Best Parking Structure – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Detroit, Mich.

This LEED-certified parking structure and campus improvement project brings a variety of vital functions to this hospital campus. In addition to providing on-site parking for all employees, the building also houses all on-site maintenance, meeting rooms, and a fitness center. The nine-story project does all this while consuming no more land than the surface parking lot it replaces. This project delivers on the commitment to improve the quality of life of employees by providing showering and locker-room facilities, climate-controlled pedestrian links, and even a recycled paver running track situated on the vegetated roof. From a design perspective, this project breaks new ground with its use of double-tees in a dramatic cantilevered roof. By not trimming the double-tees to match the thin-brick wall below, the architect turned a normally utilitarian building member into a major point of interest and the perfect way to visually terminate a large wall. In addition, this project features precast brick-clad fin walls that visually break up the big box shape that often results from large parking structures. Precaster: National Precast Inc., Roseville, Mich. Website: Architect: Neumann/Smith Architecture, Southfield, Mich. Website: Engineer of record: Desai/Nasr Consulting Engineers, West Bloomfield, Mich. Website:

This affordable-housing project endeavors to bring a safe, quiet environment to its tenants while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of sustainability. The five-story, all-precast concrete structure includes 63 units, ranging from 620 ft2 one-bedroom apartments to 1355 ft2 three-bedrooms. Precast concrete was the construction material of choice because of its speed of erection, minimal air infiltration, durability, decreased material waste, and inherent green building properties. Because of the tight site and busy urban setting, one of the key challenges was the lack of space for staging or lay-down. This logistical challenge was mitigated by using an allprecast concrete building system and thin-brick veneer exterior wall panels, which enabled the project to be quickly erected with limited disturbance or impact to adjacent properties and neighbors. Currently, this project is awaiting the award of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification, the highest rating offered in the LEED program. Upon award, this will be the first allprecast concrete housing project to receive a LEED platinum rating, proving that through the use of precast concrete, cost savings and sustainability can finally be compatible goals. Precaster: Oldcastle Precast Building Systems, Edgewood, Md. Website: Architect: Danois Architects, New York, NY Website: Architect: Equus Design Group, Belmont, Mass. Website: www