The U.S. EPA last week handed out its 2009 Lifecycle Building Challenge awards to six buildings or projects designed to reduce the environmental and energy impacts of buildings, including student-designed buildings, best overall building product, best professionally designed project, and the best job-creating project.
The competition is intended to spur innovation and highlight best practices that could be put to use by the building industry in ways to help it reduce the more than 88 million tons of constrution- and demolition-related debris sent to U.S. landfilles each year, according to EPA estimates.
“Designing buildings and building products with front-end lifecycle thinking is the key to real green building,” Lisa Heinzerling, associate administrator for EPA’s Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation, said in a statement. “These innovators are great examples of how we can build sustainable structures that help meet the needs of this and future generations.”
The winners of the third annual awards, chosen by EPA representatives along with the the American Institute of Architects, West Coast Green, the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, and StopWaste.Org, are as follow:
David Fleming from the University of Cincinnati won the award for the student-designed building with his “[Un] Modular Design for Deconstruction.”
His adaptable structural system can change almost any element of the building, and shows the potential for a building that can evolve with time and innovations in materials and styles change.
In the profesionally designed building category, the Arboretum and Research Visitors’ Center in Charlottesville, Va., won the award. Designed by Kira Gould of William McDonough + Partners, emphasizes closed-loop use of biological and material nutrients in the building construction, allowing the building to break down into both the forest soil and into new objects at the end of its useful life. Gould’s building makes use of reconfigurable connections and modules, allowing it too to be adapted to other uses.
Gould’s building also won the award for Best Greenhouse Gas Reduction, as it performs 51 percent better than a base case in the ASHRAE measurement for greenhouse gas reduction measurements.
Modular was the name of the game for the winner of the Best Professional Product award as well. The ENVY Modular Wall System, developed by Douglas Spear and Aaron Barnes, is made of panels and extruded joining parts that are recyclable, reusable and can be recycled into new products with zero waste. The product is used to repolace short-term-use wall systems that often end up in landfills; the EPA estimates that the ENVY wall system saves 1 ton of landfill waste for every 70 linear feet of wall used.
Two final awards were also handed out last week: the prize for Best School design went to the School M.O.D. designed by Yosuke Kawai and Ikue Nomura at the University of Pennsylvania in Dayton, Ohio. M.O.D. in this case means modular, open and dual-structural, and is a prototype building method that emphasizes flexible construction methods using whatever materials are locally available.
And the final prize, for Best Green Job Creation, was awarded to the ReAnimateLA Center for Ecological & Urban Recovery in Los Angeles, Calif. The project, designed by Hayley Stewart at Cal Poly Pomona, would create up to 100 green jobs to maintain the green elements of the building.
Full details, including photos and full descriptions of the buildings, are available at 2009.lifecyclebuilding.org.
Modular Building Designs Take Top Prize in Lifecycle Building Challenge Awards | GreenerBuildings.com
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