A Hungry Commitment to Sustainability

Page was excited to be this year’s winner of the coveted Most Sustainable Team Award at the 32nd Annual AIA (American Institute of Architects) Houston Sandcastle Competition. A total of 63 teams of architects, engineers and contractors participated in the event hosted by the City of Galveston, drawing thousands of people to the beach to mark the end of the summer. While the event’s primary purpose is to raise funds for AIA Houston and ArCH Foundation, as well as being one of the top five revenue generating events for the City of Galveston, Pagers also saw it as an opportunity to incorporate our commitment to sustainable thinking which is integrated into our approach for all of the work that we do.

For the second year in a row, Page collaborated with The Linbeck Group construction firm and created a nostalgic and ecologically themed sculpture inspired by the famous book by Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. On the event day, our 90-plus team members spent five hours shoveling sand and hauling water to create the perfect mixture to fill the forms provided by Linbeck. Once the sand-water mix set, Linbeck pulled the forms and the carving team went to work to create our own “Hungriest Caterpillar”, along with fruit and a set of our favorite desserts.

We incorporated sustainable thinking throughout the entire planning and construction process. During our design, we conducted a solar analysis to place our structures to ensure none of our structures would be hidden in shadow at the time of judging. In addition to brute human power, we used a solar powered pump system to bring in water from the bay to our site and also had a solar power cell phone charging station available for team members. We sought to minimize single-use waste by using reclaimed wood for our formwork, reducing packaging brought to the site, using a keg instead of individual beer cans and biodegradable products for any non-consumable goods such as plates, utensils, cups and jello shot cups (because we had to make sure we were still having responsible fun in the sun!)

Our team partnered with a local community urban farm, Seeding Galveston, to help us compost food for the event. In addition to our coveted Page sunglasses, we handed out apples, oranges and custom “concerned fruit” stickers to beachgoers stopping by our site. Finally, we aimed to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging carpooling, which also helps reduce the insane traffic surrounding the event, and purchasing carbon offsets to account for emissions to and from Houston. Be sure to click through the above image gallery to see our hard but rewarding work! 

We would like to extend a big thank you to all our partners La Nova, Stone Source, Morrison Hershfield, Seeding Galveston and our sponsors Lesco, T&L Distributing, Humanscale and the KipCo.