2017 Winner + Finalists!

Metals in Construction Magazine and a Jury of Architects and Engineers Announce the Recipient of $15k in Prize Money for Design That Reduces Energy Consumption in the Built Environment by Minimizing a Building’s Embodied Energy.

Metals in Construction magazine has and a jury of architects and engineers has announced the winner of its 2017 Design Challenge, a competition for architects, engineers, students, designers, and others from around the world to submit their vision for combatting global warming by reducing the embodied energy in their design for a high-rise building.

The winning entry, named Orbit Tower, is the work of a team comprised of architects and engineers from ODA Architecture and Werner Sobek New York:

Orbit Tower Team

Orbit Tower. Click image to view full design submission.

Mark Bearak, Designer, ODA Architecture
Heidi Theunissen, Designer, ODA Architecture
Sonia Huang, Designer, ODA Architecture
Nofar Ashuri, Designer, ODA Architecture
Juan Roque-Urrutia, Director of Communications, ODA Architecture
Bernhard Stocker, Project Director, ODA Architecture
Eran Chen, Founder and Executive Director, ODA Architecture
Enrica Oliva, Director of Structures, Werner Sobek New York
Michele Andaloro, Specialty Structures Engineer, Werner Sobek New York

The grand prize of $15,000 was awarded to the Orbit Tower team at a half-day conference at the TimesCenter in New York City on February 24, 2017. The jury also recognized five runner-up teams for their competition entries:

Emboss Tower Team

Emboss Tower. Click image to view full design submission.

University at Buffalo, The State University of New York: 
Jin Young Song, AIA, LEED (Assistant Professor, Dept. of Architecture | Project Architect)
Donghun Lee (PhD Candidate, Dept. of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering | Structural Engineer) 

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP: 
Chung Yeon Won, AIA, LEED (Associate Director | Technical Designer)
Bonghwan Kim, PE, AIA, LEED (Associate Director | Structural Engineer)
Keojin Jin (Designer)

James Erickson, PhD, MSc (AA Dist.) Assoc. AIA, LEED (​Arizona State Univ. | Environmental Designer)

In-Fill-In Team

In-Fill-In. Click image to view full design submission.

Dimitrios Vitalis, Façade
Duc Ngo, Architecture
Vicente Plaza González, Structure
(Students of M.Sc. Building Technology, TU Delft)

The Peregrines Team

The Peregrines. Click image to view full design submission.

Jason Vollen – AECOM – High Performance Buildings
Ross Wimer – AECOM – Design
Rob Rothblatt – AECOM – Design
Xiaofei Shen – AECOM – High Performance Buildings
Aman Singhvi – AECOM – High Performance Buildings
Annabell Ren – AECOM – Design
Geoffrey Lynch – AECOM – Architecture
Mostafa Elmorsi – AECOM – Structural Engineering
Ungelli Picardal – AECOM – Structural Engineering
Alastair Macgregor – AECOM – High Performance Buildings
Victoria Watson – AECOM – High Performance Buildings
Amy Canova – AECOM – Sustainability

Structural eXterior Enclosure Team

Structural Exterior Enclosure. Click image to view full design submission.

John Neary, Senior Façade Specialist
Simon Shim, Senior Structural Engineer
Apoorv Goyal, Sustainable Design Specialist
Zhenhuan Xu, Design Professional
Zifan Liu, Design Professional
Michael Miller, Design Professional
Harsha Sharma, Design Professional
Mark Hendel, Senior Structural Engineer
Varun Kohli, Sustainable Design Leader
Matt Breidenthal, Regional Leader of Engineering
Nathan Hoofnagle, Architect

XO Skeleton Team

XO Skeleton. Click image to view full design submission.

EYP Architecture & Engineering
Jason Olsen AIA – Lead Designer, Principal
Rebecca Frink, Architecture
Tanner Halkyard, Architecture
Ivan O’Garro, Architecture
James Newman, PE – High Performance Design Team Leader
Eduardo Castro PE, Technical Director – Structural Engineering
Daniel Olsted PE, Senior Structural Engineer, Principal
Mark Kanonik PE, Senior Structural Engineer
Cody Messier PE, Structural Engineer

Phillip Sutter, Structural Engineer


This year’s panel of five jurors came from architecture and engineering fields and include some of the best known experts in sustainable design: Lise Anne Couture of Asymptote Architecture; Michael D. Flynn, FAIA, of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners; Hauke Jungjohann of Thornton Tomasetti; Craig Schwitter, PE, of BuroHappold Engineering; and Marc Simmons, BArch, BES, of Front Inc. Patrice Derrington, PhD, of Columbia GSAPP and CURE, moderated the jury’s deliberations. The jury sought to award designs that met the mandate to fully integrate the building’s skin and structural systems to provide not only environmental protection but also resistance to wind and seismic forces. Entries were judged on the amount of embodied energy reduced in the form of building mass, as well as on the overall performance of the integrated systems.

“The competition was conceived to highlight the importance of addressing embodied energy in creating sustainable enclosures,” says Gary Higbee, AIA, director of industry development for the Steel Institute of New York and editor of Metals in Construction magazine. “Studies show that the amount of CO2 emissions embodied in producing construction materials accounts for more than 50 percent of the energy consumed during a building’s lifetime. The goal of the design challenge is to explore possibilities for reducing building mass, and therefore embodied energy, by employing a hybrid frame and skin structure.”

The competition was inspired by President’s Climate Action Plan and the Architecture 2030 Challenge. Meeting the aggressive goals for energy reduction established by these programs will require innovation in building design on a widespread scale. With this in mind, architects commissioned to design sustainable buildings must remember that the more highly energy efficient building operation becomes, the greater the percentage that embodied emissions account for in the building’s overall energy consumption.

The winner and five competition finalists will be published in Metals in Construction magazine and its digital platforms. The competition is sponsored by the Steel Institute of New York.

About Metals in Construction magazine

Metals in Construction magazine showcases noteworthy projects that feature innovative use of structural steel and architectural metal in New York City’s five boroughs and adjacent Nassau, Suffolk, and, Westchester counties. To see recent issues of the magazine, visit www.siny.org/publications.

About the Steel Institute of New York

The Steel Institute of New York is a not-for-profit association created to advance the interests of the steel construction industry. The Institute sponsors programs to help architects, engineers, developers, and construction managers in the New York building community develop engineering solutions using structural steel construction. www.siny.org

For more information contact Gary Higbee, AIA, editor of Metals in Construction magazine at info@metalsinconstruction.org.