Tag Archives: awards

Lake Washington School District honored for sustainability

Champions of Sustainability: The Lake Washington School District: Forrest Miller, Traci Pierce, Brian Buck

Champions of Sustainability: The Lake Washington School District: Forrest Miller, Traci Pierce, Brian Buck

McKinstry is recognizing the Lake Washington School District as a “model of Northwest sustainability and environmental stewardship,” with its Champion of Sustainability award.

The district was honored during the Sept. 27 Seahawks game at CenturyLink Field.

In partnership with the Seattle Seahawks, the annual Champions of Sustainability program recognizes one organization during a regular-season home game that exhibits  innovative energy and waste reduction in the built environment.

What did they do?
In 2006, LWSD adopted a resource conservation management  program focusing on energy efficiency, water conservation and waste reduction. Since then, the district has saved $9 million in utility costs despite having increased its buildings’ square footage and number of students.  Electricity use has fallen by 20 percent and natural gas consumption is down 30 percent. Conservation-minded students also helped trim the district’s waste disposal budget by 42 percent.

LWSD also has the largest solar energy capacity of any school district in the state, at 615 kW – enough energy to power about 60 homes. The solar panels at Finn Hill Junior High alone account for 355 kW.

Geothermal heating systems have been installed in its new high schools and several elementary schools. Because the temperature underground stays constant throughout the year, geothermal systems that circulate water through the ground can heat schools using much less energy than standard systems.

Rain gardens and other sustainable stormwater management practices at schools save LWSD $64,000 annually, as compared to traditional water treatment systems. The measures also reduce the concentration of pollutants funneled into local waterways.

Last year, the district renewed its commitment to sustainability by launching powerED, a behavior-based program designed to bring new levels of effort and tools to conserve utilities, increase efficiencies and promote sustainability in LWSD schools.

About the Champions of Sustainability Program:
McKinstry’s Champions of Sustainability program is part of the Defend Your Turf campaign, aimed at water conservation, energy efficiency, waste reduction, and community involvement within CenturyLink Field and Event Cente,r as well as in terms of its impact on the city.

For more information on Defend Your Turf, visit www.centurylinkfield.com/defendyourturf.

About McKinstry:
McKinstry has implemented a number of facility-wide energy conservation initiatives at CenturyLink Field and Event Center, including the installation of one of the largest solar arrays in the state, mechanical system upgrades, high-efficiency lighting and ultra-low-flow water fixtures. These upgrades make the stadium a national model for sustainable sporting facilities.

McKinstry is a full-service, design-build-operate-and-maintain (DBOM) firm specializing in consulting, construction, energy and facility services.  For more information, visit  www.mckinstry.com.

What Makes it Green is coming up…..

For everyone that does not yet know, the What Makes it Green final submittal deadline in this Friday. What Makes it Green is an AIA Seattle awards program that honors the best in local green design.

The program honors both projects that are already built and those that are “on the boards” or planned.

AIA Seattle will shortlist project teams between April 12 and 16. Then, those teams will go through jury interviews as part of the Living Future Conference in May. A celebration for the winners and a panel discussin will be held in Seattle in early June.

For information on last year’s winners, click the tab ‘AIA’ below.

The 10 Winners of What Makes it Green

The honors have been doled out. The party’s done. And AIA’s What Makes It Green is over for another year. To read my article in the DJC, click here.

There have been some interesting blog postings on this year’s ceremony. Dan Bertolet’s self-described rant at hugeasscity talks about the title of the awards, and whether, after all this time, we still don’t know what makes it green. Dominic Holden at The Stranger also weighed in on the point of the awards here. The AIA Seattle COTE also live-blogged the process (go here if you want a full list of winners). 

Of the ten projects that won, it surprises me that six are in Washington. Two are in Seattle. If we’re really looking at the greenest of the green, I would expect a wider range of geographic locations (considering the competition was open to designers and architects in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, Guam, Hawaii, Hong Kong and Japan). 

This year’s project winners included one project in Leavenworth, one in Woodinville, two in Seattle, one in Olympia, one on San Juan Island, one in Victoria, B.C., one in Billings, Mont., one in Portland and one in Denver.

By way of comparison, last year’s winners included one two from Seattle, one in Tacoma, one in Issaquah, one in Bremerton, one in Billings, Mont., one in Corvallis, Ore., one in Portland, one in Salem and one in Bend. 

(Incidentally, both winners in Billings went to the same architecture firm – High Plains Architects).

But here’s the thing: an awards process is only as good as the entries it receives. And from what I’ve heard, it takes a lot of time and effort to put a project entry together. So what can you do?

I don’t have the answer. But I do have winning project pictures. Here are a few of them: enjoy!

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the greenest project of all?

Tomorrow, the Seattle Chapter of the AIA will announce its winners of the What Makes it Green Awards. The awards celebrate the greenest projects in the Pacific Northwest (and a few overseas countries. Still not sure on how the overseas aspect works but it does).

So before they make their big announcements, I wanted to ask you, dear readers…. what do you think are the greenest buildings of the past year?

Nationally, the AIA chose Weber Thompson’s headquarters and Dockside Green (for more info, click AIA tag below). Who do you think the local awards will honor?

Just for fun, I’m including some randomly chosen images of green buildings I have reported on in the past year. Let me know if you think these – or any I haven’t mentioned – will be winners:

P.S. For pictures of last year’s winners, click the tag ‘AIA’ or ‘Awards’ below!

AIA hands out the greenest of the green awards – are they achieving all they should be?

Today, the AIA’s Committee on the Environment selected its top ten green projects. Tomorrow’s DJC will feature a short story and slideshow of the images but there were so many great pictures, we couldn’t include them all. Here, I give you some of the pictures we aren’t about to run in the DJC.

Local winners of the awards are Weber Thompson for the Terry Thomas Building and Busby Perkins + Will for Synergy at Dockside Green.

…But before I give you the pictures, I wanted to remind readers of the jurying for last year’s AIA COTE awards, which were held here in Seattle. That event last April was one of my most favorite green events ever because the judges were – at times – brutally honest about the state of green building and how nominees need to go further in the quest for green goodness.  (I wrote a story about it called ‘U.S. green buildings don’t go far enough, AIA award judges say‘.)

Among their comments (remember, this is last year’s judging for 2008, not 2009) judges said: “We saw very much less of what I would really liked to have seen” (Glenn Murcutt); “Projects that call themselves green are not green enough and in most of the work that we see we’re not taking the big enough leaps that we need to make” (Jason McLennan); and “The last thing you want to do is have the environmental movement associated with things that are overbudget and with things that are ugly” (Rebecca Henn). Like I said, sometimes brual. But honest.

I blogged on last year’s winners here.

Unfortunately, I did not get to attend this year’s jurying as it was not in Seattle. I wonder if it was quite as critical or if the entries had improved from last year. If anyone attended, I would love to hear a short review below!

However, Rebecca Henn’s comments about the separation between beauty and performance seem to be officially part of the judging process now. An AIA press release says “In architecture, performance and aesthetics are inextricably linked. The COTE Top Ten is one of the very few awards that evaluates performance and design,” said jury members. “Other awards and organizations look strictly at performance without care for how a building looks.”

The award winners might achieve this balance but it still seems to be a pretty big issue, and one that local award programs have struggled with as well. It will be interesting to see the AIA Seattle’s COTE awards at the end of this month…. (on April 28 if you dont’ already have it on your calendar).

As for performance, it looks like most of the award winners are LEED platinum.

So, did these winners achieve both performance AND beauty? You be the judge:

To read more about the award winners and to explore the jurying process, check out AIA’s COTE page here.