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)
Confluence Park | Lake|Flato Architects, Matsys (San Antonio)
DPR Sacramento Zero Net Energy Office, SmithGroup (Sacramento, California)
Harvard University Science and Engineering Complex | Behnisch Architekten (Boston)
John W. Olver Transit Center | Charles Rose Architects (Greenfield, Massachusetts)
RIDC Mill 19: Buildings A & B | MSR Design, R3A Architecture (Pittsburgh)
Science and Environmental Center | Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects (Hillsborough, California)
UC San Diego North Torrey Pines Living & Learning Neighborhood | HKS, Safdie Rabines Architects (San Diego)
Watershed | Weber Thompson (Seattle)
Westwood Hills Nature Center | HGA Architects and Engineers (St. Louis Park, Minnesota)