University of Vermont

Aiken Center Wins National 'Beyond Green High-Performance Building Award'

Aiken Center (Photo: Sally McCay)

UVM's Aiken Center was a recipient of the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council's 2012 Beyond Green High-Performance Building Award. The council, part of the National Institute of Building Sciences, delivered the award at the institute's annual conference Jan. 10.

The Beyond Green Awards recognize those initiatives that shape, inform and catalyze the high-performance building market, as well as the real-world application of high-performance design and construction practices. The George D. Aiken Center won the Award of Merit for Distinction in High-Performance Buildings.

The Aiken Center demonstrates the possibilities to transform an existing building to meet current needs. Submitted by Maclay Architects, who led the project team, this project, a $13 million renovation, serves as the home for the Rubenstein School for the Environment and Natural Resources. This net-zero-energy-ready building embraces both its past character and its role as an educational demonstration. More than 200 sensors and meters provide data and the EcoMachine cleans 100 percent of the building’s wastewater in full view of occupants.

“With the demand for high-performance buildings ever increasing, the renovation of existing buildings is becoming more important,” said jury member, architect and past chair of the National Institute of Building Sciences Jim Sealy. “The Aiken Center team took a dark and unfriendly campus icon and converted it to be an energy-efficient building, as well as a healthier and friendlier feature of the University of Vermont and a model for a national sustainable future.” 

Awards were also presented to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District Headquarters, which won the Honor Award – First Place for High-Performance Buildings; the Carbon Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory, Georgia Institute of Technology, which won the  Award of Merit for Distinction in High-Performance Buildings; and the Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes Synergy Rewards Program, which won the Award of Merit for Distinction in High-Performance Initiatives.

Each SBIC awards jury comprises leading professionals from across the building community.

In addition to their prizes and recognition, Beyond Green High-Performance Building Award winners have the opportunity to showcase their projects as case studies on the Whole Building Design Guide. View the 2011 award winners’ case studies.