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The American Galvanizers Association (AGA) has announced the winners of the 2014 Excellence in Hot-Dip Galvanizing Awards. More than 100 projects representing hot-dip galvanizing’s versatility were submitted and judged online, completing another successful competition. All of the projects are now featured in the AGA Project Gallery.

San  Diego  Library 02
San Diego Central Library

This year’s Most Distinguished project was the San Diego Central Library, which showcases the hip, ultramodern aesthetics of hot-dip galvanized steel. During the library’s initial design phase the foremost concern was how to design the new facility to withstand the corrosive marine environment while maintaining an overall appealing look. Durable and virtually maintenance-free, coupled with a record of outstanding sustainability, hot-dip galvanized steel was specified for the outside façade of the building, including the magnificent 3­-story arched domed terrace. The hot-dip galvanizing industry is proud and humbled to play such an essential role in this architectural landmark in downtown San Diego.

The Lifetime Achievement award, which recognizes a galvanized project with at least 15 years of service, was given to the Bridges of Stark County in Ohio. Stark County Engineer Rich Larocco was tired of seeing deficient bridges in the county and spending 50% of the bridge budget on repainting, so in the early 1970s, Rich decided to dismantle the bridges, galvanize the beams, and reinstall them.  After seeing the impact of the recycled bridges, Stark County continued to install new galvanized bridges, and by the time of Rich’s retirement in 1998, only 10% of the bridge budget was being spent on repainting and there were no deficient bridges. 

The Bridges of Stark County weren’t the only bridges to take home an award in 2014, as three other categories awarded bridges and/or bridge-related projects. The Jesup Bridge in Iowa took home the Civic Contribution award due to the generosity of Short Span Steel Bridge Alliance (SSSBA) members who believed enough in steel as the solution in the small bridge market to prove it by donating materials to the project. The “Any Angle Light” Bear Canyon Arroyo Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge, winner in the Bridge and Highway category, utilizes HDG and lighting to provide an alternative transportation method crossing space and time as well as I-25 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The energy-efficient illumination not only suggests a dream of the ancient water – a fragment of which is still teeming with life – but also exemplifies Albuquerque’s visionary urban planning as the bridge’s engineered bones of hot-dip galvanized metal and mesh provide a grand spectacle in the mountain sky. The Duplex Systems winner was the Gateway Wings project in Washington, DC. Because these artistic bridge decorations utilize a duplex system of paint over galvanized steel, the arching wings will welcome people into DC’s NoMa neighborhood for many generations to come.

Ocean Spray Receiving Station 01
Ocean Spray Receiving Station

Proving hot-dip galvanized steel is durable in many environments; the Ocean Spray Receiving Station in Richmond, British Columbia won the award in the Food & Agriculture category. To combat the moisture throughout processing, hot-dip galvanizing was used on the steel structures within the new facility, ensuring Ocean Spray will be able to process cranberries safely and efficiently through this vital station well into the future. Also located in a moisture-rich environment is the Roi-Namur Fuel Pier Rehabilitation in the Marshall Islands, winner of the Water and Marine category. Hot-dip galvanizing was the coating of choice for the pier’s steel elements, as it would afford the desired service life, eliminate the future maintenance issues other coating systems would pose, and have minimal environmental impact. In the Industrial category, another harsh environment for galvanized steel, the enormous Comanche’s Coal Pile Wind Fence project in Pueblo, Colorado took home top honor. Using advanced technology, fabric-mesh, and hot-dip galvanizing (HDG), the Coal Pile Wind Fence reduces wind velocity and particle movement, thus minimizing dust emissions with consistent reliable results.

Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) requires innovative thinking and ingenuity in adding value to a product.  This year there was a tie in the OEM category between The Traveler in St. Louis, Missouri, and Mining Tire Inflation Cages up in Quebec. The Mississippi River Bridge Traveler is the newest innovation in high structure inspection and repair. This first of its kind platform spans 1500 feet between two column piers under a Mississippi River Interstate Bridge that sits hundreds of feet above the River.  Keeping the bridge and those repairing it safe is a monumental concern - the hot-dip galvanized traveler will give inspectors and repairmen peace of mind. The new Mining Tire Inflation Cages are very unique – they are the biggest cages ever built for this purpose, as well as the safest cage in the world to inflate tires of this size. Repainting the cages was impossible in the mine for various reasons and removing them to repaint was not economically viable; therefore, hot-dip galvanizing was the obvious choice.

Other than bridges, another popular theme in this year’s winners was projects  affiliated with universities, three of which won an award. The Philadelphia University College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce won the Building and Architecture category. The College’s progressive learning approach is perfectly symbolized in the building’s signature hot-dip galvanized steel curved metal solar screen panels. The University of Windsor Parking Garage, which utilized hot-dip galvanized steel on the entire structure except for the clear and colored glass elements added for aesthetic appeal, won the Transportation category.   The Load Application Unit for the Wind Turbine Drivetrain Test Facility at Clemson University won the Electrical, Utility, and Communication award. Hot-dip galvanizing was chosen for this  one-of-a-kind facility because of the quick turnaround time as well as its maintenance-free durability which would prevent any inconvenient repairs needed due to scrapes and scratches.

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Gulfstream Park Horse Stalls

Rounding out the list of winners are two fun and visually appealing projects. Sisyphus 2.0 was the Artistic winner due to its well thought out execution and use. Created as part of a theatrical performance in New York City by the Nerve Tank, this sphere plays different bits of music based on the way it is rolled. The consistent, uniform appearance, the strength, durability, and weathering of hot-dip galvanizing were key as this interactive sculpture is intended to be handled by many people in a variety of environments. Finally, the Gulfstream Park Horse Stalls in Hallandale, Florida won the Recreation and Entertainment category. Because these new stalls will house the heart of the industry – expensive, thoroughbred race horses –it made sense to also use the best corrosion protection system available - hot-dip galvanized steel.   

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, and thanks to all who submitted projects! Winners will be featured on both the AGA website homepage and the AGA Project Gallery, as well as in various seminars, publications, and other marketing materials.  Explore the vast collection of hot-dip galvanized steel projects spanning many decades and markets, as well as winners of the past and current Excellence Awards competitions in the Winners section of the AGA Project Gallery. Contact AGA Senior Marketing Coordinator Laura Hanson for more information.