Arch + Eng, Design, Education

AIA Illinois R. Buckminster Fuller Honor Award for Social Good


SPRINGFIELD, IL – In recognition of a more than 40-year career marked by a commitment to advance the energy efficiency and sustainability threshold for projects around the Northern Illinois area, Helen J. Kessler, FAIA, will be the 2016 recipient of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Illinois’ R. Buckminster Fuller Honor Award for Social Good. Fuller was renowned for pioneering solutions that reflected his commitment to improving human lives.

Kessler was with the award at a September 21st reception at the AIA Chicago headquarters. Kessler, a member of the inaugural 2011 class of LEED Fellows, is being honored for service to the public and her many professional contributions, including the achievement of LEED Gold status for AIA’s Chicago office design, one of more than three-dozen LEED Gold projects and nine LEED Platinum projects in which she has been involved.

For the last twelve years, Kessler has taught Sustainability in Construction and Systems Thinking as part of the Master of Project Management program at Northwestern University and has given hundreds of presentations and written extensively on green building, energy efficiency and solar energy, throughout her career. In the past, Kessler served as Co-Chair for the AIA Chicago Committee on the Environment and served on the Board of Directors. She also served as a Board member of the US Green Building Council, Illinois Chapter. Helen chaired the Energy Code Committee, which created Chicago’s first energy code.

Jury comments: “An early and sustaining leader in the world of high performance design, Helen Kessler’s dedication to the environment is matched by her generous commitment to the architecture profession. Generously sharing knowledge with her peers and the wider community is a career trademark.”

The R. Buckminster Fuller Honor Award is one of eight service awards presented by the AIA annually as part of its Honor Awards program, which recognize people and projects epitomizing the contributions of the architecture profession and the transformative power of design.