Sustainability, Design Honored In Cemex U.S. Building Awards

Projects in California and Oregon took top honors in the Third Annual Cemex U.S. Building Awards, announced during a March reception at the ConExpo-Con/Agg

Projects in California and Oregon took top honors in the Third Annual Cemex U.S. Building Awards, announced during a March reception at the ConExpo-Con/Agg 2008 trade show in Las Vegas. From a juvenile justice/detention center built to maximize sustainability to a water-bypass system geared to improve the downstream migration of salmon, the winning projects demonstrated a high degree of innovation and environmental responsibility.

We are pleased that more and more architects, builders, and contractors are finding ways to not only build their projects better, but also use cement, concrete, and aggregates to build a sustainable future while achieving amazing designs, said Cemex USA President Gilberto Perez.

The awards recognize the best builders, designers, and architects in four categories covering sustainability, residential, institutional/industrial, and infrastructure. Three winners were chosen from the 19 finalists (one entry took the top prize in two of the four categories) and were highlighted for their use of concrete, execution of the project, architectural design, and concern for the environment. Many of the 73 entries included concrete as a green material used in harmony with the environment. In October, the U.S. winners featured here will compete against other regional winners for the world title at the 17th Cemex International Building Awards in Monterrey, Mexico.


Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, San Leandro, California

A winner in two categories, this 379,000-sq.-ft. facility has set national standards for serving the community’s most vulnerable and troubled youth. The center is a state-of-the-art complex, including a 360-bed detention center, along with an integrated courthouse of five courtrooms and offices for the District Attorney; Public Defender; Clerk of the Court; Sheriff; Health Care Services; and, County Office of Education, Library, and Probation.

Designed to greatly improve the safety and security of employees and detainees, the facility maximizes sustainability by including a healthy indoor environment with natural light and fresh air and onsite solar power generation capabilities that will save taxpayer dollars through energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste reduction. The contract required the facility to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. However, the design-build team exceeded that mark, making it the first LEED Gold Certified facility of its kind in the United States. Hensel Phelps Construction Co. was the builder and concrete contractor; and, Hellmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum was the architect/engineer on the project.


Fillmore Heritage Center
San Francisco, California

This project exemplifies the impact that a well-constructed building can have on a community. The project’s mission was to re-establish the neighborhood’s legendary jazz district and revitalize the area by bringing new economic life into the struggling commercial corridor. The project’s centerpiece contains 80 new residential condominiums, two restaurants, a new Yoshi’s jazz venue, and a museum Û all atop underground parking.

Through a five-day pour cycle with a hand-set deck formwork system, the contractor used a waterproofing admixture, Kryton, from the basement through level three to increase the speed of the building’s construction. This admixture was used within the Cemex concrete mix for one of the first times in the San Francisco Bay area, providing great savings of time and resources. Webcor Concrete was the concrete contractor, LDA Architects was the architect, and Fillmore Development Associates, LLC, was the developer.


Willamette Falls Flow Control
Oregon City, Oregon

In an effort to increase the survival rate of juvenile salmon migrating to the Pacific Ocean, Portland General Electric has installed a bypass system at the Willamette Falls. This system includes a 200-ft.-wide water flow control structure at the top of the falls. The concrete and rubber ramp helps fish avoid the rocks below by guiding them to the deep water at the base of the falls. To make this possible, three inflatable rubber dams were installed on top of the falls, helping PGE control the flow of water and steer the fish to the safest passage.

Because of restricted access to the project, a high lead system for concrete delivery was installed between the island and the top of the hill. This line was about 1,000 feet long and moved more than 2,000 yards of concrete for the entire job in 2-yd. increments.

The concrete was delivered to the top of the hill, unloaded into a 2-yd. bucket, transported over the river to a line pump, then placed more than 200 feet away. Special concrete mix designs were used to extend the cure and increase the workability. Baseline Industrial was the general contractor, and the engineer was David Bungi and Associates.