Nominations for Beyond Green™ Awards Now Open

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at Sun, Aug 31 - 10.43AMThe National Institute of Building Sciences Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) has incorporated resilience into its 2014 Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building and Community Awards. The awards program, which issued its 2014 Call for Entries today, highlights those initiatives that shape, inform and catalyze the high-performance planning, design, construction and operations processes. This year, for the first time, buildings and communities can be recognized for their contributions to building and community level resilience.

The Beyond Green™ Awards recognize buildings, initiatives and innovations that best exemplify the eight design objectives of a high-performance building: sustainability, accessibility, aesthetics, cost-effectiveness, functionality, productivity, historical sensitivity, and safety and security. Resilience falls within the ‘safety and security’ attribute, which promotes designing and constructing buildings that resist natural and man-made hazards.

Award categories include: High-Performance Buildings; High-Performance Attributes and Systems; High-Performance Initiatives; and Innovations for High-Performance Buildings and Communities; as well as the Greg Franta Memorial Award for an individual’s outstanding contributions to high-performance, sustainable building design and construction.

Once selected, the winners of the Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building & Community Awards will be invited to present their projects and receive their awards at a special Beyond Green™ Awards Luncheon, to be held during Building Innovation 2015: The National Institute of Building Sciences Third Annual Conference and Expo, the week of January 6-9, 2015. The awards presentation gives winners an opportunity to share directly with leaders in the building community, highlighting the challenges and opportunities they faced while delivering high-performance buildings.

Winning projects will be published on the WBDG Whole Building Design Guide® website. Additional recognition will include an announcement in the Institute’s newsletter, a plaque, posting of the case study on the SBIC website and potential inclusion in future SBIC technical guidelines and publications.

The deadline to apply for the 2014 Beyond Green™ Awards is Friday, October 31, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Take this opportunity to recognize a deserving high-performance project, particularly one that addresses resilience. The application process is now available online. Submit an entry today!

Firestone Names 2014 Partner in Quality Award Winners

East Richland Elementary School, Olney, IL  Contractor:  Industrial Contracting  System:  CladGard SA, UC-14Firestone Building Products recently recognized 189 firms across the United States, Canada and Mexico with its 2014 Partner in Quality Award. The annual award honors an elite group of Firestone Building Products Red Shield(tm) Licensed Roofing Contractors for a high level of craftsmanship and the skillset required for superior roofing installations.

Firestone Building Products Red Shield Licensed Roofing Contractors are required to complete extensive product installation training. As a testament to their expertise, projects are backed by the Firestone Building Products Red Shield(tm) Warranty. Depending on the commercial roofing system, terms of the warranty can range from five years to 30 years.

To qualify, winners had to:

  • Install four warranted Firestone Building Products roofs in each of the past five years.
  • Maintain at least 1 million square feet of Firestone Building Products roofs under warranty.
  • Achieve an annual Quality Incidence Rating (QIR) of 1.5 or less (QIR measures each contractor’s performance based on warranty repair incidences per million square feet under warranty).

As part of the program, winners can participate in the Firestone Building Products Community Service Program which makes them eligible for a $1,000 annual credit to donate labor and materials for community roofing projects.

Visit the Firestone Building Products website for a complete listing of Partner in Quality Award Winners.

Walk-in baths earn Arthritis Foundation award

853.1665.l-Liberation_WalkIn_3260.214_LoResAmerican Standard’s line of walk-in baths ― designed for accessible and safe bathing for users with limited mobility ― has received the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use Commendation. This award recognizes products that make life easier for people with arthritis and other physical limitations. Products undergo a multi-step testing process conducted by an independent lab of experts in the field of universal product design and evaluation.

The Arthritis Foundation created the Ease-of-Use Commendation Program to encourage manufacturers to design user-friendly products and packaging that could be recommended to the more than 52 million Americans who are affected by some form of arthritis.

Features of American Standards walk-in baths include a low threshold door, sturdy grab bar, ergonomic seat and textured floor that come standard with each model, aimed at reducing the risk of trips, slips and falls in the bathroom. Users can choose from soaking tubs to those equipped with hydro jets to maximize comfort and massaging power, soothing arthritis-related aches and pains, while also improving circulation.

Sealy to Receive Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award

nibsNational Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) Past Chairman Jimmy W. Sealy, FAIA, has been selected by the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day Planning Committee to be the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Ronald H. Brown Standards Leadership Award. Sealy will be honored by members of the U.S. standards and conformance community during the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day, to be held Thursday, October 23, 2014, at the Fairmont Washington in Washington, D.C.

Named for the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the Brown award recognizes demonstrated leadership in promoting the important role of standardization in eliminating global barriers to trade. The award is presented at the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day, an annual event which honors the U.S. standards and conformity assessment community and recognizes its efforts to promote American competitiveness in a global marketplace, safeguard the environment and improve the quality of life for workers and consumers around the world.

As the Administrating Organization of this year’s celebration, NIBS nominated Sealy for his important, long-standing contributions to the development of the nation’s building codes and related standards, among other work. He has been active in the codes and standards community since 1972 and worked with all of the model code organizations. He has served on the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Fire Council, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Codes and Standards Advisory Committee, and the AIA committee for accessibility, among many other groups, and is currently the chair of the NIBS Building Seismic Safety Council Board of Direction. Mr. Sealy is a recipient of multiple industry awards, including the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) Alton T. Riddick Award; the NIBS Member Award and the Mortimer M. Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award; as well as the International Code Council (ICC) Bobby J. Fowler Award, which is the building code administration profession’s highest honor.

Celebrated annually, World Standards Day pays tribute to the thousands of volunteers around the world who participate in standardization activities, and helps to raise awareness of the role that standards play in addressing national and global priorities. The event has been held since 1970 and is recognized in nations around the globe. U.S. activities are organized annually by a planning committee consisting of representatives from across the standards and conformity assessment community. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC)’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) co-chair the event each year.

More information about the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day 2014 is available

SBIC Recognizes High-Performance Building Leaders


The National Institute of Building Sciences’ Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) recognized the 2013 Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building Awards winners at Building Innovation 2014: The National Institute of Building Sciences Annual Conference and Expo.

The SBIC Jury selected six winners ranging across four categories. Each of the six award-winning projects, products, initiatives and innovations demonstrate leadership in advancing the production of high-performance buildings.

The top prize in the High-Performance Buildings Category went to DPR Construction’s Phoenix Regional Office. During this project, the team transformed an abandoned, distressed building in a redeveloping community of Phoenix into a modern sustainable facility that achieves net-zero energy use. Their efforts earned the building an Honor Award, First Place.

In the High-Performance Products Category, SageGlass earned an Honor Award, First Place. The electrochromic or electronically tint-able, dynamic glass provides architects, building owners, glazing contractors and homeowners with an energy-efficient glazing solution that controls the sun without blocking the view to the outdoors.

RDH Building Engineering’s Enclosure Renewal approach, which lowers a building’s energy consumption at low incremental capital cost, earned it recognition as an Honor Award, First Place recipient in the Innovations for High-Performance Buildings Category.

The SBIC Jury also recognized three Merit Award winners. In the High-Performance Buildings Category, a Merit Award went to Chemeketa Community College, Salem, Oregon for its new Health Sciences Complex.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Receives Recycling Award at Greenbuild 2013

TarkettThe Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, one of the largest and most comprehensive pediatric hospitals and research institutes in the United States, was recently presented with Tarkett’s ReStart Award for returning a total of 53,170 pounds of flooring for recycling. The award was given during a reception in the company’s booth at the 2013 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia.

Tarkett’s annual ReStart Award honors the architect, designer, building owner, contractor/installer, and/or distributor whose project has successfully diverted the largest quantity of flooring from landfills using Tarkett’s ReStart Recycling and Reclamation Program. Projects are tracked through the ReStart process and are the method used for determining winners. To celebrate the success of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital project and efforts of the participants, Tarkett invited representatives from the hospital, architecture firm, installer and distributor to attend Greenbuild and provided airfare, lodging, ground transportation and dinner for each attendee.

Tarkett formally presented the award during a special reception on Wednesday, November 20 in front of invited guests and media. The award itself, designed by Nicole McGee, owner of Plenty Underfoot in Cleveland, Ohio, was made using Tarkett’s Johnsonite flooring scrap.

24 students win awards in ACSA/AISC design competition

Amer Inst for Steel Construction.Twenty-four architecture students from universities around North America were honored in the 2012-2013 Steel Design Student Competition. Administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the program challenges architecture students, working individually or in teams, to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction. A total of $14,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the winning students and their faculty sponsors.

Students submitted designs in two categories that required steel to be used as the primary structural material and with special emphasis placed on innovation in steel design. The Bridge to Building category challenged students to design a pedestrian bridge that would enrich its location and provide a vital spatial connection, as well as include an ancillary function - a small pavilion - that supports the cause for the crossing. In the Open Category, students were given the opportunity to select a site and building program that included at least one long-span steel structure.

The award winners in each category are:

Category I - Building to Bridge

  • First Place: “Stream_Line”
    Students: Christopher Garrow, Heather Martin and Kaitlin Shenk
    Faculty Sponsors: Donald Dunham, Brian Johnston, Thomas Kirchner, Lisa Phillips and Barbara Macaulay
    School: Philadelphia University
    “Real-world issues require more inclusive and interdisciplinary strategies - strategies that can help craft sustainable real-world solutions,” commented Dunham. “Giving our students real-world frameworks through international and national competition forums allows them to test new knowledge patterns in the most competitive, creative and intellectual environments.”
  • Second Place: “Adaptive Connections”
    Students: Vahe Markosian, Andrew Maier III, Mark Pothier and James P Stoddart
    Faculty Sponsors: John C Cerone and Adam Modesitt
    School: Columbia University
  • Third Place: “Building [Equilibrium] Bridge”
    Student: Javier Bidot-Betancourt
    Faculty Sponsor: Jose Lorenzo-Torres
    School: Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico

Category II - Open

About 250 project submissions from more than 1,000 students were received during this year’s steel design competition, and nearly 100 faculty members served as student advisers for the competition. In total, 48 universities from across North America took part.

This year’s competition jurors were: Terri Boake, professor of architecture at the University of Waterloo, Canada; Phillip Anzalone, director of the laboratory for applied building science at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University; Peter Weismantle, director of supertall building technology at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) in Chicago; Jeremy Ficca, associate professor of architecture and founding director of the Digital Fabrication Laborary [dFAB] in the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University; Patricia Kucker, associate professor of architecture at the University of Cincinnati; and Kirk Martini, associate professor of structural design at the University of Virginia School of Architecture.

 For additional information about the ACSA/AISC Steel Design Student Competition, visit or

Adaptive reuse project wins architecture and engineering award

A 400,000-sq.-ft adaptive reuse sports facility in Stamford, Conn., has earned national recognition in the 2013 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program (IDEAS2).

Opened to the public in the summer of 2012, Chelsea Piers Connecticut features two NHL regulation ice rinks, enormous turf fields (for soccer, lacrosse, football, field hockey, softball, and baseball), a 20,000-sq.-ft gymnastics center, an aquatics center with an Olympic-sized pool, seven tennis courts, 12 squash courts, a trampoline center, a baseball/softball training area, childcare/preschool, food service, pro shop, catering and party/special event spaces.

Chelsea Piers sports facility

This sports facility used to be a Clairol factory that produced Herbal Essence shampoo.

The building housing this state-of-the-art sports facility is a 45-year-old manufacturing plant previously used by Clairol as the facility for manufacturing Herbal Essence shampoo. The adaptive reuse saved the old building from being demolished and ending up in a landfill; Clairol maintained the building well, keeping it in excellent condition.

Although the building square footage met the project’s requirements, the lack of large column-free spaces created a potential roadblock. Professional quality sports facilities such as swimming pools, hockey rinks and tennis courts require large column-free areas in excess of a 100 ft wide. This criterion required the removal of 23 columns from the building in order to achieve the column-free zones. Determining an economical method for removing the existing columns while leaving the entire roof structure in place was the principal challenge. The solutions selected by WSP Cantor Seinuk were extremely creative, economical and highly sustainable, resulting in reuse of the existing roof structure, limited demolition and limited use of new materials.

The proposed structural system was based upon the use of king post trusses constructed out of the in-place existing roof structure. Leaving the existing beams, which formed the top compression chords of the truss, in place and using a portion of the existing columns as the king posts, only a relatively small amount of steel had to be added to form the tension cords of the truss. Upgrading of the in-place top chord members was accomplished via composite action with the new concrete slab poured on the existing in-place metal roof deck. Steel angle members were used for the tension chords of the trusses. Although the simple and basic “off the shelf” structural members remain exposed, their aesthetically pleasing form is quite apparent. The positive effect of the forms on the facility’s architecture is further testament to the economic and sustainable accomplishments achievable via innovative engineering. It is an excellent example of form following function.

The design met all the criteria – with the exception of being able to achieve a flat floor after the concrete was poured. Since the existing roof, which was supported upon the new king post trusses, was slated to become additional space for the new sport facilities, there was a requirement for a very flat floor structure. The proposed eloquent solution, calling for the cambering of the trusses prior to pouring the concrete slab, was accomplished via jacking of the existing roof structure prior to the installation of the new truss members. After the installation of the truss steel, the existing columns were cut out and removed. Upon pouring the new roof concrete the trusses deflected precisely as designed, leaving a flat surface for the tennis courts and soccer area to be located above.

Amer Inst for Steel Construction.Conducted annually by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the IDEAS2 awards recognize outstanding achievement in engineering and architecture on structural steel projects across the country. The IDEAS2 award is the highest, most prestigious honor bestowed on building projects by the structural steel industry in the U.S. and recognizes the importance of teamwork, coordination and collaboration in fostering successful construction projects.

The awards presentation coincides with a day special to the U.S. structural steel industry: National SteelDay. Steel industry companies and related businesses across the U.S. celebrate the day with a variety of events taking place from coast to coast.

SBIC expands Beyond Green Awards to include building attributes, systems, innovations

Natl Inst of Building ScienceThe National Institute of Building Sciences Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC) has expanded the categories for its 2013 Beyond Green High-Performance Building Awards. The awards program, which issued its 2013 Call for Entries today, will now highlight five building-related categories, in addition to honoring leaders in the high-performance building industry.

Each year, the Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building Awards recognize those initiatives that shape, inform and catalyze the high-performance building market, as well as the real-world application of high-performance design and construction practices.

The SBIC Board, taking into account the numerous ways to achieve high-performance buildings, decided to make significant changes to the Beyond Green™ Awards in the 2013 iteration. The long-standing awards for high-performance buildings, initiatives and products will remain (with minor updates, including a requirement that all buildings have at least one year of performance data). The Council also added two award categories to recognize building projects that focus on enhancing individual building systems or attributes, as well as innovations in design processes, contracting, code administration, insurance and research. In total, the categories include: High-Performance Buildings; High-Performance Attributes and Systems; High-Performance Initiatives; High-Performance Products; and Innovations for High-Performance Buildings; as well as the Greg Franta Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to high-performance, sustainable building design and construction. In addition, the entire application process is now available online, which should make it easier for people to submit entries.

In past years, the awards primarily focused on sustainability, energy-efficiency and green-related building features. In 2013, the Council wanted to incorporate the whole-building design aspects of other Institute programs. Therefore, the new categories reflect the areas on which Institute programs focus, such as building enclosure design; codes and standards; and facility maintenance and operations, and the important role they play in achieving high-performance buildings.

Once selected, the winners of the Beyond Green™ High-Performance Building Awards will be invited to present their projects and receive their awards at a special Beyond Green™ Awards Luncheon, sponsored by Lehigh Hanson, to be held during Building Innovation 2014: The National Institute of Building Sciences Conference and Expo, the week of January 6-10, 2014. The awards presentation and poster session gives winners an opportunity to share directly with leaders in the building community, highlighting the challenges and opportunities they faced while delivering high-performance buildings.

Winning projects will be published on the WBDG Whole Building Design Guide website. Additional recognition will include an announcement in the Institute’s newsletter, a plaque, posting of the case study on the SBIC website and potential inclusion in future SBIC technical guidelines and publications.

The deadline to apply for the 2013 Beyond Green™ Awards is Friday, November 1, 2013, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

NRDC, NYU to recognize most energy-efficient commercial real estate tenants

nrdcThe Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and New York University (NYU) have started a new initiative to tackle carbon pollution in the U.S. by encouraging tenants of commercial buildings to save energy. If successful, the initiative should not only reduce carbon dioxide pollution created by America’s buildings, but also save commercial real estate tenants money on their bills.

Thanks to an award from the new Real Green Research Challenge from CBRE (the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm), NRDC will collect and analyze energy usage info for commercial office tenants within CBRE’s portfolio and provide feedback on how they compare to their peers. This will allow NRDC and the commercial tenants to work together to help improve energy efficiency. (A recent NRDC case study shows that the first tenant to undertake this approach is projected to reduce energy use in its office space by nearly 30%, saving $1.8 million over the course of the 15-year lease.)

NRDC will also be *recognizing the nation’s top commercial tenant energy performers* by developing a rating system for comparative tenant energy use that provides a quantitative foundation for identifying and promoting energy efficient practices.

NRDC’s Yerina Mugica blogs in greater detail about the new Tenant Recognition Initiative on the NRDC Staff Blog.