The Aldo Leopold Foundation won the third annual Designing and Building with FSC Award from the Forest Stewardship Council for the construction of a center honoring its founder. The award, which was presented yesterday during the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild meeting in Chicago, honors projects that are built with responsible forest management in mind.

Based in Baraboo, Wis., the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center is the 12,000 sq. ft. administrative and program headquarters for the Aldo Leopold Foundation, named after a widely respected wildlife ecologist and pioneer in responsible forest management. According to the FSC, 78 percent of the building uses FSC-certified wood. Additionally, most of that wood was site-harvested and locally processed to minimize the environmental impact.

Buddy Huffaker, executive director of the foundation, said that the center was in keeping with the principles of its founder Aldo Leopold. “The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center is built from wood harvested from our land, and FSC certification provided an important level of oversight and critical review during our effort to responsibly integrate the stewardship of our land with the construction of the Legacy Center. By developing standards and measures that can be widely applied by knowledgeable and experienced foresters, the Forest Stewardship Council is doing important work to bring Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic into daily practice,” he said.

An honorable mention was given to Dovetail Partners of Minneapolis for its Aitkin House. This single-family home in Aitkin, Minn., was built with two goals in mind: to offer affordable local housing while incorporating green building practices. Approximately 67 percent of all wood products in the home are FSC certified. Additionally, the 1,300 sq. ft. home features a passive solar design, in-floor radiant heating, energy efficient appliances and fixtures, and a small floor plan to “minimize site disturbance and impact.”

The award is open to owners, architects, interior designers, general contractors, builders, consultants or other professionals.  Projects can be any building type, including commercial, institutional, mixed-use, or residential.  To submit a project, applicants must use a significant amount (at least 50% of the new wood by cost) of FSC-certified wood. This year’s applicant projects must have been completed during or since 2004. The selection committee, developed by green consultant firm Forest Products Solutions, included representatives from BNP Media’sEnvironmental Design + Constructionmagazine; architectural firms Lucchesi Galati, and Hastings Architecture Associates; the nonprofit organizations Dovetail Partners Inc., Ecotrust, and Rocky Mountain Institute and forest products manufacturer Royal Plywood.