Stanford Energy System Innovations project wins more awards

The project, known as SESI, has transformed Stanford into one of the most energy-efficient research universities in the world. The accolades have now gone global.

Since Stanford completed Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) in 2015, the project has garnered local, regional, state and national awards, including a recent award by the California Council of the American Institute of Architects.

With its recent selection as the 2016 Global Best Green Project Award by Engineering News-Record (ENR), the accolades for SESI have gone global.

View of Central Energy Facility courtyard

The courtyard of the Central Energy Facility features a combined stairway and seating area. A centerpiece of the award-winning Stanford Energy System Innovations project, the facility has garnered accolades for its architecture. (Image credit: Robert Canfield)

SESI was one of 23 projects from 15 different countries and five continents to win 2016 Global Best Projects awards, which identify and honor the project teams behind outstanding design and construction efforts. SESI won the “Green Project” category.

Stanford will share the award with Affiliated Engineers Inc., which served as the prime consultant and lead engineer for SESI.

The winning projects will be featured in the Sept. 19 issue of the magazine and celebrated at the ENR Global Construction Summit in New York City in October. Earlier this year, ENR gave SESI its Editors’ Choice & Best Energy/Industrial Award.

SESI transformed Stanford’s energy supply from a 100 percent fossil-fuel-based combined heat-and-power plant to grid-sourced electricity and a more efficient electric heat recovery system. Stanford is now one of the most energy-efficient research universities in the world.

“It took the entire Stanford community to transform the campus to clean, reliable and sustainable energy over the past five years, so it is with great pleasure and appreciation we share news of these great acknowledgements,” said Joseph Stagner, executive director of sustainability and energy management at Stanford.

“SESI is but one more example of the innovation and boldness of Stanford to create new knowledge and put it to use for the good of the world. It is also a beautiful addition to the campus architecture and a place of learning that continues to attract hundreds of tours and thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.”

On July 11, the California Council of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognized ZGF Architects LLP with a 2016 Honor Award for the Stanford Central Energy Facility – the centerpiece of SESI. It was one of six projects honored in the architecture category.

According to the California AIA, the jury selected structures “that weren’t just standing there doing things well, but rising above to the exceptional.”

Earlier in the year, the AIA’s San Francisco chapter gave SESI a 2016 Honor Award. The award described the facility as an incredibly accomplished project that elegantly accommodates a complicated interplay of seemingly disparate programs, adding:

“The design of this campus energy facility combines passive and active systems for education and administration spaces with design elements that make sustainability, efficiency, flexibility and resiliency interesting and attractive. The clearly functional elements of the facility are celebrated as central features that make them as intriguing as they are pragmatic and informative.”

Visit the SESI website to learn about other awards the project has earned and news coverage it has attracted.