The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) recently honored three Sasaki projects, Xuhui Runway Park, the Harvard ArtLab, and Chongli Taizicheng Resort at events in Massachusetts and China. USGBC honors sustainable design initiatives and celebrates innovative projects that improve the built environment.
At the 2019 Green Building Showcase, the United States Green Building Council Massachusetts Chapter (USGBC MA) awarded Xuhui Runway Park the 2019 Green Building Market Leader Award. Previously a runway for Longhua Airport, the multi-use park puts conceptual design into practice: the space now serves as a runway for contemporary life.
In Shanghai, at the 2019 GreenBuild China Conference, Xuhui Runway Park was recognized by USGBC as the first SITES Gold-certification in mainland China.
“People will take off from this new runway to a better life tomorrow,” says Dou Zhang, ASLA, PLA, LEED AP BD+C, SITES AP, director of Sasaki’s Shanghai Office. “We’re honored to have received this recognition from USGBC.”
The Chongli Taizicheng Resort received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Cities platinum-level pre-certification, and is expected to be officially certified in 2020. The Chongli Taizicheng Resort is the first cultural tourism project in the world to receive LEED for Cities platinum pre-certification in the planning and design category.
After the awards ceremony in Shanghai, Zhang expanded on Sasaki's work on Xuhai Runway Park in her presentation, “The Runway to Future: The First SITES-certification Project in Mainland China," explaining how rapid urban renewal in China provided an unprecedented opportunity to promote SITES certification. She also guided the audience on how to achieve the prerequisites of SITES V2 by adhering to proper design and construction methods.
Back in Massachusetts, The Harvard ArtLab was shortlisted as one of three nominees for USGBC MA’s Green Building of the Year. The ArtLab provides cross-curriculum arts space on Harvard’s Allston Campus, and was completed in 2019 with Barkow and Leibinger acting as architect and Sasaki as architect of record. The building is all-electric; no fossil fuels are supplied to the building, and energy is produced on-site through a solar array.
“Sasaki is honored to be short-listed for this award in our home state, and to be included in a community of architects, engineers, and clients so deeply committed to design that moves us all towards a net-zero future,” says Sasaki principal Lan Ying Ip, AIA.
Sasaki’s director of sustainability, Tamar Warburg, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, was also in attendance of the 2019 Green Building Showcase. "It was inspiring to celebrate the range of Sasaki's sustainability practice: from transforming an airport runway into an urban park, to designing a WELL workspace, and designing an art center to generate all its own energy—we highly value this recognition by our peers,” says Warburg.