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2009 Green Building Awards

CTGBC Design Awards Program

The CT Chapter of the US Green Building Council recently announced the winners of its Annual Design Award competition for excellence in high performance, intelligently designed and constructed, energy efficient green buildings. The awards were presented to local architects, designers, contractors and building owners whose outstanding achievements in sustainable building practices were recognized. The award jury included Steven Winter, President, Steven Winter Associates; Greg Bermiller, Sustainable Design Coordinator, The S/L/A/M Collaborative; Mark Loeffler, Director, Atelier Ten; Bob Wall , Director, Energy Market Initiatives, CT Clean Energy Fund; and chaired by Bruce Bockstael, Chief Architect at CT Department of Public Works.

MOST INTRIGUING/ Residential: The Easterfield House, Submitted by Picton Brothers LLC

A sustainable building site in New Milford, CT was selected for this award winning home. The compact design of the 1750 square feet of livings space, along with the choice of handsome local materials and energy efficient systems produced an attractive home with a reduced carbon footprint. The photovoltaic installation, funded in part through rebates from the CT Clean Energy Fund, feeds energy back into the electrical system after providing energy for the home’s hot water usage. The rooftop PV array is situated to allow for expansion to a 3kW system. Since potential expansion is key to design of the home, the floor plan and window and door fenestration were well suited for expanding the 900 square foot footprint to take advantage of outdoor living spaces. Insulating with R 40 material, limiting the exposure of the exterior surfaces, extensive use of local and salvaged materials such as fire slate countertops in the kitchen and bath reclaimed from an local existing building as well as VT milled ash flooring salvaged from a local renovation earned valuable LEED points for this project. Reclaimed wood was also used to build the exterior decks. The jury felt, "The compact design along with the choice of material, orientation and systems produced a very good looking home that has reduced the carbon footprint of the building to a minimum level."

MOST INTRIGUING/Commerical: Home Improvement and Energy Conservation Laboratory, Submitted by Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven, Inc.

The Home Improvement and Energy Conservation Laboratory submitted by the Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven, Inc. immediately caught the jury's attention. Although the project was limited in scale, it sits in the midst of the community it serves and incorporates many sustainable features that readily demonstrate building projects the neighbors can examine firsthand and understand well enough to undertake on their own. Originally a neighborhood grocery store in the late 1890's, the frame, and later masonry addition, single story building illustrates how much can be created out of a very small space and budget. Many of the products used in the building are recycled including light fixtures, built-in cabinetry and office furnishings. The extensive green roof planted with sedum can accommodate any future expansion the photo voltaic array already providing energy to the building. The first residential scale cogeneration system in the state is used to heat and cool the building.

HONORABLE MENTION/Commercial: General Electric Energy Financial Services, Submitted by Perkins Eastman Architects

The award for Intriguing Commercial project went to Perkins Eastman for the GE Energy Financial Services Division newly completed headquarters in Stamford. Thomas Edison was convinced in 1910 that by the end of the century, we would be harnessing energy from alternative sources such as the sun. It is therefore very fitting that GE’s energy investment arm, GE Energy Financial Services Division, was presented the award for the most intriguing commercial interior by the Connecticut Chapter of the United States Green Building Council. And, as Mr. Edison foretold, this building derives 100 percent of its power from green sources.
Other unique features in the building that received points for innovative green design are a series of branding walls which tell the history of GE’s commitment to alternative energy and also serve as a source of education for visitors and staff.

MOST INTRIGUING/Public/Schools: Darien Library, Submitted by Peter Gisolfi Associates - Architects/Landscape Architects/Interior Architects

The Most Intriguing Institution was awarded to the Darien Library, the first LEED Gold certified library in New England. Of the many competition submissions this project clearly bridged the gap between traditional New England architecture and excellent sustainable attributes into a cohesive design. The community looked to the design team to provide for the anchoring of the civic entity within an extended town scape, extending Main Street Darien while celebrating the new green building as a community cultural center.

The new building was sited on a remediated brownfield, which had at one time been a gas station among its many transformations over the years. Current on-site water conservation provides non-potable grey water for use within the building and for irrigation of water efficient landscaping. During construction fifty percent of the construction waste was diverted to recycling centers for re-use. Highlights of the design of the building include its heavy mass yet overall transparency indoors to outdoors and from floor to floor; geothermal wells with heat pumps used for both heating and cooling using a closed loop technology; finish materials such as paints, adhesives, sealants and carpeting, lighting and housekeeping cleaners were low VOC emitting and included FSC certified woods as well as other low maintenance materials.

HONORABLE MENTION/Public/Schools: Amistad Building, Yale Medical Center, Submitted by The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company

The Intriguing Award Institutional building, in the largest category of submissions, by The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company is a fine example of an existing building originally created for a different use. The 120,000 square foot Amistad Building was transformed from an office building to a research facility that achieved LEED Gold certification for Interiors. Considering its current function as a research facility, the energy savings achieved are incredible enough to warrant an award. This handsome building has achieved unparalleled success in its operation and efforts set forth by the client.

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