Sustainable & Environmentally-Friendly Copper Projects Dominate Architectural Awards Program

May 14, 2015


The North American Copper in Architecture (NACIA) Awards program recognizes excellence in the use of copper in building design projects

NEW YORK, NY— It’s a tale of two buildings when it comes to the Laurel and Oak Hall academic centers at the University of Connecticut, Storrs Campus.  Joined together by copper and brick, the two halls are unified into a memorable landscape space for students. Today, the seamless architectural application and style of these two new buildings earned them a spot as one of the top 12 building projects receiving a 2015 North American Copper in Architecture Award (NACIA).

The NACIA Awards program recognizes and promotes North American building projects for their outstanding use of architectural copper and copper alloys. In its eighth year, the awards program continues to see a growing number of submissions, inspiring the first-ever North American Copper in Architecture Awards Ceremony, to be held in Atlanta, Georgia at the Fuse Arts Center on May 14.

“Every year, we’re impressed by the number of quality award submissions that we receive for the program,” said Stephen Knapp, of CDA. “We couldn’t be more pleased to see how many of these projects exemplify not only the sustainability and durability of copper, but the incredible diversity in the world of architecture.”

Another winning project, the NYC Public School 39K – The Landmark School, is one such example of the diversity of copper use within architecture. Founded in 1877, this 138-year-old building in Park Slope, Brooklyn, is one of the nation’s oldest schools continuing to serve its original function. The building’s historic cornice was replaced with ornamental-formed copper because of the cost-effectiveness and natural malleability of copper.

The NACIA award recipients this year also include several museums and statehouses, such as the Kansas Statehouse Inner Dome Copper Restoration project. Standing at 306 feet in downtown Topeka, Kansas, the statehouse is a prominent feature of the downtown skyline, standing 17 feet taller than the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. During the restoration project, great care was taken to protect the existing copper that intricately lines the inner dome during the process of stripping, cleaning, tinting and testing.

Sustainable and environmentally-friendly designs were also a common theme among this year’s award winners. In fact, three of the 12 winners utilized environmental, sustainable and energy-saving standards in the development of their projects. The New School – University Center, located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 14th Street in New York City, is a prime example. Standing 16-stories, the building is covered by muntz metal—a brass-like blend of copper and zinc—which provides a thermal envelope that maximizes daylight while minimizing heat gain.

Established in 2008, the NACIA awards program is sponsored by industry representatives at the Copper Development Association (CDA) and the Canadian Copper & Brass Development Association (CCBDA). Projects are selected across three different categories: New Construction, Renovation/Restoration and Ornamental Applications.  This year’s recipients include:

New Construction

Dumbarton Oaks Fellowship House – Washington, D.C.
Application: Roofing, exterior ornamental
Architect: Cunningham | Quill Architects, PLLC
Sheet Metal Contractor: Tecta America East, LLC
General Contractor: Whiting Turner Contracting Company

Harvard University Tozzer Library – Cambridge Massachusetts
Application: Roofing, exterior ornamental
Architect: Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Ltd.
Sheet Metal Contractor: Gilbert & Becker Co., Inc.
General Contractor: Consigli Construction Co., Inc.

Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas – Irving, Texas
Application: Wall cladding
Architect: Studio Hillier
Sheet Metal Contractor: A. Zahner Company

Laurel and Oak Halls, Social Sciences and Classroom – Storrs, Connecticut
Application: Wall cladding
Architect: Leers Weinzapfel Associates
Copper-siding Installer: Crocker Architectural Sheet Metal Co. Inc.
General Contractor: Skanska USA Building
Green Roof Installer: Greenwood Industries

Massachusetts General Hospital Paul S. Russell, MD – Boston, Massachusetts
Application: Wall cladding
Architect: Leers Weinzapfel Associates
Sheet Metal Contractor: John F. Shea Company
General Contractor: Turner Construction Company

Orchard Willow Residence – Chicago, Illinois
Application: Wall cladding
Architect: Wheeler Kearns Architects
Sheet Metal Contractor: Tuschall Engineering
General Contractor: Norcon, Inc.
Structural Engineering: Enspect Engineering
Landscape Architecture: McKay Landscape Architects

Private Residence – Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
Application: Roofing, exterior ornamental
Architect: McLaughlin & Associates
Sheet Metal Contractor: CopperWorks Corporation
General Contractor: H.E. Ashley Contracting Co., Inc.

University Center – New School – New York, New York
Application: Wall cladding
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Consulting Architect: SLCE Architects, LLP
Sheet Metal Contractor: Gamma
General Contractor: Tischman Construction
Owner: The New School
Metal Finishing: Soheil Mosun Ltd.


NYC Public School 39K – The Landmark School – Brooklyn, New York
Application: Historic restoration and roof cornice replacement
Architect: Ivan Brice Architecture
Sheet Metal Contractor: Gotham Metalworks

Maine Statehouse Dome Restoration – Augusta, Maine
Application: Roof and dome restoration
Architect: LEO A DALY
Sheet Metal Contractor: The Heritage Co.
General Contractor: Consigli Construction Co., Inc.
Roofing Consultant: Independent Roofing Services

Museum of Comparative Zoology – Cambridge, Massachusetts
Application: Roofing and exterior restoration
Architect: Perry and Radford Architects
Sheet Metal Contractor: Gilbert & Becker Co., Inc.
General Contractor: Consigli Construction Co., Inc.

Ornamental Application

Kansas Statehouse Inner Dome Copper Restoration – Topeka, Kansas
Application: Dome restoration
Architect: Treanor Architects
Sheet Metal Contractor: Stuart Dean
General Contractor: JE Dunn Construction Company

The building projects were judged by a panel of architectural and copper industry experts. Entries were evaluated based upon overall building design, integration of copper, craft of copper installation and excellence in innovation or historic restoration. To view each project, including photos and profiles, visit 2015 NAICA section.