Today, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) announced the winners and finalists of its 2015 CTBUH Annual Awards program. Chifley Tower, by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, in Sydney and Holedeck, a product manufactured in Madrid, received the top honors, winning​ the Performance Award and the Innovation Award, respectively.

The Chifley Tower in Sydney.
Reco Bathurst Photography Ltd. The Chifley Tower in Sydney.

The Performance Award recognizes a building that has a low environment impact on the urban realm using measured data. Built in 1992, Chifley Tower is a 50-story office building which received an overhaul in 2008 and consequently saw a 55-percent drop in electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions​.

“The outcome of the energy upgrade was successful on several fronts—it reduced energy costs for the building owner and their tenants, it reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and [it] repositioned an older building in a very competitive commercial real estate market,” said Ashok Raiji, CTBUH technical-awards juror and Arup principal and mechanical engineer, in a press release. “In a sense, the project gave a new and better life’ to an old asset that was growing less competitive in the marketplace.”

​Meanwhile, the Innovation Award recognizes a creative element​ that has been incorporated during the design phase or implemented during construction, operation, or refurbishment​. This could include construction methods, design approaches, building systems, and façades. Holedeck is a system of waffle-like concrete slabs that accommodate a customizable grid of MEP services within the floor structure rather than hanging them below. Holedeck reduces the vertical space needed for utilities, thus, decreasing the necessary height of each floor, the built volume, and concrete consumption. Its first application in a realized building was an office for communications company Logytel in Spain.

Finalists for the Innovation Award include the façade access equipment in the Burj Khalifa; the Tao Chu Yin Yuan, in Taipei, Taiwan, designed by Vincent Callebaut Architectures and LKP Design; and the Triagrid Structure, in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, designed by ONL.