KAI Texas Wins 2013 Texas Masonry Council State Golden Trowel Award

KAI Texas was awarded the 2013 State Golden Trowel Award by the Texas Masonry Council (TMC) for their project design efforts at Parkland Memorial Hospital’s new Central Utility Plant.

The Texas Masonry Council 2013 Convention and Golden Trowel Awards, held August 14-16 in Austin, brought together construction and masonry professionals in an effort to evaluate new products and services and to build collaborative partnerships with each other. The Golden Trowel Awards Banquet recognized six select architects who demonstrated noteworthy excellence in design.

“We competed against two very strong candidates for the State award in the Block category for projects utilizing concrete masonry units, or CMUs, in lieu of brick,” said Darren L. James, AIA, President and COO of KAI Texas. “Our project was awarded first place due to its creative use of structural CMUs, along with the unique use of varying course heights of face block for a great design that was completed within the tight confines of the Parkland Health Campus.”

KAI Texas helped spearhead the design and construction of Dallas’ Parkland Health and Hospital System’s new Central Utility Plant (CUP), an 81,146 square-foot facility comprised of cooling towers, a generator building, a domestic water storage tank, chillers, boilers, and a heat pump chiller. Completed in December 2012, the $74 million building was constructed entirely from CMUs, with the CMU blocks laid in varying course heights of stacked bond on the exterior with 12-inch structural CMUs on the interior for durability and space savings.

KAI Texas and J & E Masonry also received first place recognition at this year’s United Masonry Contractors Association (UMCA) Golden Trowel Award nomination banquet. The UMCA is a Regional TMC chapter that honored the firms for their joint efforts in the masonry design of Parkland Hospital’s new Central Utility Plant.

Golden Trowel Award candidates must achieve first place recognition at Regional contests before being considered for the State-level competition. Earlier this year contenders submitted projects to their respective TMC chapters at Regional competitions. The submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges that analyzed the overall design, craftsmanship, aesthetic appeal, and technical difficulty of each project. A total of 24 nominees earned a chance to compete at the State-level contest, of which six received Golden Trowel Awards.

Located on the northeast corner of the new hospital podium, Parkland Memorial Hospital’s CUP features innovative building systems that are eco-friendly and cost-efficient. Recyclable materials were integrated throughout the new facility, and significant efforts were made to responsibly recycle a large percentage of construction debris. The plant’s heat pump chiller cools water while simultaneously generating free heat to the hospital’s occupants. Low-emitting sealants, paints, and flooring materials will support a healthy work environment for staff members. A state-of-the-art lighting system strategically combines daylight and task lighting to help avoid unnecessary energy usage.

The Central Utility Plant is a vital component of Parkland Health and Hospital System’s new $1.2 billion Parkland Memorial Hospital campus, which also includes a 2.5 million-square-foot hospital, an outpatient center, a logistics building, and parking. The new Parkland Memorial Hospital is scheduled to open in 2015 and will replace the current hospital site, which was constructed in 1954.