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PB Design Awards: 33 award-winning projects that capture today's market
Now in its second year, the annual Professional Builder Design Awards honor the best of the best in residential design.
GREEN PROJECTS - PLATINUM AWARD
Playa Vista, Calif.
This LEED Platinum project was a redesign to reposition the infill property to better meet the challenges of today’s economic climate. The design remake took the original four- and five-story plan and downsized it to three stories — all without losing units or total bedrooms — and placed it atop an existing subterranean garage. The team incorporated a wood floor system at the ground floor, which enabled the existing slab penetrations to remain without introducing new ones. The result is a plan that reduced construction costs and worked within the constraints of the site.
The design situates the units around a courtyard that provides intimate outdoor spaces. The courtyard features an outdoor dining room with grills, a terrace with a fireplace, a bicycle storage room, a community vegetable and fruit garden, and a “living green wall.”
“This is a true infill community created when the last phase of a multi-family project failed,” said judge Donald Evans. “The site plan created outdoor spaces that feel great with such uses as outdoor dining rooms and vegetable gardens. This community looks great and lives well.”
GREEN PROJECTS - GOLD AWARD
Jersey City, N.J.
Located in the historic Paulus Hook neighborhood in downtown Jersey City, this 131-unit luxury apartment building is on pace to achieve LEED Silver certification and become the first LEED residential building in the city. The entire complex will be 100 percent smoke-free — an unusual feature in the New York City market — and will include a vegetated rooftop terrace, PV solar array, electric car charging stations, and use of low-VOC materials and finishes, among other green features. The building features studio and one- and two-bedroom units, some with an optional den for small families or young couples planning to start a family. Amenities include street-level retail, valet parking, a fitness center, bike storage, landscaped courtyards, children’s play area, and proximity to public transportation.
In bestowing the Madox with a Gold Award, the Professional Builder Design Awards judges cited the thoughtful integration of the green features. “It’s great to see such a large-scale project achieve such high standards,” said judge Jean Dufresne. “The elements seem well integrated; all too often they are tacked on and unresolved.”
Submitter: Fields Development Group (developer)
Architect: Marchetto Higgins Stieve
Builder: Fields Hi Rise Construction Company
Interior designer: Fogarty Finger
GREEN PROJECTS - BRONZE AWARD
This project, which also won a Platinum Award in the Modular category, was designed as a net-zero house, with the use of solar electric and solar thermal to offset energy consumption. The homeowners specified Blu Homes’ Breezehouse plan, which offers three bedrooms (with an optional fourth) and three baths in an open-plan layout that provides plenty of daylight, views, and connection to the outdoors, thanks to large windows and multi-slide glass doors.
Judge Jean Dufresne liked the home’s custom feel and unique spaces. “I would not have guessed this home is modular,” he said. “It’s a clever layout solution and features a great variety of spaces, nooks, and social gathering points. I especially like the unique millwork cabinets.”
Submitter: Blu Homes (architect, builder, developer)
Interior designer: Jo Cooper
Photographer: John Swain Photography
GREEN PROJECTS - BRONZE AWARD
Brown to Brown Housing
Brown University commissioned this team to transform an old carriage house into faculty housing. The team was also charged with the task of making the structure as energy efficient and sustainable as possible. In doing so, the team went through painstaking measures to update the structure while maintaining its historic charm. For instance, the team developed a special system of strapping to maintain the exterior walls while also accommodating additional insulation. Energy-efficient technologies include geothermal heat pumps and radiant flooring.
“It’s great to see an old structure restored to its original character,” said judge Donald Evans. “Lots of attention to detail. Impressive use of green elements, yet looks like an old home.”
Submitter: A4 Architecture+Planning (architect, photographer)
Builder: Vasco Construction
GREEN PROJECTS - SPECIAL RECOGNITION
2012 Eco Showhome
The intent of this showhome was to test and demonstrate a variety of energy-efficient and sustainable approaches while staying within a hard-cost budget of $100 per square foot. The builder wanted to show that modest luxury living could also be green without breaking the bank. In the end, the builder focused on technologies and systems that would provide a payback of eight years or less. These include a refrigerant-based geothermal system, enhanced insulation and air sealing measures, passive solar design with operable skylights, and lighting controls. The team exceeded its goal, ending up around $90 per square foot.
Submitter: Cranbrook Custom Homes (architect, builder, interior designer)
Photographer: Michael Woodard, Matthew Cottone