Architect Newspaper announced the results of their annual Best of Design Awards and Ohio is home to one of the winners. Akron's Galenas Medical Cannabis Cultivation Facility was given the top recognition in the "Green Building" category.
In total, AN received over 800 submissions; this year the publication expanded to 47 categories. Designed by Urban Green Design — a small firm whose work downtowners have likely seen via the Cincinnati Streetcar stops — the Galenas space is described as a "pharmaceutical-grade environment that meets highly technical specifications."
"Projects came from firms big and small across every corner of the North American continent," AN says in a release about the awards. "While we are always surprised by the breadth and quantity of submissions, we were not surprised by the quality of the design work put forth by these talented architects and designers."
At 10,000 square-feet, the $3 million building was created with sustainability in mind. According to AN's description, the building aims to provide "a better quality product with greater yields" while using 90 percent less water and 35 percent less energy than other cannabis facilities.
"The structure emphasizes passive design, integrates all systems to maximize efficiencies, is designed to achieve LEED Platinum, and creates a renewable energy ready–facility that incorporates a full-roof photovoltaic array to achieve net-zero energy," reads the description. "Prefabricated construction and segmentation of the programmed spaces improve operational efficiencies and performance."
Unveiled earlier this year, Galenas is the only organic-certified cannabis cultivation facility in Ohio, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The article states that the building is "equipped with LED lights, steel insulated walls, a roof where solar panels will eventually be added and a water system that filters the water and pulls it from the air to be recycled." A "mother room" in the facility's backend contains about 40 types of cannabis plant strains for medical use.
Bonus: Its modern aesthetics are top-notch, too. Urban Green Design has had their hands in projects across the globe — including many in our own Queen City and in Ohio at large.
Honorable mentions in the "Green Building" category include New York University's 370 Jay Street space and the Tree Pittsburgh Headquarters. Washington D.C.'s Marvin Gaye Recreation Center and Long Island's Greenport Passive House round out the section's editor's picks.
Also a local winner, the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute scored an editor's pick in the "Facades" category.
For the full list of award recipients, visit archpaper.com.