2019 Commercial Design Awards: You've got personality!

Winning commercial building designs reflect the personality of their tenants.

From the pages of In Business magazine.

When asked to pinpoint the most important ingredient in organizational success, investors invariably cite quality management, but there is another quality of successful businesses — a facility that reflects the personality and brand of the venture that operates inside.

According to the building design experts that judged this year’s Commercial Design Awards program, some winning entries and even those that did not win in various categories had that synergistic quality going for them. Leading the way is a Project of the Year that is theatrical in the finest sense, yet operationally practical and in keeping with the company’s mission. “These projects exhibited a great deal of personality, and it was the personality of the clients that were well represented in the winning projects,” admires one CDA judge.

Judges were asked to evaluate projects that were completed in calendar year 2018 and submitted for this year’s program. They came away impressed with the overall quality of this year’s projects and with a Wisconsin architectural community that, in the words of one evaluator, is not skating along in a status-quo position. “They are really experimenting and trying to explore what makes Wisconsin uniquely Wisconsin,” he says.

Categorical clarity

In recent years, sustainability has emerged as a key design factor in this and other architectural design programs. Last year, we replaced the Best Green-Built category with a Most Innovative Green Features category, and we established a Most Innovative Features competition to recognize project elements that really stood out, whether or not the entire project was a category winner, and we continued in that vein for projects completed in 2018.

As has been our practice in recent years, statewide projects were considered along with those in Greater Madison, and one judge was pleased to see one important design element — natural light — being more frequently accommodated in commercial-building projects. “Wisconsin has a climate that is full of contrasts,” he notes. “You might be in the middle of the summer and a thunderstorm comes by, or in the winter it might be cold but totally sunny outside. To take advantage of the moods of the exterior, while still having a comfortable interior space, is something that technology affords.”

Another judge liked the diversity of submissions and their quality, whether they were large or small. “I was impressed by the way both the interior and out-of-ground projects focused on incorporating the outdoor environment.”

Electronic Theatre Controls–North Addition

Project of the Year, Best New Development–Office, Most Innovative Features

Electronic Theatre Controls’ new addition is said to “break from the common,” which makes it perfectly aligned with the Middleton company’s history of theatrical architectural and interior design. The use of lighting and lighting controls is at the core of ETC’s business, so it was imperative that the design solution exhibit its expertise in the industry, and our CDA judges awarded the project with an Oscar.

ETC’s existing theatrical lobby was designed to resemble a Manhattan street scene from a movie set, but the new addition is a way to combine departments — research and development and marketing — in one location as a means of co mingling these sometime disparate groups. Designers wanted a space that fosters the creative spirit necessary for the success of these two departments, but they got much more. They created a unique and artistic expression of ETC’s creative value.

“It’s wonderful that this company made a commitment to do something outside of the box, so to speak,” notes one CDA judge. “It’s both inside and outside the box because they tried to incorporate a visual vocabulary that explores so many ideas. It’s a conceptually rich project.”

Founded in 1976, the Middleton-based company manufactures technology products for visual environments, and with 1,307 people in 12 countries, it’s a growing organization that needed an addition to its existing 328,000 square feet of office, manufacturing, and warehouse space. The 74,500-square-foot, multistory addition, which includes open atrium, spans the first floor, mezzanine level, and second floor.

A key design feature is the utilization of the space in three dimensions, which allows employees to experience a design concept borrowed from the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris. With the goal of providing the best work environment to create innovative products, designers created a new spatial experience at each corner and gave ETC a competitive edge in recruitment and retention. Toward that end, they minimized the perceived hierarchy of a traditional business.

ETC was fascinated with the idea of using shipping containers as means to avoid the dogma associated with traditional office design. The basic concept is a quad system, similar to what’s found on a college campus, and the desired effect was achieved with a layered, multicolored arrangement of 41 used shipping containers retrofitted into a series of private offices and conference spaces. The organization of these containers created departmental “neighborhoods” within the facility, as color groups were selected to represent each neighborhood, and complimentary colors were added to the mix.

“I enjoyed how they used color to create what they call ‘neighborhoods’ and that the color defines function to a certain degree,” states one judge. “They used the grammar of ‘backstage’ and they brought it into the forefront, and I thought that was clever.”

Another design feature, the north-facing, glazed curtainwall, invites in natural light, and it presents a theatrical aesthetic toward adjacent parklands, athletic fields, and bike trails. Peering in through the expansive glass curtainwall, eyes will be focused on the multilevel shipping containers, creating what one judge called a compelling relationship between the exterior and interior. “They are doing a lot with a clean shell there, but it’s sort of monumental,” he states. “The interior, with the shipping containers, provided a unique contrast with the exterior and gave it an innovative and playful attitude.”

Project credits

Location: 3031 N. Pleasant View Road, Middleton, WI 53562
Owner/Developer: Electronic Theatre Controls
General Contractor/Construction Firm: 1848 Construction Inc.
Architect: Sketchworks Architecture LLC
Interior Design: Frank Miller, Electronic Theatre Controls
Engineer: MP-Squared Structural Engineers LLC
Photography: C|R Prints & Photography, Chad Renly
Completion Date: Nov. 21, 2018



American Family Insurance–The Spark

Most Innovative Green Solutions

Praised for its contribution to corporate social responsibility and sustainable investing, American Family Insurance’s newest home, The Spark building, is occupied by hundreds of employees, and they along with daily visitors are the main beneficiaries of the building’s many sustainable features.

The 158,000-square-foot Spark, also home to American Family Insurance’s DreamBank and StartingBlock Madison, celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit. Inside the building, employees look to solve real-world problems, and their working environment must be progressively sustainable. The Spark incorporates virtually every sustainable feature imaginable in pursuit of LEED certification and the incorporation of WELL building standards. “This new building stands as a landmark in Madison,” states one CDA judge.

Such facilities put both building and occupants at the heart of sustainable design. Here, the use of exterior glass forms a very modern look and allows in ample natural of light for employees, notes one judge. The interior design breaks down hierarchical structure and provides an atmosphere for a collaborative workforce, and each floor “brings new innovative design that presents a magnificent wow factor,” says another judge.

In addition, building systems use a variety of technologies to optimize air and water quality, and amenities such as indoor bike storage, showers, and locker rooms are available to tenants. “Not only did the design take into consideration green solution standards, it takes into account how the entire workplace affects the well-being of employees,” one judge remarked.

“Their intention was to design a space for inspiration as a catalyst for local businesses — a creative and collaborative working environment,” adds another judge. “At every turn, you see those things being facilitated by the design of the building and its interiors.”

Project credits

Location: 821 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI 53703
Owner/Developer: American Family Insurance
General Contractor/Construction Firm: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
Architect/Interior Design Architect 1: Eppstein Uhen Architects
Interior Design Architect 2: Potter Lawson Inc.
Engineer: Affiliated Engineers Inc.
Photography: C&N Photography Inc., Bill Fritsch, and Mike Rebholz
Completion Date: August 2018




Best Renovation–Office

When your brand is forward-looking and employee-centric, an undersized office won’t do. Such was the situation that Zendesk Inc., a software company headquartered in San Francisco, found itself in with its first Madison office.

The company offers a suite of CRM products to more than 119,000 customers in 150 countries, and the Madison office is its second-largest U.S. location. Zendesk moved to Madison in 2013 and started here with only five employees, but by 2018 it had grown to nearly 300 local workers and simply outgrew the space. With plans to expand by more than 100 employees, it was clearly time to elevate the office environment to support expansion.

The solution was a 55,000-square-foot, multifloor renovation of the Urban Land Interests building at 25 W. Main St. The goal was to create a work environment that would allow employees to feel comfortable, stimulate creativity, and foster innovation, and our CDA judges were taken with an industrial-chic environment of neutral finishes, contrasting materials, and branded applications.

An open floor plan was designed to optimize views of the Capitol Square, downtown Madison, and local lakes. It’s a blend of closed meeting spaces, open collaborative areas and enclaves, and public and private work spaces, all strategically placed to encourage collaboration or offer retreat.

However, it was the overall design — materials and finishes, orientation of views — that impressed the judges. “This project expresses the personality of the type of people who would likely be working here,” one judge notes. “It talks about collaboration, and it talks about individual focus. It’s a great example of where workspace appears to be going.”

“What really jumped out was the clean, restrained palette of everything,” another judge observed. “Just a couple of materials between the light wood and the sort of off-white and white just makes an interesting, cohesive atmosphere.

“I liked the long, leather banquette that’s along the edge. That was an intuitive move that works.”

Project credits

Location: 25 W. Main St., Madison, WI 53703
Owner-Developer/Owner’s Representative: Urban Land Interests/Smocke & Associates Inc.
General Contractor/Construction Firm: Vogel Bros. Building Co.
Architect/Interior Design Architect: M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates
Engineer: Affiliated Engineers Inc.
Photography: Mike Schwartz
Completion Date: September 2018



Summit Credit Union–Monona

Best New Development or Renovation–Retail

Summit Credit Union’s new branch in Monona is fast becoming a contemporary landmark that recaptures the past glory of financial institution architecture.

The site and 3,800-square-foot facility were designed to address Summit Credit Union’s desire for a highly visible facility, but the site presented challenges. First, it had limited street exposure to Monona Drive, being longer in the east-west direction with the street having a north-south orientation. As a result, the floor plan is trapezoidal to provide enough area to accommodate all the program elements.

In addition, the city of Monona Plan Commission required the building to front onto Monona Drive, with parking located away from the street. Designers gave the site two fronts and no back with a welcoming street façade on the east and a main entrance on the west, and the trapezoidal forms of the glazed curtainwall plus the brick finish and roof overhangs reach out to the community.

The building interior also reaches out, projecting an image of openness and, like other Summit branches, rebuffs the notion of a “stuffy” financial institution. The material palette of shimmering manganese iron-spot brick and silver metal is juxtaposed with bright splashes of color inside the building. Informal seating areas and dynamic displays animate the space and traditional teller lines are replaced with inviting “teller pods.”

While adhering to strict security needs, the facility offers comfortable meeting spaces with varying degrees of privacy. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow much of the building to rely on natural daylighting, and sail-shaped fabric sunshades reduce solar heat gain and glare.

One CDA judge felt the design represents what financial institutions can be but seldom are. It also demonstrates how  architecture can help brand a business — in this case as a community-centered institution. “Back in the 1950s and ’60s, bank architecture was some of the most exciting architecture in any community, but that has seen a long decline,” he notes. “This building is a notable exception to that depressing trend.”

Project credits

Location: 5809 Monona Drive, Monona, WI 53716
Owner/Developer:Summit Credit Union
General Contractor/Construction Firm: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
Architect/Interior Design/Engineer: Strang Inc.
Photography: Harper Fritsch Studios
Completion Date: September 2018



Tru by Hilton

Best New Development or Renovation–Hotel

Personality and spunk aren’t often adjectives used to describe hotel design, but when you’re trying to market to young people, you reach for something different.

The Tru by Hilton in Madison reflects one of Hilton’s newest brands — one of the first “Trus” to open in the state of Wisconsin and only the 20th in the U.S. — and it’s designed to provide an energetic, unique hotel experience for the young-at-heart.

With 46,125 square feet of space, the hotel is minimalist-inspired — partially, at least. The hotel’s rooms are slightly smaller than average and offer simple, yet classy finishes of tile, luxury vinyl plank flooring, and soft color tones.

Public areas, the hotel’s focal point, offer more vibrant colors, cozy and comfortable private areas, and collaborative spaces. The lounge area not only features games but also showcases a one-of-a-kind, Madison-inspired wall mural.

Customers who would get the most out of their experience here are those who would rather spend time in these public areas than in their hotel room — such as the younger crowd.

In the summation of one CDA judge, architects took what otherwise could have been an ordinary building and gave it the aforementioned personality and spunk. “What is nice is that they, the company, Hilton, is trying to find a solution for  thehotel business that is more youthful,” notes the judge. “This facility has that type of feel to it. It feels younger. It feels more dynamic and exciting. Some of the ways they were able to do that is just with the use of paint in bold colors, and we know that Wisconsin architecture is not known for bold colors.

“It’s a new entrant in the physical environment of the state, but that is there for a purpose,” he continues. “You want to differentiate your brand from the others, and you want to create a place that has a certain level of excitement and joy to bring people back over and over again. They took steps to make that happen.”

Project credits

Location: 8201 Watts Road, Madison, WI 53719
Owner/Developer: Madison West Princeton Investors
General Contractor/Construction Firm: Kraemer Brothers
Architect: Gary Brink Architecture and Design
Completion Date: April 2018



Summer House Grill & Bar

Best New Development or Renovation–Restaurant or Bar

Reviving what was a tired “locals” bar and restaurant on the outskirts of Wisconsin Dells and turning into a destination on scenic Lake Delton, the Summer House renovation was a nod to the memories made there. While the existing restaurant and bar’s waterfront location is one of only two dining establishments located directly on Lake Delton, a point of distinction that should have easily attracted tourists and lake-users alike, the building was rundown, outdated, and in desperate need of a major overhaul.

To reach its full potential, the designer’s vision was to create the ultimate waterfront family dining experience complete with rustic summer-inspired décor. The reborn version features a laid-back vibe reminiscent of a quintessential Wisconsin lakeside house. “We’ve all been to these dreary, neighborhood bars, and this looks like it was one of those, and what they were able to convert it into was quite astounding,” marvels one CDA judge. “It uses some of the materials you might find on a fine boat — outdoor planks for example,” he added. “The use of wood was quite successfully done, and it looks like they opened up the building to the outdoors quite a bit more than had previously been the case. In terms of a transformation, this was quite well done.”

Over the years, the building had morphed from a lakeside cabin into a bar, restaurant, and watersport venue, but cobbling together systems, architecture, and building additions posed several challenges. Rather than demolish the building, owners decided to save the structure and invest in renovation, and our CDA judges agree the greenest approach was to reuse the existing structure.

“Hats off to them for trying to work within the existing building,” he remarked. “That’s also important because a restaurant and bar is a place where many people create memories, so they chose to extend that history rather than tear that history down.“

Project credits

Location: 1280 E. Hiawatha Drive, Lake Delton, WI 53940
Owner/Developer: Elvis & Miza Investments LLC
General Contractor/Construction Firm: George Smolinski
Architect/Interior Design Architect: Architectural Design Consultants Inc.
Engineer: Strategic Structural Design
Photography: JakeRost Photography
Completion Date: September 2018



Wisconsin Institute of Urology

Best New Development or Renovation–Health Care

Wanting to bring together an independent urology group previously practicing from multiple locations, the Wisconsin Institute of Urology needed a new facility to serve as a clinic and ambulatory surgery center, and designers produced a modern facility with a strong presence in the Neenah community. Notes one CDA judge: “For health care, it really punches above its weight.”

The new 35,000-square-foot facility packs a punch with a striking exterior design and easily identifiable branding. Wayfinding is straightforward, and the entrance is easily navigable with wood accents that create a warm and approachable feeling. Natural elements, such as organic patterns, wood, stone, and backlit art evoke a “respite in the woods” atmosphere while high-end finishes create a hospitality feel that is comforting for patients dealing with sensitive health issues.

One judge was taken by the view of the building upon entering, citing the use of striking canopies. “It’s a building that appears to reach out to the surrounding community, literally with open arms, with these open-entry canopies,” he remarked. “I appreciated the quality and detailing they brought to the front of the building. So often, we dread going into health-care environments because they are so sterile and institutional, and this seems to be a building that allows you to feel comfortable and welcomed.”

Employee health and wellness also is factored into the design, with walking paths and lush landscaping to provide areas for respite. Daylight and views to nature are maximized through large expanses of glass, and central staff areas that lack windows are brightened with skylights.

One judge praised the interior moves that brought warmth and openness to the patient experience, particularly the walls of glass that remove any institutional feel. “When we talk about what architecture can do for a community, this is a building that looks like it would substantially contribute by expressing a sense of openness and interest in the well-being of people.

Project credits

Location: 1265 W. American Drive, Suite 100, Neenah WI 54956
Owner/Developer: Wisconsin Institute of Urology
General Contractor: Miron Construction
Architect/Interior Design Architect: Eppstein Uhen Architects
Engineers: GRAEF; Pierce Engineers (structural); McMahon Associates (civil/site)
Photography: C&N Photography LLC
Completion Date: April 2018



Marquette University–The Commons

Best New Development or Renovation–Education

Marquette University’s first new residence hall built on campus in 50 years, The Commons provides a welcoming and comfortable home away from home for Marquette’s first- and second-year students.

Completed in time for the 2018-19 school year, the 292,000-square-foot, nine- and 12-story structure is a conjoined co-ed residence hall that replaced an antiquated hall. It consists of two residence hall towers made up of single and double rooms that connect to create a neighborhood feel, and it’s also joined by a 650-seat dining and community space. With coveted modern amenities and sustainable building features, it has become a hub of activity for students, faculty, and staff.

CDA judges noted the building is not just a place where students sleep at night. It’s also a place where they can interact and learn together, and there are spaces for private contemplation, small-group studying, and a large dining experience. One CDA judge opined that it’s the type of building that can catapult Marquette to the next level as a university. “This is a very bold, ambitious project,” he notes. “It’s rare that one building can transform the identity of an entire university, but this is the kind of building that likely will be able to do so.

Architecturally, the building is cohesive without being monolithic, and judges liked the way architects addressed the urban context of this downtown Milwaukee location. They moved buildings toward the street front, creating much more urban environment for that streetscape. They also created a private courtyard in the middle, which is more attuned to the private lives of students. “The thing that’s strong about this project is the site strategy of integrating the building with the landscape, which sort of knits the residence halls together,” notes another judge. “It’s a really smart strategy.”

Project credits

Location: 721 N. 17th St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53233
Owner/Developer: Marquette University
General Contractor/Construction Firm: J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.
Architects: Design Collective and Workshop Architects
Engineers: GRAEF, Staff Electric
Photography: Richard Ebbers (interior/exterior), Curtis Waltz (aerial)
Completion Date: August 2018



Tennyson Senior Living Community

Best New Development or Renovation–Residential (Multiunit)

Tennyson Senior Living Community could not have arrived at a better time. With much of the focus of multifamily residential development in Madison in recent years centered on the needs of young adults, especially those who want to eschew the automobile and live downtown, this development serves the unmet needs of aging Madison residents who are either no longer able or willing to meet the rigors of home ownership and maintenance, but not yet ready for a traditional senior center lifestyle.

For Tennyson residents, the best thing about the senior living community is they are able to choose the level of support and the myriad of services they require — including much-needed Memory Care units — allowing residents to balance their level of independence and care.

For our CDA judges, the 88,549-square-foot facility meets an “amenity test” that’s well aligned with the trend of senior living centers becoming community focused, and the large atrium entrance space that’s flooded with natural light sets an inviting tone. The large, sun-lit gathering areas complete with shared kitchen spaces on each floor help residents build a community where they can visit with friends, family and neighbors, hold game nights, or cook a meal together.

“They [architectural designers] provide a nice balance between providing a community that feels like a home on one hand, but then also can be understood as a greater type of organization, one that brings people together,” says one judge. “That’s evident in their submission.”

Project credits

Location: 1936 Tennyson Lane, Madison WI 53704
Owner/Developer: Independent Living Inc.
Architect: Engberg Anderson Architects
Engineer: Kurt Strauss
Construction Firm: CG Schmidt Inc.
Photography: Ryan Hainey
Completion Date: October 2018



Goodman Community Center–Brassworks

Best New Development or Renovation–Mixed Use

When describing how much our CDA judges loved the Goodman Community Center– Brassworks project, no superlative seems to be too effusive. The 30,000- square-foot makeover of the nationally registered historic building, once the home of Madison Brass Works, checks off many adaptive-reuse boxes.

“I love buildings that represent layers of history, and this building was a great example of not demolishing an existing building but instead trying to take the most attractive elements of the building, the bones of the building, and bring new life into it,” raves one judge.

Toward that end, the removal of building remnants revealed the raw beauty of the structural bones, and they were incorporated into the design. Masonry walls built in 1918, segmental-arched trusses, and steel-framed roof monitors provided for daylit, open space. Historic brick walls were exposed, and the original roof structure preserved. Barrel vaulted arches in two large, multipurpose areas were reinforced to augment brightness.

One challenge was to work within the required setback and constraints of an oddly shaped, triangular parcel. The design honored and preserved the historic portion of the existing structure while integrating an addition to meet the space needs of the new center. As a result, there are a number of structural details where the old and new building components are woven together. For example, a brick wall displays the original 1918 construction, but an illuminated LED metal art piece prominently features the center’s logo.

Since the old building was located on a brownfield site, remediation was necessary to meet modern standards and provide a safe environment for the center’s community-building activities, which will include a larger food pantry. Rooftop mounted photovoltaic panels feed the electrical system, the Capital City Bike Path is within steps of the facility, and a green roof terrace adds to the building’s sustainable attractiveness. The exterior renovation was an architectural feat in itself, but the interior transformation is unbelievable, states another judge. “They have converted an uninhabitable space into an inviting, friendly, cool space for families in need.”

Project credits

Location: 214 Waubesa St., Madison, WI 53704
Owner/Developer: Goodman Community Center
General Contractor/Construction Firm: Vogel Bros. Building Co.
Interior Design Architect: Eppstein Uhen Architects
Engineers: Snyder & Assoc. (civil); Oneida Total Integrated Enterprises (structural); JDR Engineering (MEP); Ken Saiki Design (landscape)
Photography: C&N Photography
Completion Date: September 2018



Madison Metropolitan Sewerage Pump Station 15

Best Outdoor Landscaping Project

Madison Metropolitan Sewerage Pump Station 15 is, by definition, a humble building, and the main purpose of its recent upgrade — to replace 40-year-old pumps and prepare for future capacity — is pretty routine.

However, given its location at the bottom of a hill and close to Lake Mendota in a pedestrian-heavy area, the project’s landscaping took on added importance. So, in addition to the inclusion of amenities like a drinking fountain and an aquatic invasive species boat wash station, the combination of indigenous landscaping with community-focused amenities was paramount.

Special design features include limestone landscaping, indigenous plants, solar panels that provide nearly 10 percent of the station’s power needs, carefully sloped parking lot asphalt that directs storm runoff away from the lake, and a bio retention pond that catches water used at the boat-washing station.

In the view of one CDA judge, the landscaping element that most stood out was the blend of natural hard materials (stone) with well-manicured greenscape. “Nothing flashy, but it adds an appealing structure to what typically are seen as eyesores,” he notes. “It is a functional utility, yet the prairie design allows it to blend into the environment.”

Another judge called the design a fairly understated approach that successfully addresses “a lot of sustainability needs.” He lauded the way rainwater is captured, the way flood mitigation is addressed, and the way designers broke up the “hardscape” in a visually interesting way. “This is one of those smart projects that you wish could be part of the everyday fabric of our lives,” he says, “but unfortunately is all too rare.”

Another judge complimented architects for taking a humble building type and incorporating clever detailing. “The idea of celebrating an infrastructure building is really a credit to the architect,” he states. “There are some beautiful elements to this project.”

Project credits

Location: 2115 Allen Blvd., Madison, WI 53703
Owner/Developer: Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District
General Contractor: Miron Construction
Architect/Interior Design Architect: Potter Lawson Inc.
Engineer: Baxter & Woodman
Consultant: Saiki Design
Photography: Mike Rebholz
Completion Date: Spring 2018



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 is founding principal of SILO AR+D, an architecture, research, and design practice with national and international awards for design excellence. SILO also has been recognized as a “Next Progressive” by Architect magazine and an “Emerging Voice” by the Architectural League of New York. Marc is an assistant professor at the UNC Charlotte School of Architecture and taught in the University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture and Ohio State’s Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture.

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, Arizona and Spring Green, Wisconsin, and he teaches design in the Master of Real Estate Development program at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He hosted a television series on architecture and has served on national and international design juries.

Plan now to enter the 2020 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 2020 CDA presentation, for projects completed in 2019, is already underway.

Next year’s program will mark the CDAs’ 13th 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 a summary of the project’s notable features and community impact and for 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 of 2020 (date and location to be determined) and will be featured in the April 2020 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 2019 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 2019 edition of In Business magazine, which will feature a special report on the state of commercial construction and development in Greater Madison.

Panelists from Boardman & Clark law firm, C.D. Smith Construction, and Miron Construction will give their insight on a range of topics, including the “C&D” trends local business operators should pay particular attention to.

We’ll explore the following topics: how the use of technology in construction and business operations is helping firms deliver quality buildings on time and on budget; the impacts of the labor shortage, which is considered severe in all segments of the building trade, on training costs and scheduling; whether a truce in the world’s trade wars (lower tariffs) will reduce the growing cost of construction materials; and what’s new in the realm of green design and sustainable buildings.

In addition to technology such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) software and constantly evolving construction management systems, will commercial developers use drones for things like 3D mapping and safety inspections? There are a lot of moving parts in this industry, all of which impact our ability to afford the offices of the future. Our panelists will do their best to make sense of it all.

So, if a building project is in your future, be sure to check the May edition of In Business magazine for the answers to these questions.

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.