AIA Names 2016’s Top Project for Sustainability

AIA COPE Winner 2016

This renovated federal office building in Portland Oregon earned an A+ for sustainability from the AIA.

The AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE) works to promote design practices that enhance both the design quality and environmental performance of the built environment. As the Institute’s champion of sustainable design, COPE identifies the most outstanding “green” projects around the U.S. and awards its annual Top Ten Winners.

This year’s overall winner is the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt (EGWW) Federal Building, an 18-story, 512,474 sf office tower in downtown Portland, Oregon. Originally built in 1974, the building received funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to undergo a major renovation to replace outdated equipment and systems. Already, EGWW has exceeded its projected energy and water saving goals.The building’s gas and electrical utility bills racked up a 45% energy savings in the first two years of use, compared to a building built to code.

Legacy of the World’s Leading Woman Architect

Hadid's Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan showcases the architect's ability to merge engineering and artistry.

The death of Iraqi-British architect, Dame Zaha Hadid, from a heart attack at age 65 hit the world’s design community hard. It was only a month ago that the principal of the London-based design firm Zaha Hadid Architects was awarded the prestigious RIBA Royal Gold Medal awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects — the first time an individual woman had been so honored.

Hadid, who was also a Pritzker Prize winner, was known for the fluidity and elegance of her sculptured designs, and her building projects around globe became instantly iconic. These included the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011); the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (2003); and the Guangzhou Opera House in China (2010). “I am non-European, I don’t do conventional work and I am a woman,” she once told an interviewer. “On the one hand all of these things together make it easier — but on the other hand it is very difficult.”

Now, she has left behind a legacy of soaring structures than can speak to her talent and daring.

ENR Names “Best of the Best” Projects for the Past Year

Best Health Care Project 2015

San Francisco's UCSF Medical Center, combining three hospitals and an office building, was selected as Best Health Care project.

The editorial team at ENR (Engineering News Record) compiled the opinions of dozens of building industry judges to identify a list that represented the pinnacle of design and construction achievement among all those U.S. projects completed between June 2014 and June 2015. The competition began last March with a call for entries, which resulted in nearly 750 construction-industry project teams submitting their best work to the regional Best Projects competitions. In each of the 10 regions, the editors assembled panels of judges to select the regional winners in 20 categories.

The regional winners in each category then moved up to the national competition. A brand-new set of judges from across the country and from all walks of the industry examined each project to distinguish the best of the best in terms of innovation, teamwork, safety, overcoming challenges, and overall quality. ENR also convened a separate panel of industry safety specialists to choose one Excellence in Safety winner. The winning teams will be honored in New York City on April 7-8 in conjunction with ENR’s Award of Excellence celebration.