Today, the AIA’s Technology in Architectural Practice (TAP) Knowledge Community announced the recipients of its 11th annual TAP Innovation Awards, a competition that celebrates the use of BIM to enhance a project’s design, construction, and performance. 

This year’s four winners represent the categories of Stellar Architecture, Delivery Process Excellence, and Exemplary Use in a Small Firm. The competition was judged by: Steven Wolf, AIA, Target, in Roseville, Minn.; Shane Burger, Woods Bagot, in New York; Carrie Struts Dossick, the University of Washington; Randall Deutsch, AIA, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; and Federico Negro, Case, in New York.

©Iwan Baan

Award: Stellar Architecture
Firm: Morphosis Architects
Project: Emerson College Los Angeles

The Culver City, Calif.–based firm developed a custom computational design layout tool that allowed aesthetic and sustainable features to be created in tandem for the West Coast satellite of the Boston-based university, leading to its win of TAP’s award for exemplary design and display of innovation. The 120,000-square-foot project, which is pursuing LEED Gold certification, incorporates radiant heat and cooling and solar-thermal collectors. The architects anticipate that the structure, which combines student housing, classrooms, and administrative facilities, will achieve a 15-percent energy cost savings and its fixtures will use a 31 percent less potable water compared to a baseline building.

Tom Holdsworth

Award: Delivery Process Excellence
Firm: Ayers Saint Gross
Project: University of Delaware’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Lab

Thirteen Revit design models—all hosted in the cloud—were developed for this 194,000-square-foot facility, helping the integrated project team better understand how the building's systems interrelate. It also helped the team explore ways in which the forms and materials of the campus's traditional Georgian architecture could coexist with contemporary technology. The open file network allowed for easier sharing and adjusting of the project schedule in real time with modeled elements linked to the timeline. The project finished 60 days ahead of schedule.

Alene Davis

Award: Honorable Mention
Winner: SERA Architects and CO Architects
Project: Oregon Health and Science University(OHSU)/Portland State University/Oregon State University Collaborative Life Science Building 

A combination of modeling software, file-exchange systems, and cloud-based collaborative and document management tools helped the project’s 28 design team members stay on schedule and apprised of each other’s progress and changes made to the project's 12- and 5-story towers and atrium. The team co-located for the project duration of 38 months from conception to completion, helping it earn the jury’s recognition for project delivery. The digitized workflow included meetings during the late design stages to help resolve system conflicts and to transition the 3D model to the subcontractors. Overall, the digital process saved the owners nearly $10 million, considering print costs and labor hours, according to the project team.

Point B Design

Award: Exemplary Use in a Small Firm
Winner: Point B Design
Project: D-Bridge, Philadelphia

A core of 1,000 laser-cut, folded cells fabricated from stainless-steel sheets gives shape and structure to this unbuilt, enclosed canopy, which bridges a private gallery and residence. Point B Design collaborated with façade and BIM experts, as well as an online community of Grasshopper developers, to use the modeling platform throughout the entire project. Its workflow earned the jury’s vote for innovative processes throughout the design-build timeline for firms numbering 10 people or fewer. In its project statement, the firm writes that D-Bridge's design helped inspire “culture changes in practice, in which we were able to engage everyone involved in the project in a way that was consistent with a set of principles we, and the client, cared about in the beginning of the idea."