The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the six winners of the Lifecycle Building Challenge 3. Each winner—whether conceptual, a built project, or a plan for creating green jobs—was designed to reduce the environmental and energy impacts of buildings by supporting cost-effective disassembly and anticipating future use of building materials.

"Designing buildings and building products with front-end lifecycle thinking is the key to real green building," said Lisa Heinzerling, associate administrator for EPA's Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation, in a statement about the winners. "These innovators are great examples of how we can build sustainable structures that help meet the needs of this and future generations."

The Lifecycle Building Challenge 3 judges were: Brad Guy, AIA, jury chair, Ph.D. candidate in the Building Performance and Diagnostics program at Carnegie Mellon University; Scott Shell, AIA, LEED AP, principal, EHDD Architecture; Kirsten Ritchie, senior associate of sustainable design, Gensler; and Mark D. Webster, PE, LEED AP, senior staff engineer, Simpson Gumphertz & Heger.

Winners from the United States are, by category:

  • Building—Student: [Un] Modular Design for Deconstruction; David Fleming, University of Cincinnati, Richfield, Minn. Fleming's concept is a construction trade school design based on an adaptable structural system that allows columns, beams, and walls to be reconfigured in multiple ways, showing how a building can evolve as materials, fashions, technologies, and uses change.

  • Building—Professional Built and Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Greenhouse Gas Reduction: Arboretum and Research Visitors' Center; William McDonough + Partners, Charlottesville, Va. Based on reconfigurable modules, the visitors' center design integrates flexibility and disassembly to optimize material use over the building's life. Passive systems and smart HVAC help the building operate 51 percent more efficiently than ASHRAE requires, while daylighting and natural ventilation further reduce energy use.

  • Product—Professional Built: Modular Temporary Construction Wall/Barricade; Douglas Spear, Aaron Barnes, and Jeffrey A. Bolin, M.S., CHMM, co-owners, Envy Modular Wall Systems. A modular temporary construction wall system consisting of panels and extruded joining parts that are reusable and can be recycled into new products with zero waste. It's designed to replace wall systems that are used for a short span of time and then landfilled.

  • Honorable Mention for Reclamation of Materials, Building—Professional Built: Reclaimed Space: Sustainable, Modern; Kimber Reed-Barber and Tracen Gardner, co-founders Reclaimed Space.

  • Honorable Mention for Innovative Reuse, Product—Student: Political Ply—An Arid Zone Shade Structure; Jason Griffiths, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.

  • Best Green Job Creation: ReAnimateLA: Center for Ecological & Urban Recovery; Hayley Stewart, Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, Calif.

  • Best School Design and Honorable Mention for Building—Student: School M.O.D.; Yosuke Kawai and Ikue Nomura, University of Pennsylvania, Dayton, Ohio.

    One international winner and several international honorable mentions also were named. EPA's partners in the Lifecycle Building Challenge are The American Institute of Architects, West Coast Green, the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, and StopWaste.org.

    For full details on all winning projects, visit www.lifecyclebuilding.org/2009/winners.php.