AIA Committee on the Environment Honors the Top Ten Green Projects on Earth Day

AIA Committee on the Environment Honors the Top Ten Green Projects on Earth Day

Quite appropriate for Earth Day today, the American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the ten most outstanding examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions. The projects, which protect and enhance the environment through sustainable design practices and reduced energy consumption, will be honored at the AIA 2013 National Convention and Design Exposition in Denver. Now in its 17th year, the COTE Top Ten Green Projects program is celebrated as the best program in recognizing sustainable design. The program acknowledges projects that succeed in this environmental endeavor via an integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology and ones that benefit their communities by reducing environmental impact.

Federal Center South Building 1202
Seattle, Washington
ZGF Architects

From the AIA: “Federal Center South Building 1202 (pictured at top) is the result of responding to both the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which focused on improving our nation’s infrastructure and creating jobs, and the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Design Excellence program which was established to procure the nation’s best architects in order to achieve the most innovative and high performance design in federal government building projects. The project’s integrated design-build team developed a design and construction solution that fuses programmatic, functional, and aesthetic objectives while achieving a new standard for high-performance, cost-effective and sustainable workplace environments.”

Charles David Keeling Apartments
UCSD, La Jolla, California
Kieran Timberlake

From the AIA: “The Charles David Keeling Apartments employ a suite of tactics to address Southern California’s pressing environmental challenges of stormwater management, water scarcity, and carbon emissions. The apartments are situated to provide expansive views of the ocean and mountains from all interior spaces, and from exterior walkways and the large roof terrace, which have become popular gathering spaces. The buildings and landscape promote the active use of exterior spaces, encouraging interaction among students with outdoor circulation that leads to chance encounters, convenient spaces for individual and group activity, and spaces conducive to congregating.”

Clock Shadow Building
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Continuum Architects + Planners

From the AIA: “The Clock Shadow Building is not your ordinary sustainable building. The developer wanted a building that was a commercially viable project, repeatable in different communities, a radically sustainable building that followed the Living Building Challenge, and met the quadruple bottom line mission of economic improvement, social justice, environmental restoration, and cultural celebration. With these ambitious and unapologetic goals, the project team set off to design a one-of-a-kind building for a one-of-a-kind developer.”

Marin Country Day School Learning Resource Center and Courtyard
Corte Madera, California

From the AIA: “Marin Country Day School’s Strategic Plan aspires to make ecological literacy an integral part of its curriculum, and to reinforce the students’ sense of connection with nature on their very special site. Throughout the design process they worked to develop synergies between the physical campus and the school’s educational program that would allow students to creatively tackle real, local issues using all the tools at their disposal. Site work included creek restoration, a new playground and the courtyard.”

Merritt Crossing Senior Apartments
Oakland, California
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

From the AIA: “This new affordable senior housing transforms an abandoned site near a busy freeway into a community asset for disadvantaged or formerly homeless seniors while setting a high standard for sustainable and universal design. The high-density, transit-oriented project is one of the first new developments planned near the Lake Merritt BART regional transit station. The 70 apartments are all reserved for seniors with incomes between 30% and 50% of area median. Over half of the apartments were set aside for seniors who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, living with HIV/AIDS or challenged by mental illness.”

A New Norris House
Norris, Tennessee
Tricia Stuth, Robert C. French

From the AIA: “In 1933 the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) constructed a model community, Norris, Tennessee, as part of the Norris Dam construction project. A New Norris House is conceived and created by its design team to mark the 75th anniversary of the Norris Project and to revisit themes on the use and scale of public and private resources. The project entails an integrated team approach to the design, construction, evaluation and demonstration of a model dwelling. The process required that the team confront and resolve not only technological or scientific challenges; but also legal, social, and aesthetic issues that currently restrict green construction.”

Pearl Brewery/Full Goods Warehouse
San Antonio, Texas
Lake Flato Architects

From the AIA: “The Pearl Brewery Redevelopment Master Plan and the adaptive reuse of the Full Goods Warehouse are serving as a model and catalyst for green urban revitalization in a long neglected portion of San Antonio’s inner city. After 15 years lying derelict, the creative reuse of this 26-acre brownfield site and its neglected structures are drawing in a rich mix of new residents, small businesses, retail, and non-profits while emphasizing community, conservation, and local economic development. This is a new community meeting ground where visionary private development and public space come together to create a vibrant urban destination.”

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters
San Francisco, California
KMD Architects

From the AIA: “The City and County of San Francisco embarked upon a rigorous building commission for a new administrative building for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) at 525 Golden Gate Avenue. The recently completed building acts as the defining northwest edge to the large “urban room” formed by the buildings of the Civic Center. Of paramount importance from the very onset of the project was to keep in mind the impact that the building would have on human performance. Along with creating a world-class sustainable building, the designers constantly had the employees in mind in creating the healthiest, most effective and comfortable work environment.”

Swenson Civil Engineering Building
Duluth, Minnesota
Ross Barney Architects

From the AIA: “The Swenson Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth is a two-story structure wrapped around double-height laboratories. Engaging the adjacent building and responding to existing pedestrian patterns presented challenges. The site sloped significantly from east to west, while access was required in both locations. The project team successfully designed a building that seamlessly engages the adjacent structure, reinforces existing circulation patterns, and mediates grade changes.”

Yin Yang House
Venice, California
Brooks + Scarpa

From the AIA: “This nearly net-zero energy live/work home and office was designed to function not only as a home and commercial office for both parents, but also as a private home for a large and growing family with several children. It was designed to incorporate sustainable design as a way of teaching a green lifestyle and the offices are purposefully integrated with the home, making both the house and office feel large despite their small combined area. Passive measures, such as a very tight building envelope, reduce energy demand by more than 50 percent. The 12-kW solar system produces 100% of it’s electricity needs.”