Ingomar, Pa. – November 2, 2023 –The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 ISFA Awards. The program honors excellence in application design, fabrication and installation of projects using manufactured surfacing materials. Projects submitted must employ the designated surfacing material and meet the ISFA minimum standards for the material. In addition, the project must exemplify excellence in all methods of the fabrication process, including safety, training and the use of technology.
An independent panel of industry professionals selected the winners for the seven project-based awards. The Fabricator of the Year and the ISFA Hall of Fame submissions were narrowed to finalists and a vote from the membership determined winners.
Winners were announced at the 2023 ISFA Annual Conference, which took place October 16-19, 2023, in Sint Maarten. Here are the 10 award recipients across nine categories:
Commercial Solid Surface Project of the Year: Seneca Valley Ehrman Crest Elementary School in Harmony, Pennsylvania, fabricated by ASST of McSherrystown, Pennsylvania.
The Seneca Valley Ehrman Crest Elementary School in Harmony, Pennsylvania, was completed in the summer of 2022. The ASST team used HIMACS solid surface in Moon Dust to create this sloping walkway. The structural components of the building were designed and built with education in mind. Cannon Design worked with the Pittsburgh Museum to create a fun environment for children to learn from the space they occupy. Time Magazine named this project one of the top inventions of 2022.
According to the ASST, the templating of the radius of the sloped walkway was a challenge. The fabricators had to ensure that the bench at the bottom of the ramp had the same radius. They used the Proliner laser template system and relied on exact drawings done by their project planning team.
Residential Solid Surface Project of the Year: The Madison Club feature wall in Palm Springs, California, fabricated by M|R Walls of Santa Monica, California.
The Madison Club is a private home located in Palm Springs, California. The 3D carved backlit feature wall is made of Corian solid surface in Glacier White. The fabricator’s unique “Reeds” design includes a massive array of LED lights with special acrylic stiffeners.
M|R Walls has developed proprietary, patented software and fluency in CNC operation, which empowers the team to produce impeccably crafted puzzle pieces with ease of installation in mind. The fabricator supplies and installs the design, including the lights, while ensuring seamless integration between the lights and the grooves. Overcoming the initial challenge of striking the perfect balance between the lights and the grooves is instrumental in achieving the desired results, delivering high-quality, reliable and visually stunning installations.
Commercial Mineral Surface Project of the Year: The Silva Hotel rooftop grills in Washington, D.C., fabricated by Ellis Page Company of Manassas, Virginia.
The rooftop grills at The Silva Hotel in Washington D.C. were created using Dekton in Blanc Concrete. Twelve slabs were used to fabricate this stunning outdoor space. Located on top of the 11-story building, the grills mirror the geometric design of the building. The full-mitered grill wraps had many extreme angles, from acute to obtuse. The seam locations had to line up with the metal precisely, so what could have been large pieces had to be small parts. The fabricator had to wrap the material under the ledge on the undersides.
Residential Mineral Surface Project of the Year: A series of bathrooms in a home in Hesse, Germany, fabricated by Rosskopf + Partner of Obermehler, Germany.
Sintered stone was used for the floors, zero-entry shower trays and walls in this residential home in Hesse, Germany. For the three bathrooms, the tiles were fabricated on a waterjet in special formats. The warm grey tone Pietra di Luna by Neolith’s sintered stone was combined with sinks made of Avonite’s white solid surface material, creating a timeless, elegant look. This unique project was challenging due to the size, weight, and care needed during transportation and installation.
Commercial Quartz Project of the Year: 3D Puzzle of Superlatives public benches in Uppsala, Sweden, fabricated by Rosskopf + Partner of Obermehler, Germany.
Located in Uppsala, Sweden, this outdoor bench seating is 214 feet long and made of 7,000 quartz and glass pieces. Technistone quartz material in light grey was used to create the bench. In the installation process, the slats of quartz and glass were combined in alternating order. Because of its bright surface, the bench is a brilliant eye-catcher by day and especially at night when it becomes lighted artwork.
The fabrication team crafted the single elements from approximately 12,000 square feet of quartz material and installed them in Uppsala. “It was like a gigantic 3D puzzle — especially putting the pieces in order and fitting them exactly together,” recalled a representative from Rosskopf + Partner. “It was a real challenge, particularly in the Swedish winter.”
Residential Quartz Project of the Year: Floating stairs in a home in Austin, Texas, fabricated by Alpha Granite & Tile of Austin, Texas.
These Floating Stairs in a residential property in Austin, Texas, were fabricated using Caesarstone Quartz in Vivid White. Technical challenges included accurate digital templating of metal stair supports, ultra-precise fabrication of quartz, and masterful installation of perfectly level treads, risers and custom filler strips.
Sustainable Project of the Year: The Tideline Autograph Marriott in West Palm Beach, Florida, fabricated by Moderno Porcelain Works of Sunrise, Florida.
The Tideline Autograph Marriott in West Palm Beach, Florida, was home to this tile-over-tile project using Laminam porcelain panels were cut to size to tile over existing flooring for a complete room renovation, eliminating the need for demolition, which eliminated environmental, health and sound contamination while avoiding abatement and enabling up to 95% grout reduction.
The project required engineer approval on the process due to concerns from ownership on additional structure weight. The fabricator worked to get that approved while mitigating concerns about slip resistance due to the large format installation and minimal grout lines. The fabricator offered a cut-to-size option to maximize material yield and stay on budget to overcome this challenge.
Fabricator of the Year: Eastern Surfaces, Allentown, Pennsylvania.
With a remarkable legacy spanning more than four decades in the natural stone and solid surface industries, Eastern Surfaces has left an indelible mark on the hearts of thousands of satisfied customers in and around Allentown, Pennsylvania. Eastern Surfaces believes that every countertop they create is an exquisite work of art that deserves the utmost attention to detail and precision. Their commitment to excellence shines through each project, elevating spaces and enhancing the lives of those they serve. Their dedication to their craft extends beyond aesthetics; a commitment to quality, reliability, and a customer-centric approach has earned them the admiration of their clientele. Through the years, Eastern Surfaces has embodied the core principles of ISFA: an adherence to strict standards of excellence, the pursuit of cutting-edge technology and a commitment to ongoing innovation.
Mike Langenderfer is the president and CEO of The Countertop Shop in Monclova, Ohio, an impressive operation that fabricates everything from laminate to porcelain. Mike has been a member of ISFA since its inception in 1997 and has played various leadership roles within the association, including past president and executive director. Mike is the go-to person whenever assistance is needed, exemplifying his commitment to supporting others. In addition, he has dedicated over seven years to the Toledo Area Small Business Association. In 2022, Mike was honored with induction into the Entrepreneurial & Business Excellence Hall of Fame, recognizing his remarkable achievements. Mike remains actively engaged in his community, serving on the Springfield Area Prevention Coalition board to prevent drug abuse in schools, and he sponsors two programs at the Family Business Center at the University of Toledo, which aims to educate and empower the next generation of business leaders.
Omar Salazar led and served as senior crew chief at Rockin’teriors until his passing on August 14, 2023. For 15 years, Omar was instrumental in recruiting and forming the fabricator skill set at Rockin’teriors. His passion for sustainability, digital solutions and building a skillful and experienced staff was extraordinary. General contractors, designers and fabricators sought his expertise as an advisor and problem solver. He helped and inspired countless fabricators throughout the industry with his vast knowledge and expertise in the fabrication and installation of the most complicated commercial and residential jobs. Omar was always willing to share his technical knowledge to help make the industry better, and he will always be remembered for his kindness and generosity.
“The ISFA Awards program is designed to create awareness around the wide array of surfacing materials on the market today and the unique applications in which they are used,” said Austin Maxwell, ISFA president. “But above all, the ISFA Awards program is a platform for fabricators to gain recognition for their outstanding work in various applications. We’re pleased to honor these exceptional fabricators and showcase their amazing work and contributions to the industry.”
About the International Surface Fabricators Association
The International Surface Fabricators Association (ISFA) is globally recognized as a premier trade organization serving the manufactured surface industry. ISFA exists to help fabricators and other industry professionals increase product quality, improve safety measures, encourage professionalism and elevate profitability by facilitating education, standards and camaraderie. ISFA values innovation, dependability, trust, honesty, ethics, and serving others above all else. For more information about ISFA, the benefits of membership, training opportunities, association events, including the Annual Conference, and more, visit www.ISFAnow.org.