Each year around Earth Day the American Institute of Architects (AIA) celebrate the top ten green projects of the past year. This year's list included two homes — one a net-zero live/work home, the other a small affordable house in a planned community.
According to the AIA, the COTE Top Ten Green Projects program "celebrates structures that use a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology to provide architectural solutions which protect and enhance the environment. Entries are examined in regard to their design and innovation, integration with their community, land use and effect on site ecology, bioclimatic design, energy and water use, approach to light and air, materials and construction, long-life considerations, and feedback loops."
A New Norris House
The team focused on transforming housing through small changes that are more easily accepted by the public. The project uses the enduring fascination with the historic cottages and land-use plan to compel home-buyers to consider compact living. At 1008 sf, A New Norris House is less than half the size of the median house, and it is sited on a 0.3 acre lot. “Right-sizing” reduced material and operational loads and costs, and shifted funds to quality design and construction, passive strategies and high-efficiency systems.
Yin Yang HouseThis 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. We sought to create a calm, relaxed and organized environment that emphasizes public space and changes the stereotype of a live/work home for a large family with young kids. Part private home and part business, the house is meant to serve as a place to entertain and a welcoming space for clients and teenagers. 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.
• Read More: 2013 Winners | AIA Top TenMORE AWARD WINNING HOMES ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
(Images: 1&2 - Ken McCown; 3 - John Linden)