Rainier Square Redevelopment Project takes top prize

ANAHEIM, California. — The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has announced the Rainier Square Redevelopment in Seattle, Washington as the 2022 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement (OCEA) Award winner. The OCEA Award, which recognizes exemplary civil engineering projects around the country, honors projects which exemplify state-of-the-art engineering skill and provide considerable contributions to local and regional communities, in addition to advancements of the civil engineering profession.

The Rainier Square Redevelopment features a 58-story high-rise, Seattle’s second tallest, and is the world’s first high-rise to be constructed using the innovative SpeedCore structural system. This system braces the tower against seismic and wind impacts, a crucial addition to a project of this magnitude in the Pacific Northwest. The process allowed construction to occur 43% faster than conventional methods and shaved 10 months off the projected 32-month schedule.

“Improving the efficiency of project deliveries and safeguarding structures with innovative materials is how engineers can make the most out of available resources and elevate the built environment for future generations,” said Dennis D. Truax, ASCE president. “The Rainier Square Redevelopment will inspire those who see it with its futuristic beauty, but will also protect the associated businesses and residents for years to come due to its Speedcore system. Such an innovative and visible achievement is very deserving of the OCEA honor.”

“This is 15 years of people from all aspects of our industry coming together with one purpose in mind, and that is to invent, create, and implement a brand new structural system that is fundamentally changing the way we are designing and building high-rise buildings,” said Ron Klemencic. “This is a fantastic acknowledgement of all of that effort from all of those people.”

Eleven OCEA Honor Awards were announced in January and the winner and two runners-up were announced Tuesday night, October 25, 2022 as part of ASCE’s 2022 Convention at the Disneyland® Hotel in Anaheim, California.

The upgrade and redesign of Moynihan Train Hall in New York City was awarded the Silver winner. This project reinvigorates America’s busiest transit hub and dramatically expands the existing Penn Station rail complex’s concourse space. A transformation of the 108-year-old James A. Farley Post Office into a major expansion of Penn Station’s transit hub includes a complete restoration of the building’s stone façade, terra-cotta cornices and many other original details. The new design also incorporates new security features and improved air handling and sanitation systems.

The West Riverside Energy Center in Beloit, Wisconsin was awarded Bronze winner. The state-of-the-art natural gas-fired power plant for Alliant Energy provides 730 MW of power, integrates with a solar facility, and emits significantly less pollutants than traditional coal-fired plants. The site includes 67 acres of restored natural habitat and new trails, while the site’s “Energy Lab” provides interactive public education.

“These trophy winners are redesigning communities, improving mobility, and positively impacting the environment for the generations to follow,” said Truax. “Civil engineers are problem solvers, but they are also vision creators. These projects blend beauty with function and will elicit inspiration in the future workforce.”

For more information on OCEA please visit https://www.asce.org/oceakit/.

About the American Society of Civil Engineers

Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE works to raise awareness of the need to maintain and modernize the nation's infrastructure using sustainable and resilient practices, advocates for increasing and optimizing investment in infrastructure, and improve engineering knowledge and competency. For more information, visit www.asce.org or www.infrastructurereportcard.org and follow us on Twitter, @ASCETweets and @ASCEGovRel.