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Green building concepts helped two Wisconsin companies score awards in a nationwide clean technology competition last week, the Cleantech Open National Business Competition, in Redwood City, Calif.

Whole Trees Architecture and Structures, of Stoddard, about 120 miles northwest of Madison, near La Crosse, won in the national green building category. Whole Trees makes structural building systems from round timber. That means trees that are left as forest waste are used in the structure of buildings, as a substitute for steel, concrete or milled trees.

The company, whose roots date back to 1991, expanded its scope five years ago and has 10 employees. The Troy Gardens greenhouse, built in 2010, is one of Whole Trees' projects in the Madison area.

A Hartland company, FortEco Lightweight Structures, was the North Central regional winner in the nationwide contest. FortEco, about 60 miles east of Madison, makes a composite framing system that uses light gauge steel, insulation decking and concrete.

The two Wisconsin winners were among 275 companies from across the U.S. that entered the Cleantech competition. The grand prize winner was Atmosphere Recovery, an Eden Prairie, Minn. company that makes laser-based gas analyzer systems for efficient manufacturing and advanced energy process control.

 

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Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.