At a swanky event at the Jasper Hotel in downtown Fargo, North Dakota, one firm practically swept the awards for their innovative designs that focused on better health for people and for the environment. That firm was JLG Architects at the Annual Convention of the North Dakota Chapter of the American Insitute of Architects in October.

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Exterior windows at night

JLG Architects won three out of the five major design awards at the event, including an Honor Award and two Merit Awards. In fact, the firm won five awards in total. This includes the prestigious top award for the 2022 ENR Regional Best Projects in Sports/Entertainment for their design of the Ed Robson Arena at Colorado College.

Related: University of Arizona campus is revamped for student success

Entrance seating to a building with plants

Other projects to win awards included the White Bear Lake Sports Center, the Grand Forks Cities Area Transit Center and the Dakota State University Cyber Lab.

Sports center locker room with orange and black team colors

White Bear Lake Sports Center was already 50 years old when JLG Architects took on this redesign project. The complex was about to be destroyed until JLG Architects performed an extensive analysis of the site and came up with a plan to restore and renovate the property. Furthermore, the new design fixed envelope and infrastructure problems, turning the half-century-old complex into a sustainable, modern dream.

Ice skating rink with people skating

Additionally, the redesign reduced the embodied carbon by reusing 75% of the building’s existing components. The design also led to improved air quality and interior thermal comfort.

Lobby with wood ceilings and yellow desk

Another example is the Grand Forks Cities Area Transit Center, built in 1984, which didn’t have much natural light. It also barely had any administration space and was just too small for the massive amounts of travelers it was serving.

Another view of the lobby with natural light

No more. With a new, open floor plan and a lot more light, the building’s re-design reduced energy usage overall. The redesign then added much-needed space even as it honored the past associated with the space.

University cyber labs for learning

And finally, Dakota State University is quite well-known to those in the cybersecurity field. This is one of the most progressive education centers for cyber operations and cybersecurity in the entire country. JLG Architects came up with a design to connect and revamp this whole part of the campus, adding more space for sharp minds to learn, research and solve the problems of the world.

It’s the kind of innovative design and the kind of thinking that is definitely award-worthy. With firms like JLG Architects leading the way, others can learn how to create designs that are sustainable, energy-efficient and better for the world and all the people who live in it.

+ JLG Architects

Images via JLG Architects and Alan Blakely