2017 Winners

Winners of the 2017 Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards

ACI recognized 12 winners at the 2017 Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards Gala during The ACI Concrete Convention and Exposition, October 16, 2017, in Anaheim, CA.

ACI Excellence in Concrete Construction Award Winner

Overall “Excellence” Award Winner/
First Place – Low-Rise Buildings


R·Torso·C – Tokyo, Japan. This house is in the center of Tokyo, sitting on an area of 66 m2 (710 ft2). The clients are a married couple, sharing a passion for architecture and art. When they found a rare corner lot of land in central Tokyo, they knew they wanted to build a home with unique materials and construction methods. In high-density residential districts, one way to architecturally build is towards the sky—creating a high-level insulated audiovisual room respecting nature and the environment. It is the only direction that captures the feeling of the vastness of nature. The project team has studied this approach towards the sky as an element of nature for many years, and for this project they pruned away the corner of a rectangular volume to achieve this. For architecture on a small site, sectional and volumetric design becomes very important. Cutting away the internal volume paradoxically creates a sense of spaciousness in the continuous four-story space inside. Large openings facing the sky are effective means to incorporate the feeling of vastness into the internal space. The chamfered corners not only provide a view to the sky from the internal space, but also for the people outside. There is a high-level, sound-insulated audiovisual room in the basement, and a spacious gallery and a Japanese room on the first floor. Functionality was prioritized on the second floor with a living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. The living room is a very small space, but a 5 m high ceiling and a large oblique triangular window—drawing in an abundance of external light—results in a cognition of spaciousness that is far greater than the actual space in terms of footage. The final design of this space was derived through a vast number of three-dimensional models.

“Concrete has been and still is the main material used for the structure of contemporary architecture worldwide, a trend I believe will continue for a while, so my concern is the scarce attention paid to the depletion of natural resources connected with this material. My hope is that our project winning this award will shed a ray of light, however small, on this very important topic and become part of the resolution…it is a great honor to have won this award!” - Atelier Tekuto

Project Team Members: Owner: Private; Architect: Atelier Tekuto Co., Ltd.; Engineering Firm: Jun Sato Structural Engineers Co., Ltd.; General Contractor: Home Builder Co., Ltd.; Concrete Supplier: Toyko SOC Co., Ltd.; Additional Participants: Professor Takafumi Noguchi and Shirasu Supplier: Principal Co., Ltd.

Nominating by: Japan Concrete Institute

Project Photos


Second Place – Low-Rise Buildings


Frick Environmental Center – Pittsburgh, PA. The new Environmental Center at Frick Park was a challenging project because of Pittsburgh Park’s Conservancy’s goals to achieve the Living Building Challenge. In addition to showcasing sustainable construction, the new Environmental Center integrates innovative educational facilities—both indoor and outdoor—with a public park that is a complex ecosystem, historic landscape, and recreational property. The 15,500 ft2 educational facility includes multiple/flexible indoor learning spaces, offices, a resource room, reception area, public restrooms, storage, and other support facilities. A cast-in-place fountain served as an environmental control and art feature. The water step art feature celebrates rain and helps achieve the net-zero water goals of the project. Because there were no storm sewer connections, concrete was used to convey the water to the head of a watershed. Increasing the volume of water that the watershed receives in turn increased microbial growth and encouraged greater biodiversity development. Designed to be the greenest building in the world, the Center meets the criteria of the Living Building Challenge, achieving net-zero energy and water efficiency. The building uses approximately 40% less energy than a typical building of its size; all electrical systems are powered from solar panels, all wastewater is filtered and treated before releasing it naturally on site, and locally produced materials were used during construction.

“This award is an outstanding accolade for PJ Dick as a company, and it is a testament to the quality of work from our self-perform group. Our people are honored to be recognized for their dedication to the performing quality and safe construction on the Frick Environmental Center.” - Self-Perform Group

Project Team Members: Owner: Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy; Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson; Engineering Firm: Barber & Hoffman, Inc.; General and Concrete Contractor: PJ Dick, Inc.; Concrete Supplier: Essroc Ready Mix; Additional Participants: H.F. Lens Company; LaQuatra Bonci Associates, Inc.

Nominated by: Pittsburgh Area Chapter – ACI

Project Photos


First Place – Repair and Restoration


Market Street Parking Garage Restoration – Wichita, KS. The Market Street Parking Garage in downtown Wichita was so deteriorated that the city had barricaded the entrances and condemned the structure for the past 3 years. There were only two options: tear it down and build a new garage or restore it. One look at the crumbling structure and most would have agreed it needed to be torn down. However, city officials wanted to use resources and tax dollars responsibly, so they conducted studies to analyze the feasibility of a rehabilitation. The study deemed it would be possible to repair the structure and in doing so, would save the city millions of dollars. Although the list of repairs was very long at the beginning of the job, it grew drastically throughout the course of the work. As the layers were removed, the garage’s true deterioration was revealed. The repairs went far beyond the superficial and ultimately required replacement of whole structural components, including concrete columns, beams, and floor slabs. In the end, it took 12 months and more than 1750 yd3 of concrete to bring the garage back to life. The city reclaimed 550 parking spots at a fraction of the cost it would have taken to demolish the deteriorated garage and construct a new one. Through this project, the City of Wichita demonstrated their commitment to sustainable construction practices by reusing existing resources and being good stewards of community funds.

“It is a honor and privilege [to be chosen for this award]. It indicates the City of Wichita’s commitment to project excellence.” - LK Architecture, Inc.

Project Team Members: Owner: City of Wichita, Kansas; Architect: Law Kingdon Architecture; Engineering Firm: Krudwig Structural Engineers, Inc.; General and Concrete Contractor: Martin K. Eby Construction Co., Inc.; Concrete Supplier: Concrete Materials Co.

Nominating ACI Chapter: Kansas Chapter – ACI

Project Photos


Second Place – Repair and Restoration


Chillon Viaducts – Veytaux, Switzerland. The original Chillon Viaduct was built by prestressed box-girder segmental construction in the late 1960s. It is an important part of the national heritage, with great economic value along one of Europe’s busiest routes. Recent examination of the structural performance revealed the need to increase the shear, bending, and fatigue resistance of the deck slab for future traffic requirements. Furthermore, the box-girder concrete showed signs of initial alkali-silica reaction. To strengthen the viaduct, a layer of ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) was added. Additionally, it was reinforced with steel reinforcing bars on the top surface of the deck slab, which also served as a waterproofing layer. The new 45 mm (1.7 in.) thick layer of UHPFRC on the bridge deck provides an effective and significant improvement of the structural performance of the viaducts. This operation was a worldwide record of on-site casting of UHPFRC, under high controlled conditions, with the strong constraints of climate and operation.

“This Award demonstrates the unique technical expertise of Lafarge Holcim in the field of UHPC and continues to expand this extraordinary material around the world.” - LafargeHolcim

Project Team Members: Owner: OFROU; Engineering Firm: Monod-Piguet + Associes IC S.A.; General Contractor: Walo Bertschinger AG; Concrete Supplier: LafargeHolcim Ductal® (supplier of the UHPFRC); Concept of UHPFRC technology, pre-design: EPFL - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology; Proof Engineer and Quality Assurance: GVH - Civil Engineers SA; UHPFRC Quality Control: OPAN concept SA

Nominating ACI Chapter: Paris Chapter – ACI

Project Photos


First Place – Mid-Rise Buildings


Denver International Airport - Hotel Transit Center – Denver, CO. The new Denver International Airport hotel and transit center is a culmination of years of planning, designing, and construction. The iconic structure now stands as a cornerstone for a new era of state-of-the-art transportation and hospitality. The project includes a new train station servicing the commuter rail connection to and from downtown, a 519-room Westin Hotel and conference center, and an outdoor open-air plaza linking the hotel, conference center, and train station to the Jeppesen Terminal. The new 15-story building is predominantly comprised of cast-in-place concrete elements and contains a variety of typical framing techniques as well as several innovative structural solutions. The upper 10 floors of the building cantilever out 55 ft on each side of the building by using concrete columns that leaned away from the building. The contractor chose to use a self-consolidating mixture due to the amount of reinforcement present in the abutments. Personnel doors were engineered in these abutments to allow installers access to the inner reinforcing bar cages during construction. To avoid costly construction fixes, the decision was made to coordinate all slab penetrations using BIM—totaling several thousand—prior to construction. A large portion of the building’s façade is clad in a running-bond precast concrete architectural system requiring a complex custom form liner. The building has many instances where structural concrete areas are exposed for view, which includes shear walls, columns, beams, and abutments all requiring architectural finishes. The entire program is seeking USGBC LEED Gold Certification.

“The American Concrete Institute is known internationally as the leading authority in the design, construction, and materials for the best use of concrete. For the institute to choose the Denver International Airport Hotel and Transport Center project for an award for its excellence in concrete construction is a testament to the vision of the leadership at the Airport, the expertise and innovation of Gensler as lead architect, the quality of design by S. A. Miro Inc. as Structural Engineer Of Record as well as the excellence in concrete construction of both Mortenson and Saunders Construction Inc. All members of the team take great pride in being a part of such an incredible project and are very grateful for the recognition of the Institute as to the quality and uniqueness of the structure." - S. A. Miro

Project Team Members: Owner: Denver International Airport; Architect: Gensler; Engineering Firm: S.A. Miro, Inc.; General Contractor and Concrete Contractor: Mortenson/Hunt/Saunders (tri-venture); Concrete Supplier: Martin Marietta

Nominating ACI Chapter: Rocky Mountain Chapter – ACI

Project Photos


Second Place – Mid-Rise Buildings


Columbia University Medical and Graduate Education Building – New York City, NY. The Columbia University Medical and Graduate Education Building in Manhattan is a 15-story superstructure concrete building with composite embedded steel. The building showcases the natural beauty of concrete within its major building elements, including concrete columns of varying sizes and shapes. The architectural concrete remains visible on the interior and on the exterior with a glass façade, which creates an open feeling. This award-winning building has a split personality. It is organized into two main superstructure arrangements: the “Core and north of the core” and south of the core, or the “Cascade.” The northern section is conventional. In dramatic contrast, the southern side is brazenly asymmetrical. The core shear wall running east/west separates these main areas. Both areas include two-way post tensioning and areas of the Cobiax void formers. Shear walls are of varying thicknesses ranging from 8 to 20 in. and 10,000 psi. Sloping structural slabs form auditorium spaces, and stairway slabs are part of the lateral bracing. The project itself, on a narrow avenue, presented many challenges. The building is directly adjacent to a commuter parking garage where approximately 400 cars move in and out each day. Extensive rock removal—about 6500 yd3—was necessary to reach the cellar slab elevation 14 ft below sidewalk elevation. During the project, superstructure erection crews had to work with limited staging areas for concrete trucks, pumping operations, reinforcing bar bending operations, formwork makeup, and debris removal. Thorough safety planning was also a requirement, not just because of the required fall protection but also because of the building’s overhangs and double-story spaces at the building’s south elevation.

“LERA is thrilled to be recognized by our peers in the concrete industry for our work on the Vagelos Center which was an enormous collaborative effort by the entire design and construction team that we are very proud of.” - Leslie E. Robertson Associates

Project Team Members: Owner: Columbia University Medical Center; Architect: Gensler/DS+R Architects; Engineering Firm: Leslie E. Robertson Associates (structural engineer); General Contractor: Sciame Construction LLC; Concrete Contractor: Urban Foundations & Engineering - Foundation Contractor; Concrete Supplier: Jenna Concrete; Additional Participants: Concrete Contractor: Superstructure - Difama Concrete; Concrete Contractor: Precast - Bethlehem Precast; Field Testing Lab: COLE Technologies; Architectural Concrete Consultant: Reginald Hough Associates; Civil-Geotechnical Engineer: Weidlinger Associates Inc.; Post Tensioning Contractor: VSL Structural Technologies; Structural Embedded Steel Contractor: United Structural Works.

Nominating ACI International Partner: Concrete Industry Board, New York City Chapter – ACI

Project Photos


First Place – High-Rise Buildings


Embassy Lake Terraces – Karnataka, India. Embassy Lake Terraces is spread across 14.5 acres with nine towers that are architecturally nuanced to take advantage of its location by the Hebbal and Nagavara lakes. The design of Embassy Lake Terraces offers a departure from the regular lines of architecture in vogue. The stunning “twisted” design orients the condominiums to offer spectacular views to the adjacent lakes close by. It has been well-complemented by the structural design team by providing an aesthetic and cost-effective solution to accommodate the unique design. Five of the nine towers consist of two basements, a ground level, and 22 upper levels twisted at the 13th level, with the sky deck level at the 11th floor. The sky deck level has been designed as an active zone that consists of a jogging track, yoga center, Havana, water bodies, landscapes, and a gym. The other four towers have two basements, a ground level, and 11 upper levels. The slab system adopted for the apartment floors is a wall and slab system. At the 13th floor level where the building twists by 30 degrees, the slab is designed as a post-tensioned voided transfer slab. This unique solution of voided slab with post-tensioning has added a clean soffit at the sky deck level, where it is landscaped for occupants to enjoy the best view of the lakes. Columns at the transfer level are flared to take care of the transfer of shear to the column. The structure above, having 10-level condominiums, are on cantilevers extended 7 m beyond the columns at transfer level, which itself was a huge challenge. The basements and the podium level, which has the landscape, fire tender movements, and other amenities, are designed with a waffle slab system.

“[Receiving this award] is like winning an “Oscar” in engineering!” - Innotech Engineering Consult Private Limited

Project Team Members: Owner: Embassy Group; Architect: Andy Fisher Workshop; Engineer: Innotech Engineering Consult Private Limited

Nominating ACI Chapter: India Chapter – ACI

Project Photos


Second Place – High-Rise Buildings


Premiere on Pine – Seattle, WA. Featuring stunning views of downtown, the Cascades, and Puget Sound, Premiere on Pine has recently joined Seattle’s skyline as one of the tallest residential towers in the city. At 440 ft, this 42-story building features 386 apartment units, a hotel-inspired rooftop sky lounge, and five levels of parking above-grade with five levels below. Construction started in August 2012 and finished in November 2014. The effective use of high-strength concrete and reinforcing steel helped create maximum floor space on a small site. Premiere on Pine is the first building in Seattle to have a specified concrete strength of 15,000 psi in its columns, reflective of steady advances in concrete materials technology and understanding over the last several decades. This resulted in smaller columns typically used in towers of this size. Also, an innovative detail allowing concrete to be placed continuously through the slab penetrations eliminated the need for concrete puddling around the columns.

“We thank ACI for this award, which validates our belief in the structural innovations Premiere on Pine incorporates” - Cary Kopczynski and Company

Project Team Members: Owner: Holland Partner Group; Architect: Weber Thompson Architects; Engineering Firm: Cary Kopczynski & Company; General Contractor: Holland Construction Inc.; Concrete Contractor: The Conco Companies; Concrete Supplier: Stoneway Concrete.

Nominating ACI Chapter:Washington Chapter – ACI

Project Photos


First Place – Decorative Concrete


Ryerson University Student Learning Centre – Toronto, ON, Canada. The Ryerson Student Learning Centre provides the university’s students with an outstanding environment in which to study, collaborate, and discover. Located at the northeast corner of Yonge and Gould Streets in downtown Toronto, the new, eightstory student learning center will mark Ryerson’s new face in the area and provide a gateway to the ever-expanding Ryerson community. Featuring an elevated plaza and glass façade with bridges to the existing library, the student learning center is home to a range of academic, study, and collaborative spaces for Ryerson’s students, faculty, and staff. Yonge Street frontage features destination retail at and below grade, creating a prominent storefront and continuing the commercial fabric of the street. The lightweight, transparent high-performance glass skin features a surface design that will vary lighting intensity within the interior space. While the concrete structure is visibly rugged and heavy, the glass skin of the building is lightweight and transparent. A frit pattern emphasizes this delicate nature while also creating varying lighting qualities within the interior. The fritted coating also acts to improve the shading coefficient and to increase thermal comfort and provide glare control. This allows students to find a place to study that could be in direct sunlight or under more diffused lighting conditions. As a further demonstration of Ryerson’s long-time leadership in sustainability, the building is LEED Silver compliant. At least 50% of the roof is a dedicated green roof. With links to the existing Library building, the student learning center offers a variety of creative and inspiring learning environments and spaces. Each level has a distinctive character; some are open and interpretive with flexible furniture, while others are enclosed study rooms dividing the floors into various configurations.

“This project had some unique architectural and structural challenges, that took creativity and innovation, to design and form the concrete. The collaboration between the client and contractors was key in the success of this project. Winning this award and being recognized by the industry for this is momentous, but also very important to us as a company because it is recognition to us that we are striving in the right direction with our company purpose statement of “Life is made to last”. A landmark building such as this, built with sustainable concrete practices and design is in keeping with our commitment to having a positive and, long-term impact on our planet and people.” - Votorantim Cimentos

Project Team Members: Owner: Ryerson University.

Nominating ACI Chapter: Ontario Chapter – ACI

Project Photos


Second Place – Decorative Concrete


Lock 8 Skate and BMX Park – Port Colborne, ON, Canada. Port Colborne features one of the most unique, colorful, and well-designed skate parks in Ontario. Located beside Lock 8 Canal, Port Colborne, this waterway houses drawbridges and traffic along the Port Welland Canal. The ship design brings an oldworld feel with a strong visual interest on the banks of Lake Erie. Using the natural surroundings and marine influence, the designer incorporated design elements to represent the large ships that the canal hosts on a daily basis. The Algoport ship sank off the coast of Japan in 2009, which was the influence on the skate park design. Considering this, Algoma stepped forward and donated funds for this one-of-akind park, which was well over $900,000. Ready for the challenge, it was Patterned Concrete’s knowledge and architectural ability to color concrete that simulated the Algoma colors at the prow of the boat and throughout this sophisticated project. This type of cast-in-place construction offers high versatility for design, color, and longevity. By using shotcrete concrete in constructing the banks and transitions of this skate park, its longevity for skateboard enthusiasts will be enjoyed for years to come. Stainless steel components consisting of rails, copings, and railings accompany the intricacy that is Port Colborne and will contribute to a lifetime of use.

“Being recognized by the American Concrete Institute makes all of us at Dufferin Concrete incredibly proud of the hard work, along with our partners, put into the project and helps us stop and recognize that the work we do truly contributes to the communities in which we live, work and play in” - Dufferin Concrete

Project Team Members: Owner: City of Port Colborne; Architect: Land Inc.; Engineering Firm: Blackwell Bowick Partnership Ltd.; General Contractor: Patterned Concrete Ontario Inc.; Concrete Contractor: Tricon Concrete Finishing; Concrete Supplier: Dufferin Concrete.

Nominating ACI Chapter: Ontario Chapter – ACI

Project Photos


First Place – Infrastructure


Johnson County Gateway – Overland Park, KS. The Johnson County Gateway project encompasses one of the most congested stretches of interstate in Kansas. With more than 230,000 vehicles traveling through the area daily and an estimated 320,000 traveling through by 2040, major improvement was needed. The $288 million Johnson County Gateway project is the first design-build project awarded by the Kansas Department of Transportation. This project added much-needed additional lanes and reconfigured existing interchanges throughout the I-435/I-35/K-10 corridor. Two collector distributor roads were built on either side of I-435 to alleviate traffic weaving to exit onto city streets. Twenty-two bridges and two diverging diamond interchanges were constructed as part of this project. More than 600,000 yd3 of pavement concrete were placed for the project. Normally a project of this scope would take approximately 6 years to complete with the traditional design-bid-build process typically used for this type of project. The design-build process allowed design and construction to be completed simultaneously. The result was less time required for construction with less impact to the traveling public. The project began in Spring 2014 and was completed on time before the December 31, 2016, deadline.

“This award is a reflection of an amazing group of professionals that through extreme dedication and at many times the sacrifice of their families, delivered a massive and complex project on an aggressive schedule and to be recognized by our industry peers is simply quite humbling.” - George Butler Associates

Project Team Members: Owner: Kansas Department of Transportation; Architect: HDR; Engineering Firm: GBA; General Contractor: Gateway Interchange Constructors; Concrete Contractor: Clarkson Construction; Concrete Supplier: Fordyce Concrete Co Inc.

Nominating ACI Chapter: Kansas Chapter – ACI

Project Photos


Second Place – Infrastructure


Winona Bridge – Winona, MN. This $78 million project provides mobility between Minnesota and Wisconsin over the Mississippi River with a 2300 ft context-sensitive concrete bridge alongside a historic bridge under rehabilitation. It currently provides one lane of vehicular traffic in each direction, as the existing bridge is being rehabilitated. Once that is complete, the new bridge will have two southbound lanes and a pedestrian path and the existing bridge will have two northbound lanes, adding needed capacity. This bridge was Minnesota’s first to be delivered with the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) method. The team used concrete, segmental construction, and leveraged CM/ GC to achieve a 15-month time savings and incorporate value-added aesthetics to the project. Showcasing the beauty of concrete, this contemporary bridge has a 450 ft concrete main span of gracefully arching variable-depth box girders, twin wall piers, and expansive pedestrian overlooks. The bridge celebrates the organic beauty of the natural landscape with context-sensitive aesthetic features that include pier shapes, custom railing, color, and abutment textures. It accomplishes the tricky task of being modern and complementing the adjacent historic truss. Its graceful arching geometry and color—possible only with the use of segmental concrete—pull it off masterfully. The bridge’s piers at the main span continue to arch outwards to ingeniously support large pedestrian overlooks and continue the smooth lines of the piers. The bridge’s lighting blends the function of safety with visual drama, creating a beautiful scene at night.

Project Team Members: Owner: Minnesota DOT; Engineering Firm: FIGG Bridge Engineers, Inc.; General Contractor: Ames Construction; Concrete Supplier: Modern Ready Mix.

Nominating ACI Chapter: Florida First Coast Chapter – ACI

Project Photos


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