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Gerding Edlen, Russell, Unico Honored for Sustainable Buildings with BetterBricks Awards

Boise Idaho, Portland Oregon, and the Puget Sound area each saluted the winners of the 2006 BetterBricks Awards last month. Rather than granting awards to projects, the BetterBricks Awards recognize the people behind each region's high-performance commercial buildings, with a special emphasis on energy efficiency.

This year all three regions have a BetterBricks Award category for Owners/Decision Makers, for which the winners are listed below. Other categories for the 2006 awards include Designer, Advocate, Service Provider and Facility Operator/Manager. All of the winners are listed on the BetterBricks Web site, along with photos of their projects and comments from the judges.


The third annual Idaho awards were presented before a crowd of 100 people in conjunction with the Idaho Energy Conference. Joe Van Belleghem, partner at Vancouver, B.C.-based Windmill Development, was the keynote speaker.

Owner/Decision Maker winners: Velma Morrison & Ron Shannon

These co-owners are renovating the three-story, 50,000-square-foot Falcon Building. The advanced building techniques and features may get the building a Gold rating under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system. It would be Boise’s third LEED-certified building project.

BetterBricks runs an announcement of each year's winners in the local business newspaper. This region's insert ran in Idaho Business Review. (PDF)

In 2005 the winner in the Developer category was Gary Christensen of Christensen Corporation.


An audience of 250 attended the fourth annual Portland and Southwestern Washington awards event at the Benson Hotel. Scott Muldavin, Executive Director of the Bay area's Green Building Finance Consortium was keynote speaker at both the Portland and Puget Sound events. His presentation entitled “Putting a Dollar on Green Buildings” explained the decision-making process of those responsible for financing green buildings.

This region's announcement ran in Portland Business Journal. (PDF)

Owner/Decision Maker co-winners: John Russell, President, Russell Development Company, and Bob Gerding, Founder, Gerding Edlen Development.

Gerding Edlen is responsible for the Pacific Gas Transmission Building at Riverplace, Wieden + Kennedy’s World Headquarters, the Brewery Blocks and the Armory.

Russell Development owns 200 Market Street, Columbia Square, and Pacwest Center.


The second annual BetterBricks Awards event in Puget Sound drew 160 people to Seattle's Bell Harbor Conference Center.

Owner/Decision Maker Winner: Dale Sperling, President and CEO of Unico Properties.

Unico manages the Cobb Building, all of the major buildings on the University of Washington’s Metropolitan Tract, and the Rainier Tower. Sperling is a board member of the Woodland Park Zoo, where the long-range plan for sustainable construction was developed by Jones & Jones Architects.

The regional insert ran in Puget Sound Business Journal. (PDF)

In 2005 the winner in the Developer category was Ada Healey of Vulcan, Inc.


BetterBricks is the commercial initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, which is supported by local electric utilities. BetterBricks is an advocate of change in energy-related business practices in Northwest buildings.