There was plenty to show off at the 2017 Showcase

By Alexander Landa on 6/16/2017

It's amazing how much can be accomplished in one year. Since the 2016 Showcase, dozens more sustainable, LEED or WELL certified, healthy buildings have been designed and developed, leaving a massive impact on the surrounding community and inspiring hundreds more to do the same. Last night proved why we do what we do, and all of the participants deserve the attention they received last night. 

It's Show(case)time!

Even though for other events with a start time of 5:30, attendees tend to start trickling then if not later. The Showcase is a totally different animal - we had eager folks lining up at 4:45 ready to get in, start networking, and spend as much time as they could there. It's always heartwarming to have people being so excited that they go out of their way to be there early.

After the first round of networking with old friends and new, and checking out project boards, Andrea Love (Director of Building Science at Payette, USGBC MA Board Chair) took the mic to kick things off and introduce the speakers for the night. Celis Brisbin (Acting Executive Director) gave a heart-warming speech about what it means to his family, and in turn to all of our families, the importance of green building and how it will impact our current generation and the future to come.

Special thanks to Kathy Spiegelman (VP/Chief of Campus Planning & Development at Northeastern) for letting us use the gorgeous ISEC for our event, and for giving some words on how the NEU supports our mission, and how the ISEC is a prime example of all of it. Jim Grossman (VP/COO of Suffolk) shared how Suffolk is dedicated to sustainability, and what it meant to him to be a part of the ISEC project. To wrap up the first round of speakers, Kimberly Cullinane (Senior Energy Efficiency Consultant of Suffolk) and Mark Stafford (Lead Account Executive of National Grid) amped up the crowd to set the tone of the night by highlighting how MassSave contributed to so many of the amazing project boards on deck. 

The next hour saw a packed room of sustainability enthusiasts circling the floor and voting in the Market Leadership Awards Program for what designs they felt best represented the award categories. Building of the Year boards and were also on display at the front of the room. This hour was the pinnacle of representation for our Chapter; our engaged community was enthralled by each project, finding inspiration from other firms rather than competition, while exchanging business cards with new faces and hugging old friends. 

Who won the big awards?

At 7, the massive crowd of over 300 attendees packed the first-floor auditorium. Oscar Mertz (Senior Associate of Elkus Manfredi) showed off the ever-evolving Union Point project just south of Boston. This is the future of development of design and smart cities. Thanks to Nicholas Iselin (General Manager of Lendlease) for stating the significance on why we all need to collaborate more - sustainability isn't just a one-firm job, and we all need to work together to make it happen.

The 2017 Green Building of the Year was awarded to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr School from Perkins Eastman. This contemporary project in Cambridge, MA consists of three schools on one single campus. The MLK school is 82% more energy efficient than the average elementary school, which is a remarkable accomplishment for Cambridge's green, net-zero effort. Students learn about the importance of green buildings through their own school's design, teacher's plans, and the school's rooftop garden. 

The Green Building Market Leadership awards went to 8 exemplary designs:

  • Health/Wellness- Roux Center for the Environment, Bowdoin College, Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc.
  • Site- The Eddy, Gerding Edlen
  • Water Efficiency - UMass Amherst Buildings, Nitsch Engineering
  • Energy Efficiency - Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building, Sasaki
  • Beauty - Ruth Mulan Chu Chao Center for Executive Education - Harvard Business School, Goody Clancy
  • Social Equity - Omni Green Roof Farm, Omni Ecosystems
  • Materials - UMass Amherst Design Building, Suffolk
  • Resilience - Resilient Futures: Boston Living with Water International Competition, Architerra

More information will be coming soon about the winning projects!


Back to the party

The party didn't slow down after the ceremony. For at least another hour, the ISEC was filled with food, drinks, laughter, and networking. This is what's so special about our events - yes we like to have fun, but it's all for the greater good. We're seeing architects meeting new building owners, and product manufacturers collaborating with building operators. It wasn't until almost 9:00 that the ISEC was emptying out, and everyone leaving in a good mood.

Special Thanks:

This wasn't just the staff making it happen. Thank you so much to Kathy Spiegelman and Maria Galarza at Northeastern for allowing us to throw the Showcase here - we couldn't have had a better venue for the night. Thanks to our team of volunteers helping with boards and registration - the event was fluid and smooth thanks to you! Our speakers were amazing and certainly were a huge reason for the packed room - you all rock. Special thanks to all of the wonderful Sponsors for making the event happen!

It's hard to imagine how we'll make next year's Showcase even better, but in the name of #MoreGreenBuildings, we'll make it happen.

See more pictures of the 2017 Green Building Showcase here!


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