named architecture firm RA-DA
the grand prize winner of its Sustainable Practices Award
and recognized R. McGhee & Associates
in second place. The Dalton, Georgia-based manufacturer of nylon-carpet yarn first announced its commitment to sustainability by initiating the annual Sustainable Practices Award in 2009.
RA-DA’s winning design was for the South Los Angeles Animal Care Center, a building slated for LEED Gold certification
later this year. Equipped with go-to green elements such as low-flow water fixtures, day-lighting systems, and green spaces, the shelter's key innovation is the construction of sustainable outdoor kennels. Misting effects, retractable roofs, and in-ground radiant heating that tempers and regulates the environment combine to create a healthy, comfortable environment for animals.
As a more visual shout-out to sustainability, the façade features a gradient of stucco and concrete that fades from white to bright green.
“I was shocked when I first found out that buildings annually consume 30 percent of the total energy used in the United States," says Rania Alomar, founder and principal of RA-DA. "These numbers are crazy to me! Sustainability in design has become our norm of practice. It’s simply the smarter way to do things."
As winner, RA-DA selected the non-profit TreePeople
as the recipient of a $1,000 donation.
Runner-up R. McGhee & Associates renovated two historic buildings in Washington, D.C., that serve as the new corporate headquarters for non-profit Links Foundation
. The firm named Arcadia
, a nonprofit organization that supports a equitable and sustainable local food system in the Washington, D.C. area, as the recipient of a $500 donation.
Tim Blount, business leader at Zeftron, believes that the future of sustainability rests in the hands of the industry. “We know that architects and designers [will] continue to push the envelope of sustainable design,” Blount says.