Author Archives: Magaly

Africa Creating More Sustainable Development and Building Design in Communities

Some would argue that the Greenbuild Conference is about motivation, more than education, and we were happy to see that the inspiration was coming from different parts of the world. While it is undeniable that the discussion about sustainable development and green building design should be a global one, one of the education sessions offered this year, LEED-ND and Sustainable Urban Development in Africa, provided valuable insights and tips for architects involved in international projects.

Two real-life examples were presented to describe the challenges and opportunities to use LEED for neighborhood development in international projects: Ville Verte Mohammmed VI, an urban and environmental concept for the expansion of Ben Guérir in Morocco, and Menlyn Maine, a mixed-use development in the suburbs of Pretoria, South Africa. These projects were also a good illustration of the need for a customization of the tools (unit conversion tools and regional priority credits) in regions usually characterized by a weaker regulatory environment. The other key takeaway of the discussion was the importance of a third party to certify exemplary development projects. We loved to see the commitment of these pioneering project teams and encourage all the architects dedicated to make this world a better one!

Menlyn Maine, a 135 000m² area created for people to work, play and live within walkable distances thus creating a new city node away from the centre of Pretoria, South Africa.

Image: Menlyn Maine

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Looking for Excellence Across the Globe at AZ Awards 2012

Another international recognition for Shaw Contract Group who was one of the 60 finalists selected over the 600 entries to the Azure Magazine AZ Awards. For the second time, the Canadian magazine organized an annual contest celebrating innovation in design and architecture, with projects and products from all over the world (see the complete list of finalists here). During a dazzling gala organized at the Thompson Hotel in Toronto, the guests of the ceremony discovered with awe and reverence the selective list of talented  designers and architects. Shaw Contract Group captured the attention of the jurors with the Cradle to Cradle product, On the Edge, a 18×36 tile carpet that invites designers to personalize styles and to explore the tiles’ way finding and space delineating functions.

Other groundbreaking projects caught our attention because of their associated values with our company: social change, environmental protection or provocative architecture. Among those was the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto, South Africa. The space was designed by the architect firm RUFproject (Vancouver) and named the winner of the best commercial building award. The 1,300 square meter building offers a new safe environment for the young athletes, but also aims to motivate them with large windows, inspirational messages and iconic images. This project is a fantastic example of architectural excellence as recognized by Imola Bérczi, one of the AZ Awards jurors.

“Everything about this project is impressive. It has found a perfect balance between function, design and the use of local materials and resources,” says Bérczi. 

Shaw Contract Group was proud to be associated with an event that already became a new benchmark for the industry. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners!

Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto, South Africa. Designed by RUFproject.

Photos: Azure

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