This year marks the 35th Anniversary of the Environmental Excellence Awards. In recognizing contributions to the physical environment of our local communities, award winners deserve to be noticed in their accomplishments. Seventeen first-place Crescordia awards (from the Greek “to grow in harmony”) were given as well as 31 Awards of Merit. This year, the awards were opened to all of Arizona, rather than only Maricopa county, for the first time; we are highlighting some of those greater-Arizona winners here. Tucson’s Sun Link Streetcar was awarded as the Best of Show project, a provider of clean and comfortable travel, connecting five of Tucson’s most unique districts along a 4-mile line with 23 stops along the way.
For the category of Historic Preservation, University of Arizona’s Rodney Mackey was given the Crescordia award for the restoration of the Old Main building. As the oldest LEED certified building in Arizona, Old Main is a model for sustainable historical preservation. After the building was renovated, systems reduced energy use by 24 percent. Modern construction brings the building into the 21st Century while expert craftsmanship revitalizes the building’s turn of the century aesthetic. The life of this local landmark and campus icon has been extended for many years.
For the category of Energy and Technology Innovation, the Crescordia winner comes from Flagstaff. Northern Arizona University installed the first known multi-panel solar thermal hot air system in the country as a commitment to decreasing fossil fuel consumption. The project also has humanitarian aspirations; it seeks to assist heat insecure communities such as the 18,000 off-grid Native American homes in Northern Arizona.
Congratulations are offered to all EEA participants and winners. A new bar has been set for sustainable projects to come.