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The $22 million engineering testing facility received a 2021 Honor Award for Excellence in Design.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Alabama chapter awarded one of its highest honors to the Auburn University Advanced Structural Engineering Laboratory during its annual conference and awards ceremony on October 16, 2021 at The Lodge at Gulf State Park. The 2021 Excellence in Design Awards recognize the year’s most outstanding projects by architect members throughout the state. Auburn University’s state-of-the-art engineering lab was one of three projects selected to receive the Honor Award for exemplary design.

WATERSHED served as the project’s Sustainability Consultant, helping the facility achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, and significantly reduce energy and water use. Energy costs are designed to be reduced by an estimated $10,000 a year, and approximately 26,000 gallons of water will be saved annually by rainwater recycling and water conserving plumbing fixtures.

The building not only tests structural systems, it demonstrates mass timber, a strong, low-carbon alternative to concrete and steel that is comprised of multiple solid wood panels nailed or glued together that provide exceptional strength and stability. Mass timber is constructed in a way that meets the code for fire safety and heavily reduces carbon emissions produced by the building sector. The exposed wood panels also add biophilic principles to the design which give aesthetic appeal and foster a deeper connection to nature.

We are proud to be a part of this great team. Chambless King designed a beautiful building, and the landscape, civil design, and building systems all work together to optimize performance and reduce environmental impacts.

Congratulations to the entire team!

  • Auburn University & AU Samuel Ginn College of Engineering
  • Chambless King Architects
  • Rabren General Contractors
  • HILLWORKS: landscape + design
  • LBYD, Inc.
  • Hattemer Hornsby & Bailey, P.C.
  • Stewart Engineering
  • Mills Conoly Engineering, P.C
  • Williamson & Associates, Inc.

“I commend Auburn for their commitment to sustainability on many fronts - their many LEED certified buildings, recognition as a Green Campus and a Bike Friendly Campus, and their notable achievement of a STARS SILVER rating for sustainable Academics, Engagement, Operations, and Planning from the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Auburn’s leadership is impressive." Rebecca Dunn Bryant

Rebecca Dunn BryantProject Sustainability Consultant