Pitt's Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation Wins International Design Award

Issue Date: 
October 1, 2012

Chosen for its unique use of exposed concrete columns, the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation—a LEED Gold certified center of excellence in sustainable engineering—has been named a recipient of an international 2012 Educational Facility Design Award by the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI). Pitt representatives received the award at a Sept. 26 luncheon reception sponsored by the Institute in Downtown Pittsburgh. 

Interior Swanson School of Engineering’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable InnovationThe 22,000-square-foot Mascaro Center was praised by the CRSI Design Awards jury as being a “creative structure that adds exceptional efficiency without compromising use or aesthetics.” Built on top of and through the existing two-story basement of the Swanson School’s Benedum Hall, the Center was completed in August 2009. 

“The winning projects showcase the innovative design possibilities and qualities of using reinforced concrete and the exceptional collaborative management required during the construction of these outstanding structures,” said Robert Risser, CEO and president of the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute. 

The outside companies responsible for building the Mascaro Center, all headquartered in Pittsburgh, were the architectural firm Edge Studio, the engineering firm Atlantic Engineering Services of Pittsburgh, reinforcing bar fabricator Whitacre Engineering Company, LEED general contractor Mascaro Construction Company, and consultant and laboratory planner NBBJ Architects. The University personnel responsible for the Center construction project were Joe Fink, associate vice chancellor; Canard S. Grigsby Jr., senior project manager for design; Christopher Niemann, senior project manager for construction; and Park Rankin, University architect—all from Pitt’s Facilities Management. 

There were three categories in the CRSI Design Awards: Commercial, Educational Facility, and Multi-Family Residential. The other honorees, including Design Awardees and Honorable Mentions, in the Educational Facility category were St. Joseph Seminary, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and Golden West College Learning Resource Center, Huntington Beach, Calif.

The Institute’s Design Awards program is open to architects, engineers, contractors, and fabricators in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Entries were evaluated on aesthetics, innovation, engineering achievement, functional excellence, and economy of construction.

For a complete description of the Institute’s Design Award Program and contest rules, visit www.crsi.org.