The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently honored innovative green building design ideas that reduce the environmental and energy impacts of buildings, according to a recent EPA press release. These concepts aim to help architects and builders reduce more than 88 million tons of building-related construction and demolition debris sent to U.S. landfills each year and the climate impacts of buildings and building materials.

The EPA awards recognize student and professional designs for buildings and building projects, as well as special categories, including the creation of green jobs.

“These cutting edge designs are part of a new innovative trend in environmental protection,” said Jeff Scott, the EPA’s Waste Management Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Lifecycle building strategies will help all of us get the most possible out of our natural resources and ultimately save money."

The EPA, along with its partners, the American Institute of Architects, West Coast Green, the Collaborative for High Performance Schools, and stopwaste.org, invited professionals and students nationwide to submit designs and ideas that support cost-effective disassembly and anticipate future use of building materials. The competition was open to architects, reuse experts, engineers, designers, planners, contractors, builders, educators, environmental advocates and students. This year, the competition was extended to include international participants who hailed from Singapore, Taiwan, Argentina, Columbia, France, Egypt and the United Kingdom.

The winning designs were recently featured at a poster session at West Coast Green, the largest conference on green innovation for the built environment.

Pacific Southwest winners:

Professional Product Winner
Modular Temporary Construction Wall/Barricade
Douglas Spear and Aaron Barnes, ENVY Modular Wall Systems LLC, Las Vegas, NV
This modular temporary construction wall system consists of panels and extruded joining parts that are recyclable, reusable and can be recycled into new products with zero waste. It replaces wall systems that are used for a short period of time (1-18 months) and often end up in a landfill. Replacing conventional materials used to create temporary walls saves approximately 1 ton of material from the landfill per 70 linear feet of standard height wall. The modular temporary construction wall system is being used in the MGM Mirage City Center Project in Las Vegas, where it will conserve over 100 tons of construction debris.

Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Green Job Creation
ReAnimateLA: Center for Ecological & Urban Recovery
Hayley Stewart, Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, Calif.
ReAnimate LA would create up to 100 green jobs maintaining the sustainable elements of the building, such as the extraction and reuse of salvaged materials in construction, photovoltaic and ground-source heat pump systems, and bioremediation planting. ReAnimate LA speaks to the changing public values on environmental policy and the urban networks that are essential in bringing back value to a localized, organic way of life in the American city.

Student Building Honorable Mention
Political Ply - An Arid Zone Shade Structure
Jason Griffiths, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
Political Ply explores methods of re-purposing existing political campaign signs to form a temporary arid-zone shade structure. The structure is composed of hexagons and each cell has a self contained cooling structure. The project is designed for disassembly, and each hexagonal cell is tapered to allow cells to stack together for convenient transportation.

More information on the winners and to view the gallery: http://www.lifecyclebuilding.org

More information on Green Building in general: http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding