The Brick in Architecture Awards from the Brick Industry Association (BIA), a national trade group, honor the best in brick design across North America.

At the end of 2015, the competition saw the entry of more than 100 projects, which were reviewed by an independent judging panel.

Here is a look at two of the projects that won awards:

First, Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, won Best in Class for paving/landscape architecture for its Johnson Plaza. The project used conventional clay pavers, which are manufactured using strict quality control standards to be durable enough for vehicular traffic.

Next, the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago won a Silver Award in paving/landscaping for its west entry and macaque (snow monkey) exhibit renovations. The pavers used at the Lincoln Park Zoo, which appear similar to a popular line of pavers installed for decades across the U.S., are permeable, which means that rainwater goes around them and is naturally filtered in the groundwater below. Conventional drainage, by comparison, picks up pollutants from the ground and transports them to storm drains and then to streams, rivers and the ocean.

“The products used in these projects add not only aesthetic beauty and durability in a number of different kinds of uses, but each is an example of green construction,” says Walt Steele, paver business manager of Pine Hall Brick Co. “Each is made of clay and water, both readily available materials, and each lasts virtually forever, which is the definition of sustainability.”

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