USGBC Ohio announces green building awards recipients; USGBC; December 4, 2020

By USGBC MaryEllen Etienne 

Learn about the winners of the 2020 USGBC Ohio Leadership Awards.

The USGBC Ohio community has announced the winners of this year’s leadership awards, which recognize individuals who have made outstanding commitments to their local communities and projects in the state of Ohio, with outstanding achievement in the realm of green building design and construction.

USGBC Ohio is thrilled to recognize four amazing people: one Volunteer of the Year Award, two honorable mentions and one winner for the Legacy Leadership Award, and five stellar projects: three leadership awards and two honorable mentions. The volunteers receiving the Leadership Awards have all been involved with USGBC Ohio's community and have spent much of their time focusing on supporting sustainability locally. Our amazing volunteer receiving the Legacy Leadership Award helped to establish the initial USGBC Ohio chapter and has continued to dedicate passion and time to support local sustainability for decades. Eligible projects were certified between Oct. 2018 and Oct. 2020, and were judged based on the categories in the LEED rating system.

These exceptional people and projects were celebrated during a virtual awards ceremony held on Dec. 3. This event included awards presentations, recipient remarks and an engaging keynote by Joseph Allen, DSc, MPH, an associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and co-author of "Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity." This event was generously sponsored by Tarkett, Green Building Consulting, Case Western Reserve University, Inspire PR Group and Waibel Energy Systems.


Volunteer of the Year

  • Robert Stroup, LEED AP | USGBC Ohio’s MLAB Programming and Education Committee and Ohio Central Local Leadership Team | Project Architect, DesignGroup

Honorable mentions

  • Jill Ziegler | USGBC Ohio’s MLAB, MLAB Communications Committee Chair and Northeast Local Leadership Team | Director of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Brookfield Properties
  • Madison Butcher, Green Rater | USGBC Ohio’s MLAB Programming and Education Committee and Southwest Local Leadership Team | Project Manager, Green Building Consulting

Legacy Leadership Award

  • Tom West | USGBC Ohio’s MLAB Advocacy and Service Committee and Northeast Local Leadership Team | Senior Vice President, Cushman Wakefield / CRESCO Real Estate


Green Building of the Year Award: New Construction

Fairwood Commons | Project Administrator: Sol design + consulting

Fairwood Commons

This Platinum LEED for Homes project was certified in August 2019 and has a footprint of over 60,000 square feet. Fairwood Commons is an affordable senior living community in Columbus, Ohio. The project not only earned LEED Platinum, it is also Ohio's first Passive House Multifamily Project and earned Energy Star, Zero Energy Ready Homes and Indoor AirPLUS certifications. The benefits of this approach reduced utility bills that furthered the project's affordability goals, as well as improving air quality and thermal comfort for the residents, and enhancing access to transit and community amenities. Learn more about this project.

Green Building of the Year Award: Interiors

White Castle Home Office | Project Administrator: M + A Architects

White Castle Home Office

This Gold-level project certified on Aug. 24, 2020, under LEED for Interior Design and Construction, and encompasses over 96,000 square feet. Since its inception in 1921, White Castle's core values have focused on environmental sustainability and community outreach. Its ongoing commitment to these efforts was instrumental to the new home office design strategy. The resulting space is reflective of White Castle's dedication to sustainable operations and growth, environmental and resource stewardship, and sustainability education. Together, White Castle and M+A Architects have created a space that's truly part of something bigger. Learn more about this project.

Green Building Legacy Award

The John Elliot Center for Architecture and Environmental Design | Project Administrator: Kent State University

Kent State University

This LEED Platinum project certified in April 2018 under LEED for Building Design and Construction. The center demonstrates to students of architecture, interior design and construction management both how and why to design and construct green buildings. The 120,000-square-foot building is a physical and social connection between the campus, Kent's downtown, and the neighboring residential area, and the building has green features that support a healthier environment. Learn more about this project.

Honorable Mentions

City of Cincinatti Police Station District 3 | Project Administrator: emersion DESIGN


This LEED Platinum project, which was certified in January 2017 under LEED for Building Design and Construction, is a state-of-the-art facility that fulfills the city's requirement for high levels of sustainability while maintaining functionality for police activities, security for occupants and an aesthetically appealing design within the community. The designers employed energy conservation measures such as geo-exchange wells, solar arrays and a tight building envelope. Learn more about this project.

Oatey Corporate Headquarters | Project Administrator: Vocon


This LEED Gold building, which was certified in January 2018 under LEED for Building Design and Construction, is perched in such a way as to overlook Cleveland's Rocky River Reservation and features clean lines that connect the human to the landscape. Along with Oatey's roots in plumbing, manufacturing, conservation and well-being are cultural commitments. Oatey also integrates WELL building concepts to enhance the daily lives of its team. The Oatey team is united on-site to generate cultural synergies, to more effectively create and to better serve their customers. Learn more about this project.

About us

USGBC Ohio appreciates all of our volunteers and those working to make Ohio more sustainable. We offer education and events throughout the state and would love to have you join us in 2021. Email us to see how you can get involved, or let us know how we can help you with your sustainability efforts. Want updates? Follow our activities by signing up for our newsletters.

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POSTED: Friday, December 4, 2020 12:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, July 27, 2021 09:59 AM