We couldn’t be happier that TROPHYOLOGY has been chosen to create some very important recognitions: award plaques that will designate buildings that have earned star ratings from Austin Energy Green Building.
The nation’s first and most successful Green Building Program, AEGB awards one to five stars to single and multifamily residences and commercial buildings in our region that are constructed or remodeled according to sustainable principles. (LEED is the national equivalent of the program).
Projects earn points for criteria such as energy-efficient and water-wise design, use of materials with high recycled content and low environmental and health impact.
AEGB offers close collaboration and a wealth of resources to design teams, builders and homeowners to assist them in implementing the most appropriate and effective sustainability measures that fit their project.
As an architect myself who is currently working on a commercial project in the AEGB rating system, I know just how much dedication and diligence it requires from everyone on the team to make the right choices that deliver the intended sustainability goals. I can say with full conviction and admiration: It is a true achievement to reach a high star rating with Austin Energy Green Building! Because of this first-hand knowledge, I was especially thrilled whenTROPHYOLOGY was chosen earlier this year to redesign the award plaques. After all, it is TROPHYOLOGY’S mission to provide recognition pieces that are as exceptional as the achievements being honored.
We want the new AEGB plaques to be “jewels” that will reflect the building owners’ pride in the great achievement for many years to come. We knew that if the plaque is to bring joy and honor well into the future, the design has to stand the test of time and withstand the temptation to be trendy. Timelessness became one of our main design criteria (as we hope that the buildings will be around for decades to come). The new plaque design responds with classically beautiful and timeless material choices: walnut and stainless steel. Combined, the two materials create interesting layering effects and depth. They also communicate warmth and care, two qualities AEGB strives to provide to its clients. The design focuses on the essential purpose of the plaque: to celebrate the stars awarded by AEGB and to make them shine.
Another important design consideration was that the plaques will need to be suited for a variety of structures, from a contemporary high-rise building to a traditional bungalow. We designed two plaques – a larger one for commercial projects and one suited for residential buildings. They also need to appeal to a variety of tastes – after all, building designs express many different aesthetic preferences. Again, we believe that the material choices and design communicate universal value, elegance, and quality. We were thrilled about the responses from homeowners last weekend at the Cool House Tour: The plaques were equally well received by homeowners with modern tastes as well as homeowners who prefer more traditional aesthetics.
We believe that the craftsmanship and overall quality of the plaques have to match the ideals set forth by AEGB and the buildings themselves. We are very pleased that the wood components for the plaques are fabricated by Austin based Mark Macek Furniture Company. Mark finishes the pieces with a VOC-free, nontoxic exterior grade oil finish. The stainless steel components are proudly fabricated by Cortec Precision Sheetmetal in Round Rock. We pride ourselves in our great working relationships with local artisans and small businesses – it is one of TROPHYOLOGY’s core values: to do business in our community and thereby supporting our fellow creative and manufacturing enterprises and our local economy. Every member of the team takes great pride in the work, and it is our hope that our passion and care will shine through and make these stars shine even brighter.
We also loved designing and fabricating the packaging for the plaques. Each plaque is wrapped in our signature turquoise felt sleeves. The felt contains 50 percent eco-fi, a material made in the USA from 95 post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. The dynamic cardboard boxes double function as an installation template to make it easy to hang the plaque.
We were so very excited (and admittedly proud) to witness the debut of the new plaques at the Cool House Tour. From now on, TROPHYOLOGY plaques will be available for AEGB-rated buildings. We hope to see many of the plaques throughout our city – we believe in a sustainable future and are proud to contribute to the movement in our ways.
PS: Thanks to the entire AEGB team for the great collaboration – it was a pleasure to work with the team throughout the project. Thanks also to our collaborators for fabricating the pieces with outstanding quality. And last but not least, a special thanks to our talented and dedicated senior intern Nathaniel Haefner, who contributed his many talents to the success of this project.