2018 Commercial Design Awards

Creative interiors stood out to a trio of judges who selected the winners in our annual Commercial Design Awards program.

From the pages of In Business magazine.

When people say it’s what’s on the inside that counts, they usually aren’t referring to architecture because this is one discipline that evaluates the interior and the exterior. Yet in our annual Commercial Design Awards, the overall impressions of our trio of judges varied. They gave high marks for the straightforward and sensitive architectural solutions they saw, but it was the interior design of this year’s projects that really stood out to them (with one notable exception).

Judges were asked to evaluate projects that were completed in calendar year 2017 and submitted for this year’s program. The projects gave new life to venerable spots such as the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Memorial Union and celebrated new construction in the form of Northwestern Mutual’s Tower and Commons project in Milwaukee.

“I would say thumbs up to creating lovely interior spaces,” states one judge. “Overall, the real joy of reviewing these projects was to see the inventiveness they demonstrate with regard to interior spaces. I liked the materials, the lighting, and the concepts that were highlighted.”

Another judge praised the innovation he saw in the 2017 design work. “If this is not the best, it’s one of the best crops of projects I’ve seen,” he asserts. “They spent a little extra money on some projects, and the architecture and the construction quality shines through.”

Designs on categories

In recent years, sustainability has emerged as a key design factor in this and other architectural design programs. For this year’s program, we replaced our Best Green-Built category with a Most Innovative Green Feature category, and we established a Most Innovative Feature to recognize one project element that really shined, whether or not the entire product was a category winner. As has been our practice in recent years, statewide projects were considered along with those in Greater Madison.

University of Wisconsin–Madison Memorial Union Redevelopment Phase II & Alumni Park

Project of the Year, Best New Development or Renovation – Mixed Use, Best Outdoor Landscaping Project

When UW–Madison set out to redevelop the Memorial Union, one of the most beloved, historic spots on campus, the university wanted to enhance the experience of faculty and students by restoring significant spaces while preserving the history of existing architecture.

The resulting night-and-day difference reinforces the Memorial Union, Alumni Park, and the North Terrace as ideal gathering spots for students, faculty, and the general public. “It’s hard not to love a renovation that addresses one of Wisconsin’s great community spaces,” states one judge. “They have given it a facelift and a nice reinterpretation.”

The completion of phase two renovations was the culmination of a process that started in 2009, and the transformation is, in the view of another CDA judge, simply remarkable. “They were able to bring modernization to the facility and to the site, while still incorporating the history and romanticism of the space,” he states. “I really like how they brought in the landscaping — they didn’t just turn it into a concrete park — and how they incorporated the concrete and the brick work with the landscaping.”

In giving the Memorial Union a makeover, there was some cosmetic restoration to a number of the historic structure’s iconic spaces, including Der Rathskeller, Tripp Commons, and the Porter Butts Gallery. To provide multiple new eateries, interior renovation included the total demolition and remodel of first-floor dining spaces.

The existing North Terrace also was demolished to allow for new, underground storm water routing, and tiered walking paths and seating leading from the first floor of the Union down to the Lakeshore Path and Lake Mendota were constructed. The work also includes the addition of a new performance stage and concession stand.

Alumni Park, a roughly 1-1/2-acre space situated between the Red Gym, One Alumni Place, and Memorial Union, now features a 12-foot-diameter granite water fountain, granite and clay paver radial walks, and a 15-foot concrete structure called Progress Point that cantilevers over a gathering lawn.

“The Alumni Park is something that uses natural materials and really keeps the flavor of the whole Memorial Union intact,” notes a CDA judge.

For new construction and major renovations, project sponsors are seeking LEED Silver certification through LEED 2009, and they have sustainable elements to tout. More than 7,000 cubic yards of concrete were poured to build the new underground loading dock between Memorial Union and the Red Gym. Since there is limited space between the two buildings, making it difficult to receive deliveries at the Union, a unique truck carousel feature was added to the loading dock to provide sufficient space for truck turnaround. A concrete secant wall was constructed around the perimeter of the dock to serve as earth retention for its construction, as well as a water barrier since the dock is situated 12 feet beneath the water table.

One judge felt the landscaping, with its inviting native plants and grasses, helped the architecturally distinct Red Gym feel more at home. “Overall, the designers thought not so much about the form but more about how people use that outdoor space,” he adds. “In a way, I think it’s the outdoor living room of the university and by extension, the state.”

Project credits

Location: 800 Langdon St., Madison, WI  53706
Owner/Developer: Department of Administration/Division of Facilities Development and Management
General Contractor: Miron Construction Co. Inc.
Architect: Uihlein/Wilson – Ramlow/Stein Architects
Architect/Consultant: Moody/Nolan
Engineers: GRAEF (structural engineering), SmithGroupJJR (civil and landscaping)
Photography: Image Studios/Miron Construction
Completion Date: October 2017



Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons

Best New Office Development

The new Northwestern Mutual headquarters in Milwaukee represents the largest volume of space under one roof in the entire state, but its impressive redesign accommodates a transformation of corporate mission from life insurance to financial security. Over a span of two city blocks, the project connects the iconic 1914 Northwestern Mutual building with a glass atrium and four-story commons to a new, 32-story tower.

By using innovative techniques to connect old with new, the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons project has been recognized for changing the city’s skyline and sparking urban renewal in downtown Milwaukee. The skyscraper might be a 1.1-million-square-foot corporate headquarters with a sleek glass exterior, but judges appreciated the way it conveys the feel of a civic space without overwhelming a nearby icon — the Milwaukee Art Museum.

“The architects did what they should have done, which is create a building that plays well with its iconic surroundings,” notes one CDA judge.

The architectural vision was to integrate the old and new while preserving all aspects of the historic building. They used an advanced window enclosure system and combined the exterior with a welcoming environment in the Commons portion that includes ground-level concourses, exhibits, and dining spaces open to the public, and an interactive museum focusing on company history and community impact. Three acres of manicured gardens with tables, benches, and walkways are complemented by pedestrian-oriented streetscapes. The Northwestern Mutual Gardens, which offer nearly three acres of landscaped green space, walkways, and sitting areas, also is open to the public.

For another judge, the project’s detailing stood out. “There was a real economy in terms of the palette,” he says. “They didn’t go crazy with a million materials. There were a few simple moves that were repeated, which produced a super-elegant solution.”

Project credits

Location: 745 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Owner/Developer: Northwestern Mutual/Hines (owners representative)
General Contractor: CG Schmidt Inc., in a joint venture with Gilbane
Architect: Kendall/Heaton and Associates, Pickard Chilton
Interior Design Architect: Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
Engineers: Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Photography: Tom Rossiter
Completion Date: August 2017



Delta Properties – Center for Healthy Minds

Best Office Renovation

A remodel of Delta Properties and their tenant, the Center for Healthy Minds, was undertaken to create a calming, inviting space for staff and patients. It does so with a tranquil combination of natural light, earth tones, and warm (and original) building materials.

The 43,818-square-foot building, located in a downtown Madison facility in the former Kennedy Dairy, originally was constructed in the early 1900s. Key original character traits were retained to keep the aesthetic feel, and included the large windows facing West Washington Avenue, which run the entire length of one side of the building and flood the interior space with natural light, and a delightfully earthy surprise in the exposed brick walls that were revealed during demolition work.

An existing skylight provides light to the first and second floors, and a custom-built staircase of steel and reclaimed wood timbers is now a focal point connecting the first and second floor under the skylight.

The project uses reclaimed timber in the custom stair treads and reclaimed wood in various tabletops and ledges throughout the building. Its original brick walls were exposed, repaired, and incorporated into the new design.

The use of these naturally warm and inviting materials brought the structure “up to speed” while maintaining the flavor of building history, according to one judge. “What’s very appealing is the capture of the skylight through the staircase, and it really brings in natural light to a large part of the space,” he notes. “The architecture of the stairway and the placement of the stairway brings it to both stories of the space.”

“They made good use of the existing building, the former dairy building, and they retained elements of that history as opposed to completely obliterating it,” offered another judge. “You get a sense of dialogue between the old and the new.”

Project credits

Location: 625 W. Washington Ave., Madison, WI 53703
Owner/Developer: Delta Properties
General Contractor: Ideal Builders
Architect: Ferch Architecture
Photography: Mike Rebholz Photography
Completion Date: January 2017



Yahara Bay Distillery

Best New Development or Renovation – Retail

After 10 years in operation, Nick and Catherine Quint had an intoxicating reason to celebrate business success. Their Yahara Bay Distillery had expanded beyond the capacity of its original industrial park location, and it was time to think big. In so doing, they produced one of our CDA judges’ favorite entries.

Following the evaluation of possible locations, the Quints chose their new location in Fitchburg that offers triple the square footage of their original facility. Perhaps its most unique feature is the multitude of programmed spaces and needs functions that are accommodated, including increased production, expanded retail and public house areas, and a 180-person event center.

Key to the project is the addition of the event center and the expansion of an art gallery that showcases local artists. The Quints wanted to stay true to their community, artisan, and craft production roots, and their desire to convey a sense of the handcrafted nature of their products was a primary influence on the aesthetics and overall design.

One enthusiastic CDA judge admitted to being “blown away” by this project, noting a consistent “architectural vocabulary” and well executed, inventive detailing. “In the bar, I appreciated how they used that wood envelope to create an environment that’s a bit more intimate, which was a really nice move,” he states. The same judge also thought the illuminated bottle wall was a “cool” element and a great way to integrate both display and architecture.

Another judge felt this project did the best job of reinforcing a brand. “What was great about this project was that the values of the distillery itself were articulated in the design of the spaces,” he notes. “You can see that there is an interest in the warmth of the wood and there is also interest in the distilling process.”

Project credits

Location: 6250 Nesbitt Road, Suite 200, Madison, WI 53719
Owners: Nick and Catherine Quint
General Contractor: Harmony Construction Management
Architect: Aro Eberle Architects
Design: Spruce Studio (graphic design), Aro Eberle Architects (exhibit design), Thysee Design (exhibit fabrication), and Hellenbrand Glass (bottle wall fabrication)
Completion Date: January 2017



Quarter Row Apartments

Best New Development or Renovation – Residential Multi-Unit

Seeking to attract young professionals looking for affordable luxury apartments close to downtown, Urban Land Interests developed the Quarter Row Apartments with an emphasis on community living or “co-living” — getting to know your neighbors and making connections within a modern building environment.

Home to 410 residents, the 83,600-square-foot building contains 88 apartments with the first and second floors featuring shared social, recreational, and exercise space. The project’s immediate neighborhood, once a pocket of desolate construction yards, has gradually been transformed into one of Madison’s most vibrant, walk-able, and bike-able neighborhoods. With the recent restoration and reuse of the nearby historic Tobacco Lofts, the addition of Quarter Row has further strengthened the urban environment.

Designers created a street experience for pedestrians and building residents. First floor units on the street side have steps up to street entrances, while balconies activate the street level, provide a necessary level of security for residents, and create a sense of street cohesiveness.

Outdoor spaces are thoughtfully integrated into the design to maximize the neighborhood feel. The rooftop terrace overlooks the streetscape to give residents a semi-private place to socialize and entertain. A central outdoor plaza connects to first floor common space, serving as a true outdoor destination with grilling stations and seating.

CDA judges praised Quarter Row as a higher-end project that added density in the heart of the city and employed the deft use of multiple materials — concrete, natural landscaping, and varying shades of brick. They also called it a creative architectural departure from most new multifamily structures.

“They got away from the standard square box apartment building,” states one judge, “and they have nice interior design work incorporating different materials without making it look too busy.”

Says another judge: “The quad area is nicely landscaped and feels like an inviting sanctuary within the city.”

Project credits

Location: 601 W. Doty St., Madison, WI 53703
Owner/Developer: Urban Land Interests
General Contractor: J.H. Findorff & Son
Architect/Interior Design: Potter Lawson
Engineers: Pierce Engineers
Photography: Mike Rebholz
Completion Date: August 2017



AC Hotel Madison

Best New Development or Renovation – Hotel

The AC Hotel Madison, a building with enviable views of the Wisconsin State Capitol, Lakes Mendota and Monona, and the vibrant East Washington Avenue corridor, takes full advantage of its location one block from Madison’s Capitol Square.

The 10-story, 165-room hotel has transformed what was a small, underutilized plot of land. It not only includes the Eno Vino Downtown wine bar and bistro and a stunning, two-story “diamond wall,” it is said to be a “design-centric” hotel. Rather than preserve the best views for a few lucky hotel guests and placing the public spaces on the first and second floors, the hotel was designed to provide the best views on the upper (ninth and 10th) floors, which are accessible to everyone.

The AC’s 127,000 square feet also contain a welcoming lounge located on the lobby level that features the work of local artists and spills outdoors onto the sidewalk café in warmer months, and custom artwork is placed throughout the space. Its guestrooms have an elegant European flair and in its more public spaces, judges appreciated the mixed use of stone walls and walnut panels.

A cantilevered roofline, dramatic lighting, and creative use of floor-to-ceiling glass augments its modern look. The 10th floor ceiling features suspended slats of wood in alternating directions, and cross-fill, sure-clad porcelain ventilated exterior façade panels imported from Europe allow for improved energy savings and acoustics. “It’s a cornerstone building in the State Capitol area, and as such, it doesn’t disappoint,” states one CDA judge who likes the way the hotel is visually connected to the Capitol. “I liked how they were able to bring a contemporary, clean aesthetic into the neighborhood, and it shows that contemporary architecture can be high quality and full of light and views. It’s a celebration of the vitality of downtown Madison.”

Project credits

Location: 1 N. Webster St., Madison, WI 53703
Owner/Developer: North Central Group
General Contractor: Kraemer Brothers
Architect: Gary Brink & Associates
Interior Design Architect: Gary Brink & Associates/North Central Group
Engineers: Pierce Engineers
Completion Date: May 2017



Eno Vino Downtown

Best New Development or Renovation – Restaurant or Bar

With its farm-to-table menu and extensive wine selection, Eno Vino’s downtown wine bar and bistro is considered a natural pairing for the AC Hotel Madison.

Most hotel restaurants are on the ground floor, but Eno Vino is on the hotel’s ninth and 10th floors and therefore accessible to hotel guests and members of the community alike. Its floor-to-ceiling glass accommodates views of the state Capitol and Lakes Mendota and Monona, and that’s one of several reasons Eno Vino Downtown has experienced a strong opening and is expected to draw 100,000 guests on an annual basis.

While dinner reservations are often completely booked weeks in advance, Eno Vino has made the intentional decision to keep the bar, terrace, and terrace lounge available for walk-in guests on most evenings.

CDA judges appreciated the way the restaurant interior creates a warm environment while introducing a few modern elements. “The bar is very sleek,” states one judge. “I like the use of the lighting and the ceiling. It really gives it the mood of a warm restaurant and bar area.

“There is a great display of the wines for the selection, and it allows the public to get a view of the wine instead of just a list,” he adds. “It also gives people a reason to walk around a bit and tour the space instead of sit there and drink and eat. It looks like a very cozy and very comfortable place to relax in.”

Picking up on that theme, another judge notes that one of Madison’s strong suits is its architecture for dining and drinking establishments, “especially the way they are able to create wonderful experiences,” he notes. “This represents that type of dining experience. Madison is looking toward a real feature as a capital of culinary experiences, and this is another piece in that portfolio.”

Project credits

Location: 1 N. Webster St., Madison, WI 53703
Owner/Developer: North Central Group
General Contractor: Kraemer Brothers
Architect: Gary Brink & Associates
Interior Design Architect: Gary Brink & Associates/North Central Group
Engineers: Pierce Engineers
Completion Date: May 2017



Madison College Culinary Training Center

Best New Development or Renovation – Education

With interest in the culinary world gaining traction here, Madison College decided to expand local educational and professional opportunities with its new Culinary Training Center. Little did they know that its interior design someday would please the palates of architects.

The culinary center, an addition to the Gateway Welcome Center on Madison College’s Truax Campus, helps the college increase enrollment for certain degree-seeking programs and expand offerings to accommodate more continuing-education students.

The newly designed space has enabled the program to grow from an offering of five first-year student labs to 10, and it is expected to serve approximately 1,000 people daily with an updated look and state-of-the-art kitchens in which to practice their cooking skills.

Cooking labs were constructed with more individual workspace and include equipment reminiscent of what students would experience in modern commercial kitchens. Technology was incorporated into the design to allow cooking activities to be broadcast so students from across the country can take part in culinary competitions.

Various green-built features were incorporated into the project’s construction. HVAC and lighting systems were designed with sophisticated occupancy programs and sensors to control energy usage, and lighting controls can detect the amount of outside lighting and dim interior lighting accordingly. Materials were locally sourced to minimize the project’s carbon footprint.

One CDA judge, noting Madison’s growing role in the culinary arts, says it’s no accident that one of the best new educational venues is actually a culinary training center. “This is one of the other ingredients in positioning Madison as a leader in the culinary scene,” he notes, “and it will set standards that are in line with what the restaurant community is doing. They are taking great care in both the form and function and paying attention to both the production and consumption sides of food service.”

Project credits

Location: 1701 Wright St., Madison, WI 53704
Owner/Developer: Madison College
General Contractor: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
Architect/Interior Design: Assemblage Architects
Engineers: Henneman Engineering (plumbing, fire protection, and electrical); Pearson Engineering LLC (HVAC)
Consultants: E.F. Whitney Inc.
Photography: Harper Fritsch
Completion Date: May 2017



Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin Drexel Town Square Health Center

Best New Development or Renovation – Health Care

With the goal of building a premier destination medical facility, the designers of Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Drexel Town Square Health Center have created calming environments for patients, according to our CDA judges.

Located in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, the 108,100-square-foot health center is designed for the future. It is the first health center in the area to offer dozens of services without being a hospital, including primary care, urgent care, physical therapy and rehabilitation, cancer care, and ambulatory surgery.

Given the nature of these procedures, the design attempts to calm nerves. A curved Prodema wood panel wall covers the cancer center’s linear accelerator to politely define the site’s entrance point and assist in wayfinding for cancer patients. Stained glass art positioned above a scanning machine is designed to make potentially nerve wracking medical imaging procedures less harsh.

“If you look at the images, it looks like great care was given to the [patient’s] experience of this building,” notes one judge. “If you are in a scan or an MRI or whatever, the only real impact you have is what you see when you look up. They took care to provide a pleasant ceiling there.”

“They create some elements that were a little bit more creative and playful in an environment that isn’t necessarily a fun place for people,” notes another judge. “It’s a nice way to make those spaces a little bit more humane in places that are otherwise not the most fun to be in.”

Another judge used the words “warmth” and “coziness” to describe this medical facility. “You would never think you are walking into a hospital-like environment,” he states. “The exam rooms obviously are the real features of this space and bring comfort and warmth to the patients.”

Project credits

Location: 7901 S. 6th St., Oak Creek, WI 53154
Owner/Developer: HSA PrimeCare, Chicago
General Contractor: C.G. Schmidt Inc.
Architect/Interior Design: Eppstein Uhen Architects
Structural Engineer: Pierce Engineers
Completion Date: December 2017



AC Hotel Diamond Wall

Most Innovative Feature

When people talk about Madison’s luminaries, they no longer confine the conversation to various big-shot public officials or notable citizens. They now include the AC Hotel Madison’s sparkling, two-story diamond wall.

The wall, on display from the AC Lounge at the corner of East Washington Avenue and North Webster Street, features 1,248 cut crystals imported from the Czech Republic. The diamond wall is backlit with LED “luminaries” offering a dynamic display for pedestrians and vehicles approaching the AC Hotel Madison from East Washington Avenue or from the south on Webster Street. Now it’s one of the most-viewed displays of public art in Madison.

Czech and local craftsmen installed the custom art piece. Its cut crystals are set at 90-degree angles on a stainless steel wall, and each crystal is individually illuminated by 1,248 LED (light emitting diode) luminaires. A computer program that allows for custom static or multi-colored light displays controls each individual “luminaire.”

CDA judges feel the wall activates the space and the street. “Yeah, it’s fun,” states one judge. “Architects are always looking for ways to create dynamic spaces that constantly appear fresh and new. This one looks like a perfect pairing to a good martini.”

“It creates a sense of drama in the space that they otherwise wouldn’t have,” says another judge. “Often times, innovative and elegant don’t go together, but this was an element where we got both.”

A third judge characterized the wall as a distinctive feature that separates the hotel from its local counterparts. “It’s a focal point and a point for discussion,” he opines. “It’s a really unique feature that’s incredibly well designed and really draws attention to the hotel. This element probably is the most common point of conversation when guests discuss how they liked their stay.”

Project credits

Location: 1 N. Webster St., Madison, WI 53703
Owner/Developer: North Central Group
General Contractor: Kraemer Brothers
Architect: Gary Brink & Associates
Interior Design Architect: Gary Brink & Associates/North Central Group
Engineers: Pierce Engineers
Completion Date: May 2017



State Line Distillery

Most Innovative Green Solution

State Line Distillery is not located along the traditional retail and restaurant corridors of Madison, but it expects tens of thousands of people to interact with its facility through various channels of retail distribution and in-person visits.

The distillery is part of the revitalization of the East Washington corridor, especially the old industrial section between East Washington and Williamson Street. Since it is located in a once neglected industrial area in need of a fresh face, its hospitable amenities make it the perfect pivot-point business to help breathe life back into this area.

The small-batch distillery does so with the help of sustainable features. A green-built highlight is the use of reclaimed wood acquired from a single source barn in Wisconsin. Its unique arched tables were all created from the barn’s arched trusses, and this same wood was used to create the hanging light fixtures and a corner design element. The barn’s siding was used for the wood wall finish and the front bar, while the bar top was made from the structure of the barn’s hayloft. Also unique are materials used in the distillery’s tasting room, which were all sourced from a barn.

Perhaps the largest environmental impact of this building, however, is simply the repurposing of a building that easily could have been scheduled for demolition. “The before-and-after photographs are striking,” notes one CDA judge. “The fact that the designer and the owner opted to keep the existing building, even though it was not without fault, and fix it up rather than tear it down, speaks to another element of its sustainability.

“Sometimes,” he adds, “the most green project you can do is use the existing building itself.”

Another judge agreed with that point. “I appreciate their resourcefulness and the way they have adapted the existing building.”

Project credits

Location: 1413 Northern Ct., Madison, WI 53703
Owner/Developer: State Line Distillery
General Contractor: Supreme Structures
Architect: Sketchworks Architecture LLC
Engineer: MP Squared Structural Engineers
Photography: CR Prints & Photography LLC
Completion Date: May 2017



Meet the judges

Mark Fenton, senior vice president, Leopardo Interiors Group, Chicago, Ill.

Mark Fenton manages the day-to-day operations of Leopardo’s Interiors group. As senior vice president, Fenton is involved in preconstruction, project management, subcontractor relations, quality control, and staff training. He joined Leopardo in 1997 and has worked with clients of varying sizes on interior construction, renovations, restorations, and build-outs. With 30 years of overall experience, he has managed several million square feet of interior construction for private-sector and nonprofit clients.

Marc Manack, AIA, NCARB, principal, Silo AR+D, Charlotte, N.C.

Marc Manack, a graduate of Ohio State University’s Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture, serves as assistant professor at the UNC-Charlotte School of Architecture and is co-editor of Out of Scale, a book about small, award-winning projects. SILO AR+D is an architecture, research, and design practice whose work has been recognized with national and international design awards and featured in publications such as Azure Magazine as one of the “Next Generation of Cutting Edge Architects.”

Victor Sidy, AIA, LEED AP, managing principal, Victor Sidy Architect

Victor Sidy is an architect, educational leader, and advocate for quality in the built environment. He served as head of school and dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture in Scottsdale, Ariz. and Spring Green, Wis., and teaches design in the Master of Real Estate Development program at the W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University. He hosted a television series on architecture and has served on national and international design juries.

Plan now to enter the 2019 CDAs

The annual Commercial Design Awards celebrate the best commercial building projects and designs of Greater Madison architects, engineers, and builders. Looking ahead, work on the April 2019 CDA presentation, for projects completed in 2018, is already underway.

Next year’s program will mark the CDAs’ 12th year, and once again we will recognize a Project of the Year, a Most Innovative Feature, a Most Innovative Green Solution, and a first-place winner in several categories. The categories will be listed online by the end of April, and worthy projects can be submitted for more than one category if applicable.

As part of the nomination process, we will ask for blueprints, floor plans or renderings, and photographs of both the interior and exterior for consideration by our panel of judges.

For renovation entries, we ask that photographs be taken at the beginning and at the conclusion of the construction project. This helps our distinguished panel of CDA judges assess the quality of refurbished buildings.

Winners in each award category will be unveiled at an awards reception in April 2019 (date and location to be determined) and will be featured in the April 2019 edition of In Business magazine. The Project of the Year will adorn the cover of that magazine.

IB encourages companies — architects, general contractors, and engineers — with projects due for completion in 2018 to contact Events Manager Jessica Hamm (jessica@ibmadison.com) to keep their soon-to-be completed projects on our radar screen. IB will provide entry forms, nomination materials, and other information to these firms as soon as they are available.

Coming next month: Special C&D report

Stay tuned in for the May 2018 edition of In Business magazine, which will feature a special report on the state of commercial construction and development in Greater Madison.

Panelists from the Boardman Clark law firm, IA Management LLC, and Wisconsin Bank & Trust will give their take on a range of topics, including the “C&D” trends local business operators should pay particular attention to.

We’ll explore the following topics: whether lower federal tax bills will free up resources for businesses to expand operations; how the labor shortage is impacting the pace of projects, including Foxconn’s impact on the availability of construction labor in Greater Madison; the business lending climate and the impact of gradually rising interest rates on financing costs; what business owners should be thinking about as they prepare to apply for loans to fund real estate and/or development projects; and whether there should be room in the pending federal infrastructure bill for sustainable building projects, not just roads and bridges.

Also causing worry are the cost impacts of the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum on construction materials and budgets for infrastructure, commercial projects, and school projects.

So if a facility expansion project is in your future, be sure to check the May edition of In Business for the answers to these and other development trends.

Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.