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SBIC Recognizes 2014 Beyond Green™ Award Winners

Thursday, January 8, 2015  
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"The success of the project in ten years will be how many buildings have followed our lead and taken lessons from what we have done," said Jim Hanford and Steve Dobb of the Miller Hull Partnership, upon accepting the Honor Award – First Prize for the Bullitt Center.

The National Institute of Building Sciences Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) recognized the 2014 Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building and Community Awards winners today at a luncheon sponsored by Tremco Commercial Sealants & Waterproofing held during Building Innovation 2015: The National Institute of Building Sciences Annual Conference and Expo.

The top prize in the High-Performance Buildings Category went to the Bullitt Center in Seattle, Washington.

“What they [the Bullitt Center Project Team] have been able to accomplish in an urban environment really sets this project apart and provides inspiration and demonstration of what is possible,” said  RK Stewart, FAIA, Beyond Green™ juror and immediate past chairman of the Institute’s Board of Directors.

The six-story, 52,000 SF Bullitt Center promotes density in urban areas, minimizing and, ideally, eliminating the environmental impact of a building in an urban context. It demonstrates how an urban office building can meet its own water, waste and energy needs without adversely impacting the environment. The Bullitt Center Project Team used building information modeling (BIM) and technical analysis during the design process, which helped forge a common language to evaluate and communicate design decisions in the context of overall project goals. The result: one of the most energy-efficient commercial buildings in the world; a high-performance prototype that is setting innovative standards for sustainable design and construction, while demonstrating that it is commercially viable. The efforts of the team, consisting of Miller Hull Partnership, PAE Consulting Engineers, Point 32 and Schuchart Construction, earned the building an Honor Award – First Place.

The 2014 Beyond Green™ Award Jury also recognized three recipients to receive Merit Awards. In the High-Performance Buildings Category, a Merit Award went to the Karuna House and the Project Team of Holst Architecture, Hammer & Hand, Imagine Energy, Earth Advantage and Intep.

“Their [the Karuna House Project Team] pursuit of three different certifications is commendable and can provide valuable lessons for the industry,” said Jurist RK Stewart. “Achievement of these certifications points to the importance of integrated processes and whole building design.”

A leading proponent of smart climate policy at the national and international levels, the owner of Karuna House built the home both as a model of high-performance building and a case study of the world’s most demanding green building certifications. Karuna House is the first building in the world to earn the triple crown of Passive House, Minergie and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. To meet its net positive energy goals, the Karuna House combines an advanced building enclosure with optimized solar design to drive energy loads to very low levels. The Karuna House can now add a Beyond Green™ Award to its recognitions.

In the Innovations for High-Performance Buildings & Communities Category, a Merit Award went to the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Center for Building Knowledge for its Smart Supermarkets Program.

“Supermarkets are an important building type that often gets overlooked,” said Fulya Kocak, Beyond Green™ juror and director of sustainability at Clark Construction Group, LLC. “This effort addresses multiple objectives within the whole building concept in a format that could be repeatable for other building types.”

Supermarkets are one of the most electricity-intensive types of commercial building. The Smart Supermarkets Program was specifically designed to address a gap in training and to make it possible for operators in the field to actively optimize the energy and refrigerant performance of their own facilities. Funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the NJIT Center’s project team, in collaboration with an advisory group representing supermarket chains across the United States, created an engaging, easy-to-use online toolkit that instructs supermarket facility personnel on how to implement a range of strategies to reduce resource consumption, minimize pollution and adopt more environmentally benign operations and maintenance practices.

Also in the Innovations for High-Performance Buildings & Communities Category, a Merit Award went to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) for its Timber Tower research.

“This research effort [Timber Tower] points the way for others within the industry to consider new approaches in responding to sustainability challenges,” said Ralph DiNola, Beyond Green™ juror and executive director of the New Buildings Institute.

A prototypical building, Timber Tower provides insight into the development of tall building structural systems that minimize embodied carbon footprints. The system that SOM developed for the prototypical building uses mass timber as its main structural material. Supplementary reinforced concrete supports the structure’s highly stressed connecting joints. The resulting efficient structure could compete with reinforced concrete and structural steel systems, while reducing the building’s embodied carbon footprint by 60 to 75 percent. Systems such as the one developed for Timber Tower prioritize two primary needs: the need to provide residential projects that accommodate population growth, and the need to group these residences into higher, more livable densities without further degrading the environment.

During the luncheon, each of the recipients gave slide presentations highlighting their award-winning topics. The winners are also invited to post their case studies on the WBDG Whole Building Design Guide®. The Call for Entries for the 2015 Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building and Community Awards will be available in March 2015.

Visit the WBDG Whole Building Design Guide® to peruse case studies of Beyond Green™ winners from previous years.

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