USGBC North Carolina and USGBC South Carolina recognize excellence in the region

Issued by U.S. Green Building Council North Carolina on Dec. 17, 2019

The Sustainable Business Awards for USGBC North Carolina and USGBC South Carolina promote and recognize excellence in sustainable design, environmental stewardship and community impact, and highlight the green building initiatives and achievements of local projects, businesses and individual leaders. Given in several categories, our project awards honor innovative, high-performance buildings that are leading the way throughout the Carolinas.

Winners were celebrated during a special ceremony at the annual Carolinas Green Gala, held on Dec. 5 at the Mint Museum Uptown in Charlotte, North Carolina. Event attendees also had the opportunity to vote to decide which of the nominees took home the prestigious People's Choice Award.

2019 award winners

Rise to the Challenge Award: Bank of America, Charlotte, North Carolina

The Rise to the Challenge award honors Bank of America for its companywide commitments to meaningful and sustainable outcomes through its building portfolio and beyond. Bank of America has 19 million square feet of LEED-certified space—nearly 25% of its real estate portfolio. One example is the Bank of America Corporate Center in Charlotte, which has earned LEED Operations and Maintenance certification three times, first in 2010, then again in 2015 and 2019. These three certifications demonstrate a commitment to sustainable operations and performance by the building owner and facility partner.

Innovative Project, Building Design and Construction: SAS Building A, Cary, North Carolina

SAS Building A is a LEED Gold office building located on the SAS campus world headquarters in Cary, North Carolina. The design strategy involved providing spaces for focused work, as well as settings for informal and creative interactions. Building A is directly connected to an on-site solar farm that produces 1.6 million kWh per year and supplies approximately 50% of the building’s electricity with zero emission energy. The project uses an innovative building clarity software solution, co-developed by SAS. The solution streams live data from equipment and sensors connected to the building management system to provide insights into how the building is performing.

Innovative Project, Building Design and Construction: Education: Wake Technical Community College–Stephen C. Scott Northern Wake Campus, Raleigh, North Carolina

One of the main goals of the Stephen C. Scott–Northern Wake Campus design is to create an engaging environment that contributes to student learning and helps to improve student performance by maximizing access to natural daylight and views. The LEED design concept of the campus started in 2003, with the first two classroom buildings and regional plant completed in 2007. Since that time, the needs of students, sustainability and the environment have remained in the forefront of every construction project. All buildings on the 122-acre campus are LEED-certified.

Innovative Project, Interior Design and Construction: BARINGS, Charlotte, North Carolina

Located in a LEED Platinum high-rise building in the city center, the LEED Gold office design for BARINGS maximizes opportunities for employee collaboration and engagement, with an open-office design that carried the energy and dynamism of a traditional trading floor. The contemporary design with panoramic views of the Charlotte skyline provides an energetic space for the fast-paced investment firm’s staff.

Community Champion Project: The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center, Greenville, South Carolina

The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center is a LEED Silver, state-of-the-art facility located in an underserved community, offering centralized resources that focus on health, fitness, the arts and social connections. In alignment with its mission to restore and strengthen individuals, the community and the environment, a 25-acre brownfield site was selected for the 79,000 square foot facility. The Kroc Center includes an aquatics center, tennis center, fitness center, gymnasium, soccer fields, climbing wall, multipurpose court, playground, a 300-seat chapel/theatre, conference hall, administrative offices, and child care facilities, and is home to the local Boys and Girls Club.

Marquee Green Building: Talley Student Union, Raleigh, North Carolina

The hub of student life on NC State University’s campus, Talley Student Union is the university’s only building with certifications in both LEED BD+C and LEED O+M. Achieving Gold-level certification under LEED O+M was a team effort between an innovative College of Design course, the facilities division and university student centers. The large team comprised both students and professionals who researched and proposed the design, giving the students real-world experience in their field.

Community Change Agent, Volunteer Leadership: John Hansen, Principal, Craig Gaulden Davis, Inc.

John Hansen has served more than a decade in advancing the green building movement in South Carolina as well as holding regional and national leadership roles with USGBC. Notable volunteer service achievements include leading the formation of the Upstate Branch of USGBC South Carolina in 2007 and 2008; establishing GEAR UP, a regional USGBC leadership summit that brings together leaders from across the southeast for training and collaboration on common strategic initiatives, from 2011–2015; serving with the USGBC national board and local community steering committee to unite the community into one organization to strengthen collaboration, enhance programming, expand market reach and better leverage resources in 2015; and acting as the current Chair of USGBC South Carolina.

Community Impact Award: Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina

Since the mid-1990s, sustainability has been a strategic priority for Furman University, integrating into curriculum, campus operations and community engagement. The university boasts eight LEED-certified buildings on campus, including the first LEED-certified building in the state of South Carolina. The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities is Furman's interdisciplinary academic sustainability hub promoting the study and practice of sustainability on campus and in the greater community. Originally established as a center in 2008, the newly named institute analyzes and addresses campus and community sustainability challenges from a data-driven, solutions-oriented, systems approach that involves interdisciplinary collaboration among campus and community stakeholders. This approach provides unprecedented learning opportunities for all involved and contributes to the greater campus and community good.

People’s Choice Award: Little, Charlotte Office, Charlotte, North Carolina

Working to become the first LEED- and WELL-certified space in Charlotte, Little’s LEED Gold uptown office embodies the vibrancy, connectivity and authenticity of the surrounding city. The design solution leveraged the benefits of a multidisciplinary team that tested every decision through the design premise, celebrating the integration of architecture, infrastructure and technologies in a way that supports the beauty of this built environment in its purest form and raises the bar for the future of workplace design. The result is a place that sparks creativity, emboldens collaboration and puts the health and wellness of its employees and visitors above all else.

Congratulations to all these project teams, organizations and individuals for making a significant impact in green building.

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