Green awards given to best in sustainable building

Friday, November 9, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 45
By Hollie Deese

To learn more about the Middle Tennessee chapter of the USGBC, visit Check the website for updates about how to nominate people and projects for next year’s Green Star Awards.


As local architects, designers and builders increasingly move to sustainable building practices as a matter of standard, there continue to be leaders in standout energy-saving innovation.

The best of the best were given their due recently at the sixth annual Green Star Awards, presented by Waste Management.

“The goal is to celebrate the best in green building in Middle Tennessee,” says Megan McInnis, executive director of the Middle Tennessee chapter of the US Green Building Council. “That includes either the design or construction of the project, and it includes residential and commercial. To create a sustainable community, it often begins with just one building.”

This year the categories were narrowed from previous years to two: The best in residential and the best in commercial.

The residential winner was Little House Nashville, represented by Green Home. Little House is a 1920’s servants’ quarters and garage that is only 750 square feet, LEED platinum certified and available for short-term rental.

The commercial winner was the NABRICO building on the east bank of the Cumberland, represented by Hastings Architecture. One innovation is the vertical circulation system between the bridge deck and the east riverbank.

This year’s entrants were judged by a panel from the Vermont chapter of the USGBC. Past winners include Vanderbilt Health at 100 Oaks, represented by Gresham Smith and Partners; Founders Hall, represented by Street Dixon Rick Architecture; Upper Cumberland Regional Health Facility, represented by Thomas Miller & Partners; and, Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity for Corporate Contribution.

Not all winners have LEED certification, created by USGBC and becoming more common in new construction. “It just has to be a green building,” McInnis says.

LEED is a voluntary third-party verification of green buildings and addresses the entire lifecycle of a building and provides building owners the tools they need to immediately impact their building’s performance and bottom line, while providing healthy indoor spaces for a building’s occupants.

“I think that the initial introduction of green building has passed, and each year there are more people to nominate,” McInnis says. “We are making great progress in green building in Nashville, in all areas of Nashville, and it is growing regularly and consistently. It is not something that was a fad. This is something that is here to stay.”