The Second Annual CEMEX U.S. Building Awards recognized 20 projects from across the country for green building and design. A ceremony recognized the best builders, designers, and architects in four categories: Sustainability, Housing, Institutional/Industrial, and Infrastructure. Award recipients were highlighted for their use of concrete, innovation, execution of the project, architectural design, and attention to the environment. Awardees in each category will later compete against winners from approximately 30 countries for the world title at the 16th CEMEX International Awards in Mexico in November.

"While CEMEX manufactures cement and concrete products, it is you that molds and shapes those products into projects that inspire, amaze, and delight. This year’s nominees represent visionary thinking, best practice performance, and respect for the environment," Gilberto Perez, president of CEMEX USA, told the finalists. "Thank you for working with us to build the future."

Sustainability Award Recipient and Institutional/Industrial Award Recipient: de Young Museum, San Francisco, Calif.-Built to replace the original museum damaged in a 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the project is innovative in design elements, construction materials, and techniques. One of the first "Green Building" projects in San Francisco utilizing high-flyash mixes, the building used 15,000 cubic yards of concrete. It features a nine-story, vertical post-tension tower and state-of-the-art custom under-floor system featuring plates with rubber liners that allow the building to move during seismic shifts.

The project reduced the original building’s footprint by 37 percent to return nearly two acres of open space to the surrounding park. Yet, designers of the 293,000-square-foot building still managed to double the amount of exhibition space. Skylights and floor-to-ceiling glass reduce power consumption and allow art to be viewed by natural light. Where needed, the museum uses energy-efficient fluorescent lighting. The building’s flooring is Australian Eucalyptus, known for fast-growth and sustainability. The de Young Museum, designed to last for 150 years, has a metal skin of 50 percent copper in 7,000 embossed panels that over time will begin to develop a green patina and will blend with the environment.

The Corporation of Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco is the project developer. Architectural work was performed by Herzog & de Meuron of Basel, Switzerland; Fong & Chan. Swinerton Builders was the general contractor.

Housing Award Recipient: The Bellamy, Tampa, Fla.-The Bellamy, a state-of-the-art condominium, sits on fashionable Bayshore Boulevard in the heart of Tampa. It rises 21 stories, boasts a garden area and pool on the rear deck, and combines architecture, amenities, and artistry to create a blend of space and intimacy for 61 homes. The oak trees were saved for an effective use of the existing environment. A two-story lobby greets residents from the parking area. The Bellamy theatre, library, and conference center offer space for special events.

The structure includes 580,000 square feet of suspended slabs of concrete. Column mixes ranged from 4,000 to 6,000 psi. Local ordinances placed tight weight restrictions on Bayshore Boulevard. So, all truck traffic entered through secondary road access, which required extra routing efforts for on-time arrival of multiple loads of concrete.

The project’s developer was JMC Design & Development. Architectural work was done by Sydness Architects, and the concrete work was by Hickman Structures.

Infrastructure Award Recipient: Chaparral Water Treatment Plant, Scottsdale, Ariz.-The Chaparral Water Treatment Plant pumps and treats 30 million gallons of water per day from the Salt River flowing through Scottsdale. The plant filters and treats the city’s water and uses granular, activated carbon to remove taste and odor. The plant also disinfects the water using 0.8 percent sodium hypochlorite instead of gaseous chlorine, which eliminates the need to store the gas.

The project used 25,000 cubic yards of specialized concrete mixes with low water-to-cement ratios, air entrainment, superplasticizer, and flyash. More than 100,000 cubic yards of concrete was used. The plant’s architectural design creatively breaks up the scale of the big wall and features a contextual response to the Southwest desert region. The jury panel said it is not just a water treatment plant, but a work of art.

The city of Scottsdale developed the project. Scot Thompson handled the architectural and engineering, and Archer Western was the concrete contractor.

Infrastructure Award Finalists included the following:

  • Atlanta Hartsfield Airport Runway Replacement, Atlanta, Ga.-Replacing a 10,000-foot-long by 150-foot-wide runway at one of the busiest airports in the world in only 59 days required a fast-paced schedule. CEMEX delivered 46,800 tons of cement, requiring about 70 trucks a day. No load of cement could exceed a 0.4 percent alkali content. The city of Atlanta was the project developer. Architectural and engineering work was done by Aviation Consulting Team. The general contractor was GSC Atlanta, a Kiewit company.
  • New Carquinez Bridge, Vallejo/Crockett, Calif.-It is the first major suspension bridge built in the United States in 35 years. At 3,464 feet long, the $247 million bridge uses orthotropic steel box girders and was designed for the maximum credible earthquake from three major faults. It used 84,000 cubic yards of concrete. The piles and 420-foot towers are cast-in-place concrete. The California Department of Transportation developed the project, Parsons Company handled the architectural and engineering work, and FCI Constructors, Inc.-Northern Division was the concrete contractor.
  • Katy Freeway Expansion, Houston, Texas-Each day, more than 215,000 vehicles travel the 23-mile I-10 corridor (the Katy Freeway). The roadway expansion used 185,000 tons of cement and noise abatement barriers. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers redesigned bridges and culverts to minimize impact on local wetlands and wildlife. It was finished on time despite material shortages, weather delays, and a fast-track schedule. TxDOT developed the project and provided engineering work; Williams Brothers was the general contractor.
  • Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway, Tampa, Fla.-The expansion is a reversible, three-lane bridge featuring a 7-mile flyover constructed over a road. It used 110,000 cubic yards of special mix concrete to achieve strength quickly. Temperature control often required 70 pounds of ice per cubic yard. The overpass used 3,100 segments and 197 cast-in-place columns rising 85 feet. The Tampa-Hillsborough County Expressway Authority developed the project, Figg Bridge completed engineering work, and PCL Civil Constructors, Inc., was the concrete contractor.

    Source: CEMEX