USGBC Arizona recently held its sixth annual Heavy Medals Awards at the Salt River Project’s LEED Gold PERA Club. The awards recognize outstanding leadership and innovation for buildings in Arizona that have achieved LEED certification or have been an outstanding example of sustainable innovation and building design.
The awardees were selected from a group of project submissions of LEED-certified and sustainable buildings in Arizona across several categories. The categories included new construction projects, existing buildings, schools, innovative design, residential projects and health care projects.
According to Patti Mason, Regional Director for the mountain west region of USGBC communities, the particular climate and landscape of Arizona makes room for innovation in green building—and the state’s building community, represented by these winners, continues to raise the bar on sustainable solutions.
The Heavy Medal Award winners include:
- Green Building of the Year—University of Arizona’s Environmental and Natural Resources Building, Phase 2: A mixed-use facility on the campus of the University of Arizona, the ENR2 building is, fittingly, the home to the university’s earth science and environmental science programs. The building incorporates both active and passive elements that are designed to minimize water and energy use and require little effort to heat and cool the space.
- Innovative Project, Residential—Hawthorn Manor: A 36-acre site consisting of 84 sustainably built single-family homes, Hawthorn Manor is the first residential development by Maracay Homes that has achieved LEED for homes certification for every single home.
- Exceptional Implementation of Sustainable Technology—Pacific Furniture: Sourcing all of its wood products from sustainable wood harvesters, Pacific Furniture is the only furniture manufacturer in Arizona to be FSC-certified. Additionally, 70 percent of the products it creates are also FSC-certified.
- Green Building Legacy Award—Scottsdale's Museum of the West: Designed to emulate the sweeping and iconic landscapes of the American frontier, the Scottsdale Museum of the West uses the latest building design techniques and innovations to minimize its impact on the environment, while also maintaining a comfortable interior for guests and for the preservation of artifacts.
- Innovative Project, New Building—The Grand at Papago Park Center: Situated between Phoenix and Tempe, the Grand at Papago Park Center is one of two office buildings constructed as part of a 60-acre, mixed-use development. Like most buildings in Arizona, the building was designed to enhance energy efficiency and conserve water. The Grant at Papago Park is one of the newest buildings in the development, and was awarded LEED Silver certification at the beginning of 2018.
- Innovative Project, Health and Wellness—Parasol Building: Located in Tucson, the Parasol Building is a joint medical and dental office building with a unique design that shades the building façade from the intense Arizona sun—much like a large parasol—but also acts as a brace for the building’s photovoltaic array. The use of natural light, deliberate shading techniques, alternative energy generation and other practices that are energy- and water-efficient has resulted in a net-zero balance electricity bill since 2014.
- Green School—Palominas Elementary: A rural school located near the San Pedro River, Palominas Elementary School has highly practical water-use standards, and has worked hard to ensure that the school practices diligent water conservation methods. Water conservation is woven into student curriculum, but is also practiced outside of school, due to the community’s proximity to the river and its importance to the surrounding ecosystem and community.
The People’s Choice Award, which included all of this year’s recipients, went to the University of Arizona’s Environmental and Natural Resources, Phase 2.