Dalton – Zeftron Nylon, a premium nylon 6 fiber brand for the commercial marketplace, announced on Dec. 6 the grand prize and runner-up winners for its 2012 Sustainable Practices Award. West Hollywood, Calif., architect and design firm RA-DA was named the grand prize winner for its development of the new South Los Angeles Animal Care Center. R. McGhee & Associates of Washington, D.C., was named runner-up for its work in renovating two historic buildings that serve as the new corporate headquarters of The Links Foundation, a non-profit organization operated by professional women of color to serve the African-American community.
“We’ve long said that architects and designers are at the forefront of innovation and sustainability, and these two projects prove that,” said Zeftron nylon business leader Timothy Blount. “We commend RA-DA and R. McGhee & Associates for their work and for helping create a more sustainable planet.”
Both winners were cited for high-level implementation of sustainable practices and innovation throughout their respective projects. As the grand prize winner, RA-DA selected TreePeople as the recipient of a $1,000 donation. TreePeople is an environmental nonprofit that unites the power of trees, people and technology to grow a sustainable future for Los Angeles. R. McGhee & Associates named Arcadia, a nonprofit organization that supports a more equitable and sustainable local food system in the Washington, D.C. area, as the recipient of a $500 donation. The donations are being provided by Zeftron to further the sustainable initiatives of each organization.
“We are thrilled to be named this year’s grand prize winner,” said RA-DA principal Rania Alomar, AIA. “We believe the employees, visitors and animals of the shelter will all benefit greatly from the pioneering environmental and social approaches of this building.”
Completed in October, the South Los Angeles Animal Care Center is a new construction project that combines the highest levels of design, customer and animal experience, and sustainability into one seamless environment. The project, slated for LEED Gold certification, incorporates multiple sustainable elements, such as: low-flow fixtures to reduce water usage; day-lighting systems to reduce energy requirements; and the use of recycled and low VOC-emitting materials. An “Indoor Quality Air Management Plan” was also developed to protect the building’s employees and its animal inhabitants. The building’s exterior design was developed using a striking “scaling system” that mimics the skin of a reptile, thereby further enhancing the facility’s recognition as an animal shelter. The facility was purposefully designed to enhance animal comfort, reduce animal noise and allow for longer visitation and education time for those seeking a pet. Combined, these design innovations assist in the ultimate goal of reducing animal euthanasia.
R. McGhee & Associates was commissioned to modernize two adjacent historic buildings in Washington, D.C., and integrate their distinctly different designs into one cohesive headquarters building for The Links Foundation and The Links. In addition to facing the challenges associated with modernizing historic buildings, the company needed to adhere to strict historic preservation protections. Utilizing several green design strategies, R. McGhee & Associates surpassed the client’s goal of LEED Silver certification by achieving LEED Gold certification. Notable green achievements included 60% of the existing building being reused and 91%of the construction and demolition waste diverted from landfill space. A Sustainable Design Education program and a Green Housekeeping program were also created to further the green goals of the facility. The Links Foundation — the philanthropic arm of The Links, an organization of professional women of color with chapters throughout the United States, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas — is the first African-American organization to commission a LEED Gold certified headquarters building.
“We are honored to be recognized for our work on this project by Zeftron nylon,” said Ronnie McGhee, principal of R. McGhee & Associates. “Achieving a high level of sustainable design in historic buildings is a difficult task. We hope that The Links Foundations’ new headquarters will be an example for other organizations to follow, and that The Links will experience the benefits of its commitment to green design for years to come.”
More information about the 2012 winners and the Sustainable Practices Award is available at www.zeftronnylon.com. Information about RA-DA is available at www.ra-da.com. Information about R. McGhee & Associates is available at www.rmc-architects.com.