ spaces as determined through the NEA Our Town grant project outreach process

Project Cost + Funding

Total project cost for the residential component of the project will be between $13 and $15 million, with an additional $1-$2m for the shared resource spaces. The city’s commitment of land and possible fee waivers equal to at least 10% of the total project cost make a LIHTC award possible. Construction funding will be sought from LIHTC, HUD affordable housing subsidy sources, Community Development Block Grant Funds (CDBG), the City Affordable Housing Trust Fund and private financing.

Design Approach.
New Mexico Inter-Faith Housing realizes that the success of the construction of Santa Fe Arts + Creativity Center depends on the creative inspiration of the design team. The design should take the following factors into consideration:

  • Live/Work Unit Design
  • Curb appeal/neighborhood identity
  • Universal design
  • Family and children friendly environments
  • Construction cost and feasibility
  • Energy and water efficiency consistent with the Sustainable Santa Fe Plan
  • Resident health and safety
  • Durability and longevity
  • Private and public open spaces
  • Educational and interpretive landscapes
  • Sound impacts and isolation

Scope Of Services

The project and scope of services is divided into two phases. Services beyond Phase 1 are contingent on a MFA LIHTC award to the project.

Phase 1 includes completion and approval of a Development Plan by the City of Santa Fe Planning Commission; community outreach; and completion of drawings, certifications, etc. for the New Mexico LIHTC application; and development of a schedule with NMIF that meets all LIHTC and other project deadlines. In tandem, NMIF will prepare the LIHTC application and other applications for project financing. The application is anticipated to be due January 30, 2017 and must include meeting the minimum New Mexico LIHTC design standards and green building certification.

Scope of Work includes:

  • Community Outreach and Project Schedule
    • Develop a project schedule that meets all required City, MFA, and NEA Our Town grant deadlines
    • Two community design charrettes (to be completed before development plan submittal to the City)
    • Attendance at several community events, to be planned and coordinated by NMIF and Creative Santa Fe
  • Development Plan: Preparation of development plan and City submittal in a timely manner, in order to get on the City Planning Commission agenda no later than October. (Owner is responsible for potential additional City requirements, such as a traffic study).
  • Preliminary schematic Design and MFA LIHTC application submission (Contingent upon development plan approval): Prepare preliminary schematic site plan, landscape plan, floor plans, elevations, outline specs and certifications as required by MFA LIHTC application submission, in accordance with the 2017 Housing Tax Credit Mandatory Design Standards
  • Utilize BIM software and work with cost estimator as part of team, who will also coordinate with contractor provided by New Mexico Inter-Faith Housing in preparing construction cost estimate required by MFA

Phase 2 brings the project to construction completion and post-occupancy walkthrough. The anticipated start date for Phase 2 will be April 2017, if the project achieves a MFA LIHTC award.

  • Completion of design and construction documents, including all architectural, landscape architecture, civil, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering. Compliance and documentation for the certification of 2015 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria
  • Construction administration, per standard AIA contract
  • 11 Month Warranty Walkthrough

Statement of Qualifications Requirements

It is the intention of NMIF and Creative Santa Fe to award the project to a collaborative team only (“Teams”). Collaborations must include at least two and no more than four independent architects or architectural firms. In selecting team members/collaborators, consider emerging talent, unique or complementary expertise that will contribute to the overall team and selection criteria.

Each Team must include a landscape architect, a cost estimator experienced in working with BIM, and team member(s) with experience in both LIHTC projects and Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. Teams can choose to divide design responsibilities between architecture/ landscape architecture team members by a) choosing to design different building or site components/ elements that will carry across the entire project; b) designing separate buildings; or c) a hybrid approach. Teams must develop overall design guidelines or parameters to ensure that specifications, building components, and cost estimating assumptions are consistent throughout the project.

Each Team shall be asked to identify an overall Project Manager; a Community Design Coordinator, who will work closely with NMIF and Creative Santa Fe on community outreach and input; and an Architect of Record. The Project Manager and Community Design Coordinator must be based in Santa Fe. The Architect of Record (who can also be the Project Manager) must be based in Santa Fe and be legally licensed as a registered architect in the State of New Mexico.

A Building Information Modeling (BIM) approach, including coordination between BIM and cost estimating at all project phases, is highly encouraged.

Phase 2 will require additional sub-consultants to be brought on under the scope of services such as structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering. Unless deemed necessary for Phase 1, engineering team members do not need to be listed in the Statement of Qualifications.

The online form and uploaded material requirements include:

Be prepared to answer the following questions (all are required) in the online form:

  1. Applicant Names or Team Name
  2. Primary Contact Name and Title
  3. Primary Contact Email
  4. Primary Contact Phone Number
  5. Primary Contact Business Address
  6. Design Values and Approach: What are your values concerning housing, site layout, community engagement and good design? How have you worked effectively with community outreach, in particular with underserved populations? How have you helped to ensure local employment and training in prior projects? (2250 characters max)
  7. Team Collaboration: How does your Team propose to collaborate? Have they worked together before? What are the various complementary roles and responsibilities of team members? How will the work be effectively divided up and coordinated? How might your Team be uniquely qualified for this project? (1500 characters max)
  8. Design and Construction Process: How does your Team propose to ensure a coordinated, cost-effective design and construction process? Take into consideration City, LIHTC, and NEA Our Town grant requirements; design excellence and green building goals; local employment and training goals; and ways in which BIM can help to manage an effective cost estimating process. (1500 characters max)
  9. How might the A+CC serve as a model: for artist housing, for place-based affordability strategies, for appropriate neighborhood revitalization and development, for design or green building excellence, for investing in local talent, and/or for innovative approaches? (1500 characters max)

Be prepared to upload the following materials to support your proposal:

  1. PDF of up to 10 relevant projects, with references (email and phone number) listed on at least three of them including. (1 page per project max)
  2. Provide bios of up to 10 key team members demonstrating experience on their specific role and responsibility and URL links to team members’ websites, if applicable. (1 page max per bio, up to 10 bios total)
  3. List in PDF form of current projects, phase, and their timelines. (1 page max)
  4. Matrix in PDF form showing the following for 5 of the projects shown in the work samples: (1 page max)
    • original project cost estimate
    • original construction contract amount
    • change orders
    • final construction cost
    • Written description of reasons for any differences more than 7% (cost estimate to construction contract, or original construction contract amount to final construction cost).

Selection Criteria

The proposals will be ranked on the basis of following criteria:

Effective Collaboration. The Team should demonstrate effective collaboration strategies, thoughtful response to the program and necessary expertise, and clear delineation of roles and responsibilities. Any team members not based in Santa Fe must bring specific expertise and have a clear role in the process.

Experience and Capacity. The Team should have technical competence in providing the type of services required, including LIHTC, affordable multifamily housing, live/work design typologies, art facilities, and construction details – The design team should have the capacity to do the work in terms of staff expertise and workload, project timeline, project management, special expertise and meeting deadlines.

Design Excellence and Quality of Approach. The Team should demonstrate design excellence through past work, awards and other recognition. The design approach should demonstrate the team’s vision necessary to make this project successful.

Commitment to community engagement. The Team should have prior experience in and commitment to meaningful community engagement across diverse and representative service populations.

Sustainable building design and construction. The Team should have experience with and knowledge of green building design and construction, including experience working with Enterprise Green Communities or a similar green home rating system, and a familiarity with the Home Energy Rating System (HERS), thermal bypass checklists, and green criteria compliance and documentation.


The proposals will be evaluated by a selection committee that includes Daniel Werwath representing New Mexico Inter-Faith Housing, Bill Miller representing Creative Santa Fe, Debra Garcia y Griego, Director of the Santa Fe Art’s Commission, Joseph Kunkel, Rose Fellow Architect, Our Town Grantee, and Director of the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative, Courtney Leonard, Artist, Board Member Make Santa Fe, Michaele Pride, Professor of Architecture University of New Mexico, Edie Tsong Community Practice Artist, and Heidi Zimmer from Artspace.

The selected Team should be prepared to begin fee and contract negotiations immediately upon selection. A notice to proceed may be given pending execution of the contract. No member of the Board of Directors or selection committee should be contacted about the RFQ anytime during the selection process. All questions concerning the RFQ must be submitted through the above linked form and no question will be addressed after April 25th at 11:59 MDT.

NMIF reserves the right to reject any and/or all Proposals when such rejection is in the interest of NMIF. NMIF also reserves the right to waive any information and technicalities in bidding.