USACE team receives international award

Headquarters U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published Nov. 10, 2011
The Holcim Foundation recognized a 26-person multidisciplinary team from the U.S Army Corps of Engineers for their work on a net zero implementation plan for Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. The foundation honored the team during a ceremony Oct. 20 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

The USACE team received an Acknowledgement Award in the North American category of the 3rd International Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction, an international competition. The team’s entry, “Energy water and waste efficient military installation, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.,” was one of 6,065 original international entries submitted for awards consideration for sustainable construction projects to be potentially built in 146 countries.

From the original entries, 2,251 met the formal criteria for the competition and were assessed by independent regional juries of esteemed representatives from science, business and society.  Entries in the competition were judged based on five target issues:
  • Innovation and transferability
  • Ethical standards and social equity
  • Environmental quality and resource efficiency
  • Economic performance and compatibility
  • Contextual and aesthetic impact
Together, the target issues “address the triple bottom line of economic, environmental and social factors together with architectural quality and the potential to apply the innovation in other locations,” according to the Holcim Foundation.

The USACE entry is described as a replicable pilot project for an Army base in Missouri to change the planning of all 280 American military installations to a state of net positive energy, net zero water use and net zero waste. The project reflects the specific requirements of the military in relation to sustainability, with an additional motivation for independent systems to withstand disasters.

The research led to a holistic strategy from road planning and master planning to building design, and incorporated a diversification in energy supply, water supply and waste disposal, focusing on reduction and renewable resources.

The North American awards jury recognized the project for its “adaptation of sustainable planning and construction to the military field in general, and moreover in this instance for the serious and profound strategy, based on an impressive multidisciplinary research.”

In addition to the implementation plan that formed the basis for the award, the team has written a book to detail the installation recommendations and the evolution in business process that is required by USACE. The USACE 2030 Project book is expected to be available as an e-book and in print next spring.

“This is really quite an amazing accomplishment,” said James Dalton, USACE chief of Engineering and Construction. “The Holcim Foundation awards are prestigious in the international architecture, planning and engineering community.  For our team’s work to be one of only a few around the world to receive this recognition speaks to the type of outstanding people and talent we have in USACE.”

The USACE award was one of 10 North American awards presented on the night of the ceremony. Awards included gold, silver and bronze awards; four Acknowledgement Awards; and first, second and third prizes in the “Next Generation” category, which recognizes the sustainable design work of postgraduate university students.

The North American Gold Award winner was a project for regional food-gathering nodes and logistics network in Iquluit, Nunavet, Canada. The award winner also claimed the accompanying $100,000 cash prize.

Each of the four Acknowledgement Awards included a cash award of $18,750. USACE, however, is unable to accept the cash award because it is a public organization and is unable to designate a charity to receive the award. The Holcim Foundation announced at the ceremony that it will use the prize to fund an additional student research grant in North America.

According to the Switzerland-based Holcim Foundation, the competition seeks innovative, future-oriented and tangible sustainable construction projects and offers total prize money of $2 million per three-year competition cycle. Winning projects show how greater levels of sustainability can be reached in building and construction through people-focused designs that include simple adaptation, innovative materials, and clever architecture. The awards aim to promote sustainable responses to contemporary technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues from the building and construction industry.

It was noted at the awards ceremony that the winning projects provide a glimpse into the built environment of the future.

“It was an honor to be present at the black-tie Holcim Awards ceremony and witness the USACE team being recognized for its forward-thinking work,” said Chris Hinton-Lee, chief architect of USACE. “It is also awe-inspiring and encouraging that the team is comprised of young multi-disciplined professionals from around USACE. Such an approach holds a lot of promise for the future of our great organization.”

The North American region is one of five competing regions.  Other regions are Europe, Latin America, Africa Middle East and Asia Pacific. The gold, silver and bronze awardees in each region automatically qualify for the 2012 Global Holcim Awards. All awardees, including the Acknowledgement and Next Generation winners, qualify to further compete for the Global Holcim Innovation prizes to be awarded in 2012.

“This award acknowledges USACE as the technical experts in sustainable design for military construction,” said Lyndsey Pruitt, sustainability and energy program manager for Engineering and Construction in Headquarters, and the leader for the USACE 2030 project. “This study shows how the integration of systems from planning to buildings to people becomes a force multiplier and delivers far more net gains than designing each project independently.

“We’re excited about the chance to compete for an international Holcim innovation award, but the real excitement for our team is the opportunity to bring this project to reality at Fort Leonard Wood,” Pruitt said. “And, when we demonstrate success there, to further expand the concepts and benefits to all the Army’s installations.”

In addition to Pruitt, other contributing team members include:
  • Sean Beville, civil engineer, Fort Worth District
  • Daniel Brauch, civil engineer, Kansas City District
  • Leslie Campbell, structural engineer, New Orleans District
  • Tracy Dorgan, geologist/hydrologist, New England District
  • Angela Curtis, cost engineer, Little Rock District
  • Greg Gilkison, electrical engineer, Huntington District
  • Eric Li, civil engineer, Honolulu District
  • Lindsey Matetich, architect, Seattle District
  • Keith Molina, mechanical engineer, Honolulu District
  • Sara Murphy, architect, Savannah District
  • Ryan Murphy, architect, Savannah District
  • Keane Nishimoto, mechanical engineer, Honolulu District
  • Kelli Polzin, project manager/architect, Seattle District
  • Jennifer Ramirez, architect, Seattle District
  • Martin Regner, cost engineer, Galveston District
  • Laura Ruf, civil engineer, St. Louis District
  • Parker Sherard, electrical engineer, Savannah District
  • Kenney Simmons, architect, Kansas City District
  • Elizabeth Smith, project engineer, Japan District
  • Paul Szempruch, civil engineer, Galveston District
  • Cristin Szydlik, project engineer, Sacramento District
  • Andy Temeyer, architect, Omaha District
  • Cambrey Torres, project engineer, Omaha District
  • Matthew Valentine, architect, Sacramento District
  • Nathalie Westervelt, architect, New York District
Additional information about the USACE 2030 project and Acknowledgement Award can be found on the Holcim Foundation’s website at