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SNOWMASS, CO-Rocky Mountain Institute, a long-time leader in environmental development based in this town outside of Aspen, has been selected as a finalist for an Environmental Design award sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Seven jurors selected by the museum gave tribute to RMI for “innovative green design processes that promote the efficient and restorative use of resources and new business models.” The museum also noted that RMI’s “research in sustainable design for the building trade is extensive and is one of the primary resources for design professionals, community leaders and real estate developers today.”

RMI’s Green Development Services has participated in hundreds of green building projects since the consulting practice was formed in 1991, including greening the White House and the Pentagon. Its efforts focused on reducing energy use, increasing productivity, and cutting waste. Additionally, GDS is working in the rapidly emerging field of “biophilia,” which suggests that the built environment can help people feel and perform better by enhancing connections with nature.

Other Green Development Services projects include: 4 Times Square-The Durst Organization, New York; Adam J Lewis Center for Environmental Studies-Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio; Aspen Mountain Sundeck Restaurant-Aspen Skiing Co., Aspen; California Academy of Sciences-San Francisco;; and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Village-Ecos, Miravac and Lend Lease, in Australia. Rocky Mountain Institute was chosen as a finalist from more than 300 nominations received earlier this year, nominated by a committee of more than 700 leading designers, educators, journalists, cultural figures and corporate leaders from every state.

As a finalist, RMI’s work will be a part of ongoing educational work at the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. The museum’s education department incorporates the finalists’ work into their program throughout the coming year, including lectures, roundtables, and workshops designed to bring the finalists’ work to the public.

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