Little Rock Conference, Awards Honor Green Builders

The U.S. Green Building Council is honoring Arkansas companies this week with awards for energy efficiency and environmental design, including the annual Arkansas Green Tie Awards.

The 14th annual Sustainable Arkansas Conference, sponsored by USGBC Arkansas, is Wednesday and Thursday at the Clinton Presidential Center, itself a structure certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and the Cromwell Architects Engineers Mixing Room, both in Little Rock.

LEED is one of the world’s leading green building certification organizations.

The Arkansas Advanced Energy Association, an efficiency and sustainable energy trade group led by Katie Laning Niebaum, will receive the Organization of the Year recognition Thursday evening at the Green Tie Awards presentation and dinner at the presidential library. The Impact Award will go to Modus Studio of Fayetteville, and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality will take the Legacy LEED Project prize. Hunt Tower of Rogers will be named Innovation LEED Project Northwest, while the Ben E. Keith building in North Little Rock will be named Innovative LEED Project Central.

The LEED Residential Project of the Year is the Owens residence on North Pierce Street in Little Rock, a project of by River Rock Builders of Little Rock. Keith Wingfield, River Rock’s CEO, showed off the home to Arkansas Business in April. Bill Ball’s Stellar Sun Natural Environments Inc. provided a $30,000, 11.7-kilowatt solar array.

John Coleman of Entegrity in Fayetteville will take the JR Anderson Volunteer Leadership Award. Entegrity’s Little Rock headquarters on Sixth Street is another LEED showcase, with solar energy powering all building operations.

“This building shows that we practice what we preach,” Entegrity partner Matt Bell said in an early-spring interview. “This is one of the only net-zero buildings in the state.”

The conference will spotlight the Clinton Center’s upcoming sustainability exhibit, including signs pointing out sustainable aspects of the building, information about sustainability efforts pushed by the Clinton administration, and a sustainably built “tiny home.” The sustainability conference, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at Cromwell Architects at 1300 East Sixth St., will also include guided tours of some of Arkansas’ greenest buildings.

More information is available here.