The role of sustainable buildings has become more significant in the marketplace than ever. For the fourth year in a row, the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC), a Washington, D.C.-based, nonprofit trade association, will recognize professionals who are making exceptional contributions to sustainability across the United States. This is an opportunity for industry leaders to be acknowledged for the valuable contributions they make to the built environment.

This year, the Council has expanded its Awards Program to include the "Exemplary Sustainable Building" Award. This award, sponsored in part by the Public Buildings Service of the U.S. General Services Administration, will recognize the institutional, residential, and government buildings that demonstrate the successful application of the "whole building" approach to design. This year's focus will be on the integration of sustainable and cost-effective design and construction strategies. All building professionals are eligible to participate in this category.

The winning entry or entries in the Exemplary Sustainable Building category will be published as a case study on the Whole Building Design Guide website (www.WBDG.org). Over one million users visit the WBDG website each month.

The traditional "Best Sustainable Practice" Award recognizes members of the Council who demonstrate excellence in a wide variety of areas, including sustainable policy initiatives, sustainable design and construction process innovations, development of sustainable design curriculum, and sustainable product and technology innovations.

Winners in each category will be honored at an awards ceremony on October 13, 2004, following SBIC's annual forum, Cents and Sustainability: The Ripple Effects of Integrated Design, in Washington, D.C. Winning submissions will be publicized through the Council's media network and prominently featured on SBIC's website (www.SBICouncil.org) and SBIC members' websites.

In addition to the GSA, this year's program is supported by generous contributions from the American Iron and Steel Institute, the Portland Cement Association, Southern California Edison Company, and the Trane Company.