Launch Slideshow

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TCP's 2008 GreenSite Awards

TCP's 2008 GreenSite Awards

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    Precise concrete formwork and a system for recycling formwork materials helped reduce costs and increase efficiency in building the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

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    The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center is a small complex of buildings surrounding a central courtyard. This design is flexible in managing energy use based on thermal requirements, creates outdoor spaces, and reduces the buildings' scale.

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    Underground concrete pipe created earth tubes that ventilate the center with conditioned air.

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    Symphony House used recyclable Eco-Blast steel shot finish. While contaminated sand from sand-blasting must be discarded, builders can reuse steel shot.

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    C-GRID carbon fiber reinforcement resulted in a smaller carbon footprint by reducing the weight of precast panels, materials, and energy and superstructure requirements.

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    This project, winner of an Ontario Concrete Award for Sustainable Concrete Construction in 2007, will soon be the first mixed-use building in Canada to be LEED Gold certified.

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    The Country Club Road concrete home uses ICF construction to create an airtight, energy-efficient design.

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    The small squares on the kitchen floor were hand-brushed with multiple layers of onyx-colored stain to reach a deep color. Black grout and saw cuts create the look of tile.

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    Floors throughout the house are acid stained and feature custom designs.

This year, THE CONCRETE PRODUCER, with our sister publication, CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION, introduced the GreenSite Project of the Year con contest honoring the concrete community's efforts to promote concrete's role in creating eco-friendly structures that will stand the test of time.

The name “GreenSite” reflects the innovative processes and materials that create a green building project, many of which are invisible in the final product. For instance, visitors to the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center in Wisconsin breathe air that is pretreated by an underground concrete pipe ventilation system. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, lightweight CarbonCast walls protect residents of the Symphony House condominiums from the elements, while using less energy and fewer materials than traditional concrete panels.

TCP's 2008 GreenSite winners each represent a different category: Institutional, Commercial, Multifamily, Residential, and High-rise. For more details and photos of each project, click here.

To learn how to participate in next year's GreenSite Project of the Year, click here.



Institutional

Grand Rapids Art Museum Grand Rapids, Mich.

When planning for the new Grand Rapids Art Museum, project officials and donors decided to pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification “with a vengeance,” to make it the world's first newly built, LEED-certified art museum. They eventually exceeded this goal with a Gold level certification by incorporating green design elements and sustainable building materials.

Concrete was an important contributor to the project's sustainability and design flexibility. Of the many elements brought to life in this 135,000-square-foot building, the architectural concrete exterior stands out as one of its most beautiful components. At the same time, the museum's 12-inch-thick, cast-in-place concrete walls optimize energy use by keeping the building warm or cold.

Inside, exposed concrete walls feature tie holes aligned in rows and columns, and defined corners and reveals. A sequence of 177 separate architectural concrete pours led to a one-of-a-kind forming system. The forms, which called for sharp corners, needed to be watertight around the tie holes and edges. Each pour had zero tolerance for rework, since patches were not allowed.

Concrete also helped meet LEED material requirements because much of it came from local sources, requiring less energy in transportation. The museum's 20,000 yards of 4000 to 6000 psi concrete contained 3% recycled content and 100% regional materials.

Other items that contribute to the sustainable quality of the museum include extensive use of natural light, gray water collection, management, and recycling, and an innovative mechanical system that uses energy recovery wheels to pre-condition incoming fresh air and lower energy requirements.