Five teams from Gensler’s next-gen design group, ByDesign, shared their thoughts on “What’s Next,” “What If” and “Why Not” for Houston’s built environment in a presentation and happy hour at the company’s Houston office on March 8. ByDesign presenters included Angela Palmer,  Tayler Trojack, Paulina Abella, Tiger Lyon, Edgar Rodriguez, Jordan Gomez, Ryan Marchesi, Jong Kim, Laura Robinson and Amanda Heineman.

On Feb. 3, at the start of Super Bowl 51 weekend, Rebuilding Together and the NFL hosted a project to rehabilitate the main section of Houston’s historic Independence Heights neighborhood. Gilbane Building Co., as a Super Impact 17 sponsor, led the renovation of Frances Green’s home. While away taking care of relatives two years ago, thieves broke into her home and vandalized it. Since then, it has been uninhabitable. In a single day, more than 30 volunteers installed new siding and doors, removed yard waste and trash, and painted the house, which has been in Green’s family since the neighborhood was founded.

“Rebuilding Together Houston has given us a great avenue to give back to the community,” says Mike Chowaniec, project manager with Gilbane and the team leader. “While our help may only be over a day or a weekend, we can see the real impact it has on these homeowners and their community. Providing our time and skills is the least we can do to help make a difference.”

Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Houston and Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF) honored Israel Picon Jr., a Houston-area high school student, with a gold medal in the structural welding competition at the 30th annual National Craft Championships. The groups presented the award to Picon at ABC’s Careers in Construction Awards Breakfast on March 3 as part of ABC’s Workforce Week ’17 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Picon, 18, is finishing his education at Dr. Kirk Lewis Career & Technical High School, an accredited training and education facility and partner of CMEF. In addition to the medal, he also took home a cash prize of $750.

This year’s field of competitors featured nearly 170 craft professionals from 28 states competing for top honors in 13 competitions across 11 crafts. Competitors first took a two-hour written exam and then competed in a daylong hands-on practical performance tests.

In photo, from left: Michael Nosechese (2016 gold winner in structural welding and the youngest winner in the competition’s history), Ramiro Maldonado (competed in the structural welding competition) and Picon.