Local Firms Work Entered In National Competition

    CALEDONIA — The environment isn’t the only thing to benefit from Steelcase’s revolutionary new “green” wood furniture manufacturing facility in Caledonia.

    The Grand Rapids-based team of URS Corp. and Owen-Ames-Kimball, which worked on the new plant’s design, early this month reported that their joint work on the project has resulted in them being named a finalist for a national award.

    Deliberating upon whether they receive one of the awards in the 36th annual competition is the American Council of Engineering Companies.

    Judging took place last week and the results are scheduled to be announced March 12 at a banquet in Washington, D.C.

    The panel of judges is drawn from the disciplines of engineering, architecture and the military, with other judges drawn from government, the media and academia.

    The two companies report they designed the new 600,000-square-foot plant to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

    Moreover, the team applied many so-called “green building” concepts to the structure, including energy-efficient materials, water safeguards, advanced lighting and ventilation, and careful site planning to preserve vegetation.

    The project — completed almost exactly a year ago — is the first manufacturing plant in the United States to be certified under the Green Building Council’s leadership program in energy and environmental design.

    URS Corp. provides architectural, engineering and planning to the public and private sector all over the world.

    Owen-Ames-Kimball, now 111 years old, provides general contracting, construction management, and design/build services for retail, commercial, distribution and industrial clients.

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