Winner: Best Sustainable Design, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
About the Award: Innovation in action is a common characteristic of the winning projects in the 46th Annual Design Awards Competition of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) in 2008. Nine projects were selected in the bridges category, 18 projects received awards from the buildings jury, and eight projects were honored by the special awards jury in categories for innovation that advanced the industry, all-precast concrete solution, and sustainable design. Proximity Hotel won for "Best Sustainable Design:"
BEST SUSTAINABLE DESIGN: Proximity Hotel, Greensboro, NC
Designers selected architectural precast concrete wall panels as the best cladding system to ensure that the hotel would achieve a LEED Platinum rating. The hotel's insulated wall panels were made from recycled and recyclable materials only 90 miles (145 km) from the construction site. Forms used to create the components were reused, minimizing material needs. The precast concrete also incorporated fly ash to add durability.
The panels featured 3.5 in. (89 mm) of continuous EPS insulation sandwiched between a 5.5 in. (140 mm) and a 3.5 in. (89 mm) wythe of concrete. In some locations, the panels were designed with 4.5 in. (115 mm) of insulation sandwiched between two equal 2.5 in. (63 mm) thick wythes of concrete. Carbon fiber trusses connected the inner and outer wythes, lowering thermal conductivity and preventing any hot or cold spots from forming. The hotel is projected to use 36.5% less energy than a conventional hotel. It will also require significantly lower maintenance costs.
The precaster for this project was Metromont Corp., Charlotte, NC.