By Jakob Thorington, WSU News

Two buildings on the WSU Pullman campus recently received the prestigious Merit Award from the Design‑Build Institute of America. Just four education projects nationwide took home this honor.

Absher Construction Company and GGLO Design were recognized for their work on the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center, while Clark Construction and ZGF Architects earned recognition for The Spark: Academic Innovation Hub.

The Cultural Center received three national awards from the trade group. In addition to the Merit Award, which recognized the project’s resilience, innovation and cost effectiveness, it received an architectural Excellence in Design award and the Chairman’s Award because of the extraordinary commitment to economic, environmental and social success.

The building was designed to celebrate the cultural diversity of the campus and heritage of the land, while honoring former WSU President Elson S. Floyd.

See features of the building at the cultural center website.

The Spark also received additional awards from the group. It was honored with an Excellence in Teaming and Excellence in Process award.

Northwest Engineering News Record (ENR) honored the building with its 2018 Safety and Best Projects Award for Higher Education / Research awards and is considering it for the ENR national Best of The Best Awards.

Opened in the fall of 2017, The Spark is a state‑of‑the‑art facility that uses the most innovative technology to help students engage in learning.

Take a self‑guided video tour of the building on The Spark website.

Students sit in circular classroom inside The Spark.
High‑tech classrooms are one of many features in The Spark building. (Photo by Robert Hubner, WSU Photo Services.)