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NAHB Announces Light Commercial Construction Awards of Excellence

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 29, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — A fanciful castle, two major hotel renovations and a medical office that features a nod to local historic architectural styles are among the winners in this year’s National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Awards of Excellence.“Even as we recover from the economic slump in the commercial building sector, the best projects in the industry continue to impress the judges for their innovation, efficient use of materials and overall construction excellence,” said Carl Harris, chair of the NAHB’s National Commercial Builder Council, which sponsors the awards each year.

The Awards of Excellence recognize achievements in design, market appeal, sustainability and overall success of newly built and renovated commercial projects ranging in size from less than 5,000 to more than 100,000 square feet.

This year, nine entries were selected by a panel of industry peers for achieving innovative solutions to project challenges, energy efficiency and design.

Entries are submitted in eight categories: retail, commercial, institutional, medical, industrial, recreational, mixed-use and green building. Projects of similar size compete against each other.

This year’s Project of the Year was in the Recreational Category: Cub World Medieval Castle, submitted by W. Gohman Construction Company in St. Joseph, Minn. The project was built for the Central Minnesota Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

The two-story, 12,000-square-foot castle includes a walled-in, 7,500-square-foot courtyard, constructed with precast catwalks and full-sized lookout towers. The scope of work included incorporating as many green building concepts and energy-efficient aspects as possible within the project’s design — while creating a safe and fun environment for the scouts.

An in-floor hydronic tubing system – an update of the technology that powers old-fashioned cast-iron radiators—provides a warm, comfortable surface for children to play, and the heating and air-conditioning system filters the air before it’s heated or cooled. Energy-efficient lighting is also used throughout the structure.

Other Awards of Excellence recipients include:

Grand Awards

The Little Nell

First Finish, Columbia, Md.

The winning project included the “reinvention” of all 92 guest suites, bathrooms and corridors in this Aspen, Colo. ski lodge.

St. Cloud Public Library

W. Gohman Construction Co., St. Joseph, Minn.

Judges noted the distinctive opposing roof planes in this two-story, 118,000-square-foot building that is surrounded by vast curved curtain walls.

Neurology & Neuroscience Center

Zumpano + Hanson Development, Akron, Ohio

A solid concrete mass reinforced with fiberglass rods keeps highway vibrations from affecting the MRI unit In this three-story, 45,000-square-foot medical office building.

Merit Awards

Okeechobee Veterinary Hospital

Kirchman Construction Co., Stuart, Fla.

This new facility in a rural community features a hurricane-safe roof and an “Old Florida” style with porches and broad overhangs supported by natural cedar columns.

FreeStar Bank

Bailey Edward, Champaign, Ill.

Constructed in a rapidly developing, high-traffic shopping district, the bank was constructed using insulated concrete forms to optimize thermal resistance.

The Capitol Hilton

First Finish, Columbia, Md.

All 544 guest rooms, public corridors and bathrooms were beautifully renovated and include high-efficiency heating and air conditioning unites and water-efficient fixtures.

Chairman’s Award

Snake Road Auto Salvage

Bayview Construction Corp., Stuart, Fla.

This salvage processing center and office structure is concrete masonry block with stucco and fiber-cement siding. Steel trusses help ensure fire proofing and reduce insurance costs.

Honorable Mention

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church

Bossart Builders, Inc., Flanders, NJ

Engineered wood, panelized construction and a scissor truss roof system were used for this 250-seat sanctuary, fellowship hall with full commercial kitchen, classrooms and a Gothic-style entrance foyer.