ACI: Excellence in Concrete Construction

The American Concrete Institute honored 2016 Excellence in Concrete Construction Award recipients late last year. The top honor or “Excellence Award” was presented to Palazzo Italia (Italian Pavilion Expo 2015) in Milan, submitted by the ACI Italy Chapter. The award is given to a project that demonstrates excellence in concrete innovation and technology, and stands out above all other entries.

The Italian Pavilion is the heart of Expo 2015. The architectural design envisages the construction of a complex structure whose exterior and interior spaces recall the shapes of branches in a thick forest. The entire outdoor surface and part of the interiors consist of Biodybnamic cement panels, obtained using Styl-Comp technology from the new material developed at HeidelbergCement and Italcementi’s i.lab research and development center.

The “bio” component reflects the product’s photocatalytic properties, originating from the active ingredient TX Active, patented by Italcementi. In direct sunlight, the active principle “captures” certain pollutants present in the air and converts them into inert salts, helping to purify the atmosphere from smog. The “dynamic” component is a specific characteristic of the new material, whose particular fluidity allows the creation of complex shapes like those found in the Palazzo Italia panels.

ACI created the awards to honor the visions of the most creative projects in the concrete industry, while providing a platform to recognize innovation, technology, and excellence across the globe. Eligible Excellence Awards entries are projects recognized at the ACI Chapter level and submitted by that Chapter or an ACI International Partner. An independent panel of industry professionals judged projects and selected winners based on architectural and engineering merit; creativity; innovative construction techniques or solutions; innovative use of materials; plus, functionality, ingenuity, sustainability and resilience. Judges named winners and some second place projects in six categories:

Decorative Concrete. First Place, Palazzo Italia (Italian Pavilion Expo 2015), Milan; Second Place, Stealth sculpture, Atlanta, ACI Atlanta Chapter.

Flatwork. First Place, Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport EFC Geopolymer Pavements, Queensland, Concrete Institute of Australia.

High-Rise Buildings. First Place, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Richmond, Va., ACI Virginia Chapter. Second Place (tie) McCord Hall at Arizona State University, W.P. Carey School of Business, Tempe, ACI Arizona Chapter; and, Viktoria apartment tower, Seattle, ACI Washington Chapter.

Infrastructure. First Place, “Ring of Memory” International Memorial of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette in Ablain Saint-Nazaire, Paris, ACI Paris Chapter; Second Place, Third Bosphorus Project, Istanbul, ACI Turkey Chapter.

Low-Rise Buildings. First Place, Museo Internacional del Barroco in Puebla, Mexico, Instituto Mexicano del Cemento y del Concreto; Second Place, Frost Museum of Science, Miami, ACI South Florida Chapter.

Repair & Restoration. First Place, The Strand, American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco, ACI Northern California and Western Nevada Chapter; Second Place, F.E. Weymouth Water Treatment Plant Filter Buildings Seismic Upgrades, La Verne, Calif., ACI Southern California Chapter.

 A call for 2017 Excellence in Concrete Construction Award entries continues through April 3 at




Palazzo Italia, 2016 Excellence Award winner



Stealth sculpture



Museo Internacional del Barroco



Frost Museum of Science



Ring of Memory



Third Bosphorus Project