AIA announces the 2023 COTE Award winners

Top Ten

AIA announces the 2023 COTE Award winners

MSR and R3A’s reuse of a former steel mill superstructure for a tech hub is integrated into an adjacent public park as part of a larger environmental remediation project. (Corey Gaffer)

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)’s 2023 Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Awards emphasized net-zero coastal projects from a range of practices. Including familiar awardees like Lake|Flato, HGA, and Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, smaller, regionally-focused practices like Massachusetts’ Charles Rose Architects and Seattle’s Weber Thompson were also recognized for their work.

This year’s jury was chaired by David Baker Architects principal Katie Ackerly and included Jacobs architectural designer Julian Owens, Design Collective principal Seonhee Kim, and Metropolis editor-in-chief Avinash Rajagopal. Now in its 27th year, the program evaluates projects for their “social, economic, and ecological value” across ten design categories: Integration, Equitable Communities, Ecosystems, Water, Economy, Energy, Well-being, Resources, Change, and Discovery. Submitted projects needed to have been completed at least a year prior to the submission deadline, and have been submitted by an architect licensed in the United States (though the project need not be located in the U.S.).

Four of this year’s winners were developed on former brownfield sites, including the reuse of a decommissioned steel mill superstructure in Pittsburgh—a less common recognition of industrial architecture for the COTE awards. The list is rounded out by multifamily housing, transit, office, and multiple education projects. A common thread among the projects is achieving net-zero energy design, with many featuring a low window-wall ratio and passive ventilation strategies.

See below for the full list of winners, and the COTE Awards page for detailed information on each project.

Casa Adelante 2060 Folsom | Mithun, Y.A Studio (San Francisco)

exterior of a multifamily housing project
The layout of Mithun and Y.A Studios addition to San Franciscos Mission District maximed the site’s housing yield. (Bruce Damonte)

Confluence Park | Lake|Flato Architects, Matsys (San Antonio)

concrete sculptures in a park
A pavilion for Confluence Park designed by Lake|Flato and Matsys using 22 concrete petals. (Casey Dunn)

DPR Sacramento Zero Net Energy Office, SmithGroup (Sacramento, California)

timber-framed interior of an office
SmithGroup’s design for DPR Construction’s offices renovated a 1940s building with a cross-laminated timber addition. (© Chad Davies)

Harvard University Science and Engineering Complex | Behnisch Architekten (Boston)

exterior of a science academic complex
Behnisch Architekten designed a facade that optimizes the control of solar heat gain and passive ventilated for Harvard’s new engineering complex. (Brad Feinknopf)

John W. Olver Transit Center | Charles Rose Architects (Greenfield, Massachusetts)

exterior of a transit center
Charles Rose Architects’ John W. Olver Transit Center was the county’s first net-zero energy transit center. (John Edward Linden Photography)

RIDC Mill 19: Buildings A & B | MSR Design, R3A Architecture (Pittsburgh)

elevation of a converted industrial building
MSR and R3A’s conversion of a former mill features the largest single-slope bifacial glass photovoltaic array in the United States. (Corey Gaffer)

Science and Environmental Center | Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (Hillsborough, California)

aerial view of an academic science and environmental center
Natural daylighting, operable windows, a low window-wall ratio, and photovoltaic panels conserve energy in Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects’ environmental center. (©W.L. Butler Construction, Inc)

UC San Diego North Torrey Pines Living & Learning Neighborhood | HKSSafdie Rabines Architects (San Diego)

aerial view of an academic complex near the ocean
HKS and Safdie Rabines’ work stays within UC San Diego’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2025. (Tom Harris)

Watershed | Weber Thompson (Seattle)

view of an office building next to an overpass
Weber Thompson’s seven-story office building incorporates bioswales to address the site’s context within Seattle’s ongoing stormwater management problems. (Built Work Photography)

Westwood Hills Nature Center | HGA Architects and Engineers (St. Louis Park, Minnesota)

exterior of a nature center
HGA’s Westwood Hills Nature Center features net-zero energy design through efficient shading strategies and in-floor radiant heating. (Peter J. Sieger)