Jessica L. Wilson

USGBC North Carolina is pleased to announce our 2017 Sustainable Business Awards finalists. The winners will be announced at our annual Green Gala on September 21 at the Ritz Carlton in Charlotte.

The Green Gala is the sustainability event of the year in our area, with an expected attendance of over 300 industry professionals, executives, dedicated volunteers, students and others who represent the facets of sustainable building, design and construction. Please join us in celebrating the people and projects that represent excellence in sustainability in the Carolinas.

The following projects have been selected as finalists for their outstanding green building features:

Innovative Design: Interiors finalists

James Goodnight Project
Nominated by Christopher Yermal, Old School Rebuilder & Co.

James Goodnight purchased the three-story, 17,200-square-foot property at 21 S. Front Street in the center of downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, in June 2013. The property had suffered from decades of neglect. Upon purchase, the building received a massive investment of time, capital and innovation. Through the dedicated and intelligent assistance of Laurie Jackson and the rest of the team at Maurer Architecture, James Goodnight and their general contractor, the two-year project is complete. It now houses the 80-employee software development firm Untapped and its small family of associated companies as long-term tenants.

Wells Fargo Duke Energy Center 23rd Floor
Nominated by Dimple Patel, Wells Fargo

The Duke Energy Center’s 23rd floor remodel was awarded LEED Platinum certification under Commercial Interiors in February 2017, and metrics indicate the focus on sustainability is already delivering significant environmental and operational efficiency benefits, while providing a healthier workplace for team members. Further, the carbon footprint of the project was minimized and local vendors were supported by locally sourcing construction materials wherever possible. The project has set a new standard for Wells Fargo’s sustainable building efforts, which include a commitment to building LEED standards into all new construction and renovations of owned or leased properties.

LPL Financial Campus
Nominated by Marc Hirsch, tvsdesign

The new campus for LPL Financial promises to represent a new, progressive model for corporate build to suit projects founded on a strategy of inside-out/outside-in planning. Located on a 16-acre, densely wooded site adjoining the new live/work/play village of Fort Mill, South Carolina, the new LPL campus comprises three slender 150,000-square-foot buildings with outboard service and elevator cores. Designed around net-zero energy goals, the core-free 25,000-square-foot floor plate configuration maximizes workplace natural light and views to the wooded setting for all employees.

Innovative Design: New Construction BD+C finalists

City of Columbia Water Distribution and Wastewater Maintenance Facility
Nominated by Tom Watson, Watson Tate Savory

This project, which will be completed in September 2017, converts an abandoned automobile dealership into offices and warehouses for a municipal water division. A rigorous process of simplifying and separating diverse program components allowed for logical reuse of existing structures. The office building, a sustainably designed glass prism under a vegetated roof, provides daylight. New materials and details on the pre-engineered warehouses visually separate planes, with low-sloped roofs to echo the sloping site. Site improvements include reuse of existing asphalt, introduction of pervious paving, xeriscaping and rain gardens. The project is designed to achieve LEED Gold standards.

LPL Financial, Carolinas Campus
Nominated by Sara Nomellini, LPL Financial

LPL’s Carolinas campus is an extraordinary workplace that demonstrates LPL’s commitment to sustainability. With a design inspired by nature, the campus protects resources, creates pride for employees and the community and inspires teams to do great work. The Carolinas campus earned LEED Gold certification. Highlights from LPL’s scorecard include perfect or near-perfect scores in water efficiency, innovation and design processes and indoor environmental quality categories.

Long Term Acute Care and Rehabilitation Center Rooftop Therapy and Healing Garden
Nominated by Collin Brock, Bloc Design

Located on the third floor of the Long Term Acute Care and Rehabilitation Facility, the Rooftop Therapy and Healing Garden includes over 6,200 square feet of green roof area. The rehabilitation aspect of the garden is uniquely designed to assist physical therapists with training their patients and preparing them for the transition back to home living, which requires navigating their typical outdoor home environments, such as stairs, ramps and various hardscape surfaces and turf areas, all of which are included in the garden area. The healing garden component includes comfortable passive seating separated from the more active areas, as well as the use of lush aroma-based plantings.

Community Champion finalists

LS3P Associated

Architecture, interior and planning firm LS3P has developed an annual firm-wide Earth Day Competition across its eight offices, challenging staff to design projects supporting community sustainability efforts. This annual event serves as a touchstone to unite staff around LS3P’s core values and has generated diverse projects with meaningful community impact, from waterway clean-ups to outdoor classrooms to community-focused designs. Projects have increased in impact over the last three years as teams learn to maximize efforts through strategic partnerships, focused efforts and thoughtful planning. The initiative now serves as a catalyst for larger design discussions and meaningful community engagement.

Grifols Therapeutics Incorporated

Grifols has developed specific environmental programs that define targets and objectives for each business area. In particular, the Clayton, North Carolina, facility has had an incredibly positive environmental impact in Johnston County. They have constructed the first two LEED-certified buildings in the County, benefited the school systems by supporting environmental learning programs, actively protected wildlife habitats on their site and encouraged employees to be environmentally conscious.

City of Greensboro

Operation Bed Roll aims to teach residents about the non-recyclability of plastic bags in residential recycling containers. To spread this message in a unique way, Recycling Educator Tori Carle designed a workshop to train residents to turn plastic bags into portable sleeping surfaces for the homeless. They are a better alternative to traditional blankets because they are lightweight and easy to clean and don’t attract unwanted insects. In 2016, over 3,000 residents participated, 211 bed rolls we created and an estimated 147,700 plastic bags were kept out of landfills. An additional 56 bed rolls have been donated in 2017 as the project continues.

Green Schools finalists

Horry County Schools
Nominated by Andrew LaRowe, EduCon Energy
Team: SfL+a Architects/Firstfloor Energy Positive

With the opening of five new Energy Positive schools in Myrtle Beach, Horry County Schools is becoming a national leader of incorporating sustainable building design for educational facilities. The new schools were developed by SfL+a Architects and Firstfloor Energy Positive located in Fayetteville. Each of the state-of-the-art facilities are high performance, safe and secure learning environments that will provide the district significant energy savings. A notable part of the overall plan includes a student based energy education program called “EnergyWise”, developed by EduCon Energy. The education program is closely aligned with the Green Apple Day of Service.

Isaac Dickson Elementary School
Nominated by Elm Engineering & Innovative Design

Isaac Dickson Elementary School is the first net-zero energy, LEED Platinum K–5 elementary school located in Asheville, North Carolina. The school has achieved LEED Platinum status through many sustainable features. Not only is the school “green” on the outside, the key stakeholders promote sustainability from the inside by providing an enhanced and experiential hands-on learning environment; teaching about sustainability principles by featuring solar panels with a solar hot-water system, storm water management, sundial, a dinosaur fossil, student-grown produce, daylighting and a bi-directional cascading chiller plant; and by giving back to their immediate community through promoting volunteerism.

Briggs Elementary School
Nominated by Representative Terry Alexander

Briggs Elementary School continues to create innovative initiatives to enhance the student learning experience through programs like “Project Lead the Way” (a STEM-initiated program), which is implemented in all of their science classrooms; and various extracurricular programs to enrich the lives of students, such as before- and after-school academic programs; clubs that focus on physical fitness, art, music, good news, dance and 4H; and “Our Mentoring Matters Program,” which served over 20 students this year and established a firm foundation for a long lasting relationship with community members.

Innovative Design: Residential finalists

Ellison Passive House
Nominated by Lucien Ellison, Ellison Building Company

The Ellison Passive House in Wilmington, North Carolina, is the third certified passive house in the state. Passive house is a rigorous energy efficiency standard that also incorporates stringent standards for water management and indoor air quality. Born in North America in the 1970s and refined in Germany through the 1990s and 2000s, the passive house movement has spread across the globe. There are over 25,000 passive houses around the world, but only 120 certified passive houses in the US. 

Lark & Leigh: An Off-Grid Airstream Tiny Home
Nominated by Jenny Vallimont, Gökotta

After moving to Charlotte and buying their first home, the Vallimonts realized their once big house, was now intimate and cozy with the addition of three large dogs and two kids. With no easy way to accommodate guests, they purchased a 26-foot, 1976 Airstream to create a 150-square-foot tiny home named Lark & Leigh. They have continued the previous owner’s vision of creating a completely off-grid home and have just about finished. Salvaged, retrofitted, invented and efficient components make this not only one of the most beautiful tiny homes but also one of the most innovative green homes created.

Ted Van Dyk Home
Nominated by: Edward Rubio, American Craftsmen Inc.

The homeowner was inspired to build a home for his family that was resistant to termites, mold, fire, high winds and high impacts, as well as premium indoor air quality and a high degree of sustainability. The home also features net zero design by incorporating geothermal and PV solar, matched with a high thermal envelope to eliminate or significantly reduce dependence on the fossil fuels. American Craftsmen was contracted to panelize the entire 4,800-square-foot home, using the patented ACI Precast system in the wall, floor and roof for complete envelope application.

Volunteer Leadership Award finalists

Traci Rose Rider, PhD
Design Initiative for Sustainability and Health | Research Associate at North Carolina State University

Dr. Traci Rose Rider is the Coordinator for the Design Initiative for Sustainability and Health, Research Associate, Research Assistant Professor of Architecture, and PhD faculty at North Carolina State University’s College of Design. Rider’s research has focused on the relationship between the design culture and the notion of sustainability, exploring factors impacting environmental attitudes of designers. She teaches courses focusing on sustainability and beyond for the School of Architecture, such as the issues of existing buildings and operations and the WELL Building Standard and Living Building Challenge. Rider has been a dedicated volunteer for USGBC North Carolina for nearly a decade. Recently, she was awarded a substantial grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to further purse an initiative designed to better serve the occupant health of lower income families in multifamily housing.

Irene Vogelsong
Senior Interior Project Designer, Perkins + Will

Irene Vogelsong is engaged in the Charlotte Chamber, serving her second term on its executive committee. As chair of the engagement group, she provides leadership in serving the community through seven chapters and growth opportunities aimed at young professionals and emerging leaders. Vogelsong brings a unique perspective and engages in thoughtful dialogue that is key to ensuring the chamber leadership makes decisions that move the community forward. She has devoted countless hours to diversity small business efforts and overall engagement in the mission, which is to connect, innovate and grow opportunity for all who do business in Charlotte.

Robin Turner
Director of Sales at O’Leary Group

Robin Turner joined USGBC in 2009 and has served on the membership committee since that time. She is serving her third term on the Charlotte Leadership Group, and her focus has been largely on partner recruitment and retention. In 2015, Turner developed the monthly Partner Spotlight and leads a monthly luncheon segment involving an informal talk-show-style interview with partners. Robin’s other community roles include involvement with CREW Charlotte, USGBC North Carolina, BOMA Charlotte, IREM, Greater Charlotte Apartment Association, CCIM Mecklenburg County WOWbiz Wipe Out Waste Business Recycling and the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Green Works.

Exceptional Implementation of Sustainability Technology finalists

Ted Van Dyk Home
Nominated by Edward Rubio, American Craftsmen Inc.

See description above.

Catawba College Campus Solar Energy Installation Project Green Step 2030
Nominated by Karen Alexander, City of Salisbury

Catawba College completed a landmark solar energy project in 2016. The project produced more solar electricity than other North Carolina colleges and universities combined as a whole. The nearly one-megawatt project, which involved installations of photovoltaic panels, reroofing and building efficiency improvements on most of the campus facilities, brought about a transformation in the college’s energy production and consumption. The installation is projected to save the college in excess of $3 million over the next 20 years and nearly $7 million over 30 years. It will also reduce carbon emissions by almost 1,020 metric tons annually.

Stanley Building Ice Storage Technology for Building Cooling
Nominated by Jim Fields, Superior Mechanical Systems

The partial storage system can shift 60 percent of the maximum cooling load during peak hours to off-peak hours. During lower-load conditions, the system has been shifting 100 percent of the load to off-peak times. The system consists of one 300-ton, high-efficiency chiller and nine Calmac storage tanks and has the capacity to shift 1,458 ton hours of load during on-peak hours to off-peak hours. It replaced a cooling system with chillers, towers and pumps that used much more energy. This allows Duke Power to generate the power required for off-peak times and to use higher efficiency instead of low-efficiency power generation plants, thus cutting carbon emissions. It also reduces the requirement for additional power generating plants, due to better ability for load management.

The USGBC North Carolina community is proud of all of the finalists. We hope you can join us on September 21 at the Ritz Carlton in celebrating these exceptional examples of dedicated professionals and green buildings throughout the Carolinas.

Register for the Green Gala