LTU architecture students sweep local U.S. Green Building Council awards

SOUTHFIELD—Students from the College of Architecture and Design at Lawrence Technological University swept first, second, and third places, and took an honorable mention as well, in the United States Green Building Council Detroit Region’s third annual Student Design Competition for the 2021-22 school year.

The aim of the competition is to encourage Michigan students to become familiar with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system. Entrants had to be enrolled in a Michigan-accredited architecture or interior design college or university during the academic school year. The winning projects were announced in August and celebrated at the sixth annual Sustainable Detroit Forum Sept. 28, a daylong celebration of, and best-practices sharing in, sustainability in design and construction. Detroit native Jalonne White-Newsome, senior director for environmental justice at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, was the keynote speaker.

The competition focused on three project types incorporating the LEED v4 rating system for Building Design and Construction (BD+C), LEED for Homes and Multi-Family Midrise) or LEED for Interior Design and Construction (ID+C) as the criteria. Winning entries receive a cash prize and a one-year Student Membership to the USGBC Detroit Region Community.

The competition recognizes exceptional design moving towards resource conservation through creative and innovative integration of strategies such as daylighting, passive heating and cooling, materials, water, energy generation, and other sustainable systems. The winning entries demonstrated particular emphasis on understanding LEED criteria and how the integrative process of LEED enhances the design, planning, and engineering of the built environment.

First place went to Peter Arton, second place to Dan Kagan, and third place to Courteney Gazdik, all LTU architecture students. All three presented concepts and designs for a mixed-use housing development with ground-floor retail space and mixed-income residential space on the upper floors, designed for a Detroit site along the Dequindre Cut. LTU faculty advisers were Daniel Faoro, associate professor of architecture, and Kurt Neiswender, LTU architecture adjunct faculty. Arton’s winning entry appears below.

An honorable mention award went to LTU student Allyza Danica Valino, for a design for a new food distribution and urban agriculture building at Detroit’s Eastern Market. Her advisers were also Faoro and Neiswender, along with LTU adjunct architecture professors Eric Ward and Faris Habba.

In the photo above are LTU architecture students (left) Dan Kagan, Peter Arton, Alyzza Danica-Valino, and USGBC Detroit Competition organizer and LTU alumna Laura Long, right.

Lawrence Technological University is one of only 13 private, technological, doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. The Wall Street Journal ranks LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, theory and practice education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.


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