Announcements December 8, 2023

Western Washington University’s Kaiser Borsari Hall Wins 2023 Holcim Award for Sustainable Design Excellence

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction has announced the winners of its International Holcim Awards for 2023, highlighting the broad array of innovative approaches to transforming the built environment.

Our design for Western Washington University’s Kaiser Borsari Hall is the Bronze Award recipient for the North American Region in the 2023 International Holcim Awards. The project is one of only two buildings in the U.S. to be recognized with a Holcim Award, and is the sole university building globally to be honored.

Established in 2004, the Holcim Awards competition honors projects that combine sustainable design and sustainable construction with architectural excellence. The judging criteria are based on the Holcim Foundation’s goals for sustainable construction: uplifting places, a healthy planet, viable economics, and thriving communities. Kaiser Borsari Hall aims to meet these goals, as it will be among the first higher education STEM facilities in the U.S. to track Zero Energy and Zero Carbon certification through the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

By using a mass timber/CLT structure and designing to “smart building” standards as identified by the ILFI, the facility, which includes advanced battery technology to provide on-site energy storage, significantly advances Western Washington University’s vision to become Washington’s first carbon net-neutral university campus.

“The project design considers functionality and sustainability, successfully pushing boundaries for the integration of engineering systems and smart energy storage,” noted the jury. “The project team demonstrated a commendable approach to addressing these challenges, resulting in a well-executed solution able to set a new standard for future campus projects.”

Five people on a stage. Two are holding an award above their heads.
Ryan Bussard (third from left) and Devin Kleiner (second from right) accept the award at the Holcim Foundation's 2023 ceremony in Venice, Italy.

Perkins&Will’s Seattle Sustainability Lead Devin Kleiner and Seattle Design Director Ryan Bussard attended the International Holcim Awards 2023 ceremony, hosted in Venice, Italy.

“By achieving Net Zero Carbon and Net Zero Energy, Kaiser Borsari Hall’s environmental impact went beyond its building boundaries, changing how state funding is allocated to university projects throughout Washington state,” said Kleiner. “To meet the global climate challenges, we need to be thinking at broader scales, considering how each project can have a significant and meaningful influence. At the Holcim Awards, it was inspiring to meet so many architects from around the world who share a passion for sustainability and to hear the stories behind their award-winning projects.”

Learn more about Kaiser Borsari Hall and the International Holcim Awards by viewing the Holcim Foundation’s official press release or event recording on YouTube.