GBI Ties First Awards to Earth Day 2020

May 6, 2020
Aiming to inspire, the Green Building Initiative awarded its first annual Green Globes. Winners include HPAC sustainability guru Larry Clark!

Portland, OR - April 22, 2020 | The Green Building Initiative (GBI) is pleased to announce the University of Arizona Biological Sciences Research Laboratory as the winner of the 2019 Green Globes® Project of the Year today, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

The laboratory on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson received a Three Green Globes rating under the Green Globes for New Construction program in February 2019.

“We are thrilled to recognize the University of Arizona Biological Sciences Research Laboratory as GBI’s 2019 Green Globes Project of the Year,” said Vicki Worden, GBI President & CEO. “The adaptability of the Green Globes assessment and certification system works extremely well for complex buildings, like the laboratory. The University laboratory scored 633.5 out of 843 applicable points and was recognized in particular for achievements in energy and water efficiency as well as waste diversion.”   

 The Green Globes Project of the Year Award recognizes sustainability champions pushing the boundaries in green building. The award-winning, cast-in-place research laboratory building provides a state-of-the-art space that is housed in an energy efficient, occupant-friendly structure that was designed for a 100-year lifetime. The project team evaluated and integrated sustainability measures into all aspects of the project through a holistic approach which greatly impacts the overall facility footprint.

Laboratories are notorious consumers of natural resources; however, this project demonstrates a new model that is functional and promotes the highest levels of sustainability. During construction, the project team achieved nearly 80% waste diversion from landfills in a typically waste intensive industry. Notable energy and water reduction methods were implemented to respond to the geographical location and climate zone of the building as well.   

The University of Arizona Biological Sciences Research Laboratory features an open plan, from elevation to elevation with floor-to-ceiling interior glazing at offices and labs to allow light throughout the floor plates. Lighting consists of high-performance LEDs and is controlled by daylight levels. Informal common spaces were constructed throughout the building to provide space for dining, meeting, and studying. The building fills out a dense quadrant of the University of Arizona campus and features abundant xeriscape and native landscaping, as well as permeable pavement, that provides an inviting outdoor space for students, faculty, and visitors.

GBI decided to celebrate Earth Day 2020 by announcing the 2019 Green Globes Project of the year to formally recognize an innovative project to serve as an example to others.

“The University of Arizona is very honored to receive this recognition of the building and its sustainable mission from the Green Building Initiative and appreciated the clarity and legibility of their process.” said Debra Johnson, Design Director at The University of Arizona Planning Design + Construction.

GBI named Loreto Palacio Apartments as the Project of the Year 2019 Runner Up. The contemporary multifamily complex in Las Vegas earned a Three Green Globes rating under the Green Globes for Existing Buildings Program. Picerne, Loreto Palacio’s project management company, worked with GRN Vision to embrace policy changes and sustainability improvement to yield considerable results, including energy load reductions from high-efficiency lighting and use of common area occupancy sensors the implementation of a sustainable purchasing program and waste stream audit to generate interest and participation of tenants and staff.

“Picerne now has a template and recommendations they can use to make improvements throughout their portfolio” says Dave Ray, principal at GRN Vision. GBI’s Green Globes Project of the Year is a new recognition opportunity initiated for Earth Day 2020 that will be carried forward in subsequent years.

GBI congratulates all Green Globes certified buildings and appreciates projects submitted for the inaugural Green Globes Project of the Year Award.   


University of Arizona Biological Sciences Research Laboratory, Tucson, AZ

Green Globes for New Construction: Three Green Globes

Project Team:

  • ZGF Architects, Design Architect and Architect of Record;
  • BWS Architects, Local Architect;
  • Affiliated Engineers, Inc., Mechanical, Electrical Plumbing Engineering;
  • Atelier Ten, Sustainability + Energy Modeling; 
  • Martin White Griffis, Structural Engineering
  • EEC, Inc., Civil Engineering;
  • Wheat Design Group, Landscape Architecture.


Loreto Palacio Apartments,  Las Vegas, NV

Green Globes for Existing Buildings: Three Green Globes

Project Team:

  • Michelle Phetmyxay, Location Manager, Picerne;
  • Krisanne Beckstead, District/Regional Manager; Picerne;
  • Dave Ray, Principal, GRN Vision;
  • Christine Bojda, Associate, GRN Vision.


Doral Glades Park Nature Center, Doral, FL

Green Globes for New Construction: Two Green Globes

Project Team:

  • Barbie Hernandez, Director, Parks and Recreation, City of Doral;
  • Lazaro Quintero, Assistant Director, Parks and Recreation, City of Doral;
  • Chris Zimmerman, President, CPZ Architects;
  • Christian Pena, Project Architect, CPZ Architects;
  • Eric Hynes, Project Manager, Pirtle Construction;
  • Lawrence Clark, Principal, Sustainable Performance Solutions;
  • Annie Rule, Project Administrator, Sustainable Performance Solutions.   


University of the Sciences Residence Hall, Philadelphia, PA

Green Globes for New Construction: Two Green Globes

Project Team:

  • Architecture: Design Collective;
  • Contractor: Clemens Construction Company, Inc.;
  • Civil: Langan Landscape: Design Collective;
  • Structural: The Harman Group;
  • MEP: BALA Consulting Engineers;
  • Interiors: Design Collective;
  • Sustainability: The Sheward Partnership;
  • IT, AV: Convergent Technologies Design Group;
  • Lighting Design: The Lighting Practice;
  • Code: Jensen Hughes;
  • Environmental Graphics & Signage: Design Collective;
  • Photography: Tom Holdsworth.

For more details, visit GBI's Project of the Year page here

About GBI

GBI is a nonprofit organization and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Developer dedicated to accelerating the adoption of green building best practices. Founded in 2004, the organization is the global provider of the Green Globes® and federal Guiding Principles Compliance building certification and assessment programs.

To learn more about opportunities to become involved with GBI, contact [email protected] or visit the GBI website at