Twenty-five years of Starnet® Worldwide have come and gone in a flash. We recently celebrated our silver anniversary by honoring commercial flooring excellence at the 19th Annual Starnet Design Awards. One of the most respected and influential commercial flooring design competitions in America, the awards ceremony was held on April 29, 2017 in Carlsbad, CA, and was one of the major highlights of our organization’s spring meeting.

From iconic international sports venues to a children’s hospital that stimulates the healing process to a whimsical corporate headquarters that will blow your mind, this year’s winners encapsulated the innovative, bold and technically daring flooring installation that is driving commercial interior design forward.

Grand Prize Winner | Gold in Unique Installation Challenge | Bronze in People’s Choice

The most prestigious award, the 2017 Grand Prize was presented to Starnet member ReSource New Jersey for their work on the NBC Sports 2016 Summer Olympic Studio in Rio de Janeiro. This was a technically challenging project, made more difficult by a limited installation window in a location half way around the world.

“We are incredibly honored to win three awards including the ultimate Grand Prize at the 2017 Starnet Design Awards,” said Peter DeBenedetto, ReSource New Jersey. “This highly visible project was seen throughout the country and globe, and is something our entire team takes pride in.”

2016 Summer Olympic Games

Starnet Preferred Vendors: Amtico, Amtico, ARDEX Americas, Spray-Lock Premium Eco Adhesives

“The project, without a doubt, is off the charts in terms of design, installation, and creative execution,” said Design Awards Judge Robert Varden. “Not only was the project completed halfway around the world under intense pressure, but the amount of custom work, including hand cut angles and radial designs is impressive and daring.”

Gold in Environmental Achievement

The Gold in Environmental Achievement was awarded to Architectural Flooring Resource, Inc. for their work on Komar Brands Corporate Headquarters in Jersey City, NJ.

Environmental Challenge_Gold

Starnet Preferred Vendors: Antron, Armstrong Flooring, Inc., Atlas Carpet Mills, Daltile, Tarkett | Johnsonite, MAPEI – APAC, Tandus Centiva

“The key environmental story of the Komar Brands Corporate Headquarters revolves around the floorcovering material,” said Design Awards Judge Robert Peoples. Kinetex Propel Tile by J+J covers more than 70,000 square feet of the headquarters. In addition to LEED contributions and Platinum NSF/ANSI 140 Certification, the product possesses a recycled content that is greater than 55% and is 100% closed loop recyclable.”

Gold in Corporate

Starnet member Couvre-Planchers Labrosse, Inc. was awarded the Gold in Corporate for their work on the Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton offices in Montreal, Canada.


Starnet Preferred Vendors: Tarkett | Johnsonite, Milliken Commercial

“The important role that flooring plays, coupled with how well it integrates with the architectural elements, is a testament to the project’s design and execution, said Judge Sascha Wagner. “It is really impactful and makes a bold statement without being overwhelming. Plus, its part of a larger, integrated theme based around specific color choices,” he added.

Gold in Healthcare | Gold in People’s Choice

Both the Gold in Healthcare and People’s Choice were awarded to Starnet member Axis Interior Systems, Inc. for the company’s work at the Dayton Children’s South Campus Specialty Care Center. The flooring design was also intended to set the standard for future projects, including the hospital’s main campus patient tower expansion.


Starnet Preferred Vendors: ARDEX Americas, Gerflor USA, Tarkett | Johnsonite, MAPEI – APAC

“This was a tough category to judge with a lot of stiff competition,” said Stephanie Crane. “However, the Dayton Children’s project stood out for multiple reasons. From multiple elements in one space, to creative and inspiring colors and patterns, it is an ideal solution for a children’s medical center.”

Gold in Education

Two new buildings at Bates College, which offer a blend of student amenities with a sophisticated residential design twist, are the recipients of the Gold in Education. Completed by Starnet member Paul G. White Interior Solutions, the project is home to over 240 students and the College Store, as well as the campus mail and printing center, Post & Print.


Starnet Preferred Vendors: Antron, Armstrong Flooring, Inc., Atlas Carpet Mills, Daltile, Tarkett | Johnsonite, MAPEI – APAC, Tandus Centiva

“This is a sophisticated project that is well integrated with the architecture and overall interior design,” said Wagner. “Color, pattern, scale, and the variety of the flooring all worked in tandem to provide students with a beautiful and functional space.”

Gold in Hospitality/Public Space

The Gold winner in Hospitality/Public Space was an enormous undertaking, completed in a whirlwind of concrete slurry and carpet fibers. The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV is home to America’s newest NHL franchise. The project by Starnet member MasterCraft Floors was almost as ambitious as starting a hockey franchise in the middle of the desert.

Hospitality Public Space_Gold

Starnet Preferred Vendors: Antron, Armstrong Flooring, Inc., Bentley, Tarkett | Johnsonite, Mannington Resilient Floors, MAPEI – APAC, Milliken High Performance Carpet Tile, Milliken Hospitality, Roppe, Tandus Centiva, UFLOOR Systems

Design Awards Judge Deborah P. Elliott was especially impressed with the project, stating, “This is one of the most complex and sophistical sports complexes I have seen. The scale of the carpet is especially impressive and the transition of color is balanced and sophisticated. It’s a beautiful facility.”

Gold in Mixed-Use Developments

The Gold in Mixed-Use Developments was awarded to CFS Interiors and Flooring for the company’s work on Encore, a new facility located in Minneapolis, MN. The team from CFS provided the client with a complete in-house solution, producing a modern, contemporary aesthetic that was both high-end yet functional, comfortable, and approachable.

Mixed Use_Gold

Starnet Preferred Vendors: ARDEX Americas, Daltile, Tarkett | Johnsonite, Masland Contract Carpet, MATS, Inc., Milliken Commercial, Tandus Centiva

Wagner was most impressed with the material selection in the project. He said, “There are bold choices throughout in terms of high contrast patterns in a neutral pattern. The design is cohesive and hangs together quite well.” Elliott added, “The color scheme here is quite wonderful and lends itself well to the intended use of the space.”

Excellence in Imagination

A special honor was also bestowed to a project that the judges unanimously praised, and who felt deserved special recognition. In direct response to the incredible creativity and execution displayed in its Adventure in Wonderland project, the Excellence in Imagination Award was given to Diverzify. A corporate office home to a sprawling software company, the built space takes visitors down the rabbit hole of absurdity that is Alice in Wonderland.

Corporate_Imagination Award

Starnet Preferred Vendors: Armstrong Flooring, Inc., Chapco /TEC Adhesives (H.B. Fuller), Tarkett | Johnsonite, Mannington Commercial Carpet, Mannington Resilient Floors, Milliken Commercial, Roppe, Tandus Centiva,

“This project screams creative solutions and offers up a number of design opportunities,” said Crane. From mixed materials, to patterning that is reflective of the theme, it’s hugely creative, fun, interesting, and fantasy-like.”

Elliott was also thrilled with the design aspect and installation of materials. She said, “How fortunate to have a client that encourages this level of creativity and then have an award that recognizes that. It’s a marriage made in heaven for designer, client, and the Starnet Awards.”

An Important Milestone

2017 marks another important milestone for Starnet and our members, said Jeanne Matson, President and CEO of Starnet. “The Design Awards served as a reminder that 25 years of dedication to excellence in flooring design, installation and environmental stewardship has helped to create some of the most incredible commercial spaces in the country.”

Judging Panel

An elite panel of industry professionals lent their talent and expertise to this year’s panel:

  • Deborah P. Elliott, IIDA, NCIDQ, CID, LEED AP – Co-Founder and Design Principal at ID Studios Inc.
  • Stephanie Crane, NCIDQ, CID, LEED AP – Principal at Shlemmer+Algaze+Associates
  • Sascha Wagner, IIDA, CID LEED AP – President / CEO Huntsman Architectural Group

Honorary Judges for the Environmental Achievement and Unique Installation Challenge Awards were Robert Peoples, Ph.D, Executive Director of Carpet American Recovery Effort (CARE) and Robert Varden, Vice President of Certified Flooring Installers, respectively.

For more information about the 2017 Starnet Design Awards and to view all the entrants and winners, click here.

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