MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, wins Design Excellence First Place/Commercial Award.
MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, wins Design Excellence First Place/Commercial Award. (Image Credit: Shaffer Wilson Sarver & Gray, PC) 

CFSEI Announces 2017 Design Excellence and Innovative Detail Award Winners

July 10, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC, July 10, 2017 —The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI) presented four Design Excellence awards and one Innovative Detail award during the 2017 CFSEI Expo held May 22-23 at the Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas.  

CFSEI Design Excellence Awards recognize small and large projects that exemplify excellence in the structural design of new or renovated structures utilizing cold-formed steel products. This year, four first-place awards were given to recognize residential, municipal and commercial projects, with two projects tied in the municipal category. The CFSEI Design Excellence Award winners were: 1) Residential – Excel Engineering, Inc. for Collegetown Terrace Building 7 in Ithaca, New York; 2) Municipal – Radius Track Corporation and McClure Engineering Company for Faena Forum in Miami Beach, Florida; 3) Municipal – Matsen Ford Design Associates, Inc. for The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention in Gainesville, Florida, and 4) Commercial – Shaffer Wilson Sarver & Gray, PC for MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. 

A new Innovative Detail Award was introduced this year to recognize a cold-formed steel detail that exemplifies creativity or ingenuity to solve a design challenge. The CFSEI Innovative Detail Award was presented to ADTEK Engineers, Inc. for the Bedford Square project in Westport, Connecticut. 

“These projects demonstrate the versatility of cold-formed steel design in solving some very challenging design issues, as well as the efficient use of time and resources,” said Maribeth Rizzuto, LEED AP – BD + C, Managing Director of the Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute. “We think these award winners and their projects will inspire other design professionals to creatively use cold-formed steel for their own projects.  We received a significant number of entries for this year’s awards, which made judging difficult. We appreciate the efforts of everyone who submitted entries.”

About the Projects

Design Excellence First Place/Residential – Excel Engineering, Inc. - Collegetown Terrace Building 7 - Ithaca, New York
Collegetown Terrace is a student apartment rental complex near Cornell University. Building 7 is the third stage in a multi-building complex situated on a 12-acre site and is the largest residential building in Tompkins County. The apartments include dorm-style rooms, studios and two- and three-bedroom apartments, with a total of 247 units and 344 bedrooms. Its design challenges included sweeping curves and merging floor joists to the exterior walls, which required innovative cold-formed steel solutions from the design team. Read more here

Photo by Excel Engineering, Inc.

Design Excellence First Place/Municipal (tied) – Radius Track Corporation and McClure Engineering Company - Faena Forum - Miami Beach, Florida 
Faena Forum is a 43,000-square-foot facility designed as a public cultural center for large performance and art gatherings. The focal point of the structure is the upper assembly hall for art programs and private events. This hall is crowned with a 40-foot-high dome with a center oculus which is designed with radiused cold-formed steel. Originally specified as concrete, the dome created several design challenges, but proved cold-formed steel dome structures can compete with radiused structural steel and concrete and provide more open architectural solutions. Read more here

Photo courtesy of Titus Construction Group

Design Excellence First Place/Municipal (tied) - Matsen Ford Design Associates, Inc. - The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention - Gainesville, Florida
The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention showcases the history of Gatorade and its inventor, Dr. J. Robert Cade. The museum’s mission is to create classes, programs and exhibits that challenge visitors to use their creativity to change the world. The circular and stepped shape of the building presented several design challenges, especially the wing walls that slant out from the building with structural support stopping short of the outermost wall studs. Another challenge involved areas at walls where no structural steel support is present, including large curtain walls at a radius. Read more here

Photo by Central Florida Drywall & Plastering, Inc. 

Design Excellence First Place/Commercial - Shaffer Wilson Sarver & Gray, PC - MGM National Harbor - Oxon Hill, Maryland 
MGM National Harbor has a footprint of over 800,000 square feet and consists of a casino, a theater with seating for 3,000 people, and a 23-story hotel. Cold-formed steel was used for the external walls and as a replacement for structural steel in some places. The most challenging design was the West Prow, which required the complete framing to be hung from structural steel beams and intense team coordination. Read more here

Photo by Component Assembly Systems, Inc. 

Innovative Detail First Place – ADTEK Engineers, Inc. - Bedford Square – Westport, Connecticut
Bedford Square is a new mixed-use community combining a renovated/converted historical firehouse and residential and commercial facilities, with each building ranging from two to four stories. The project has many unique architectural features, including complex roof geometry and several curved architectural openings and canopies. Innovative design solutions were needed for one of the balcony features, which included a large brick “eyebrow” requiring an extremely large radius while supporting roof rafter framing. Read more here

Photo: ©2016 Bedford Associates

The 2017 CFSEI Expo had more than 100 architects, builders/contractors, engineers and other construction industry professionals in attendance. The event provided opportunities for education, networking, and an exposition featuring state-of-the-art innovations, technologies and principles in cold-formed steel framing.  This is the only event of its kind dedicated to the cold-formed steel framing industry and is held on an annual basis.  

The Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute comprises hundreds of structural engineers and other design professionals who are finding a better way to produce safe and efficient designs for commercial and residential structures with cold-formed steel. CFSEI members work together to develop and evolve industry standards and design methods, produce and issue technical bulletins, and provide seminars and online training to improve the knowledge and skills base of engineers and design professionals. For more information, visit

Maribeth Rizzuto, LEED AP - BD+C
Managing Director
Cold-Formed Steel Engineers Institute
Tel. 412.458.5821

Debbie Bennett
Manager, Construction Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel. 202.452.7179