Every year the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) hosts the Top Ten Green Projects awards program to recognize the potential of green design and showcase the architects who are the leading the way in this design field. The projects chosen are determined by speficic design criteria and are great examples of beautiful sustainable design that protects and enhances the environment — one project was even built under Brad Pitt's Make it Right campaign! According to the AIA, "The program celebrates projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. They make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality."
Shown above the jump, from left to right:
- 355 11th Street, Matarozzi/Pelsinger Building, San Francisco, CA by Aidlin Darling Design: "355 Eleventh is a LEED-NC Gold adaptive reuse of a Historic turn-of the-century industrial building. The design team successfully championed a strategy of introducing subtle perforations into the new zinc cladding to allow light and air into the occupied spaces beyond, maintaining the stoic character of the original building without the visual introduction of new fenestration."
- City of Watsonville Water Resources Center, Watsonville, CA, by WRNS Studio: "The Water Resources Center is a functional, educational and visual extension of the water recycling plant it supports. The new 16,000 square foot building consolidates three different city and county water departments into a workspace that allows for thoughtful and continuous collaboration on issues of water management, conservation and quality in the Pajaro Valley. The facility includes administrative offices, a water quality lab, educational space and a design that puts the story of water in California on display. The building, its systems and its landscape will serve to educate the public through exhibition and guided tours."
- KAUST, Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by HOK: "King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a new international, graduate-level research university established to drive innovation in science and technology and to support world-class research in areas such as energy and the environment. KAUST's new campus is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's first LEED certified project and the world's largest LEED Platinum project. By integrating sustainable measures into the site planning, the community, the building design and the campus operations, the university is demonstrating new ways to build in the region and promoting responsible stewardship of the environment."
- Kroon Hall - Yale University, New Haven, CT, by Hopkins Architects and Centerbrook Architects & Planners: "Replacing a brownfield site, Kroon Hall was charged with being a net zero energy building. The architects and the University wanted Kroon Hall to set a new standard for schools around the country. It had to function not simply as a sustainable overlay that offset unsustainable practices in people’s everyday lives but as something that inspired and encouraged people to alter their lives and become more sustainable citizens."
- Manassas Park Elementary School + Pre-K, Manassas Park, VA, by VMDO Architects, P.C.: "MPES is fundamentally designed around the premise that people, especially children, cannot be expected to preserve or protect something they do not understand. As such, the school is conceived throughout as a teaching tool that shepherds children along a path of environmental stewardship. Inside and out, sustainable design is integrated with the elementary curriculum. Design decisions were made with the expressed goal of showcasing as many teachable moments as possible. Interior extended learning spaces offer dramatic and surprisingly intimate views of the neighboring mixed oak forest, while elementary classrooms face shady moss and fern-covered learning courtyards featuring 'fallen' trees and other particularities of an eastern deciduous forest floor."
- Manitoba Hydro Place, Winnipeg, Manitoba, by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects and Smith Carter Architects and Engineers: "Manitoba Hydro Place was designed utilizing a formal integrated design process to achieve daunting goals of energy efficiency, healthy workplace environment, urban revitalization, sustainability and architectural excellence. The design is site specific to harness the maximum amount of passive solar and wind energies and to provide 100% fresh air, 24/7 — it is the most energy efficient large office tower in North America, with a 66% improvement over the standard."
- Michael J. Homer Science & Student Life Center, Atherton, CA, by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects: "The Homer Center supports Sacred Heart Schools’ educational mission, inspiring respect for creation and teaching eco-literacy by offering a variety of integrated educational environments that connect students and faculty to the natural world around them on a daily basis. The design encourages scientific inquiry, linking the school’s science curriculum to building functions throughout the seasons – how it breathes, resists gravity, conserves precious resources and generates energy."
- Omega Center for Sustainable Living, Rhinebeck, NY, by BNIM Architects: "The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL) is a very purposeful building and site, designed to clean water, return the clean water to the local systems, and educate users about the process. Eco-Machine™ technologies were selected to clean the water utilizing natural systems including the earth, plants and sunlight. The entire building and water process utilize site harvested renewable energy achieving a net zero energy system. This required the facility to be free of waste (volume, material, energy), organized and carefully tuned to harvest solar energy for passive heating and lighting, utilizing the entire mass for thermal comfort."
- Special No. 9 House, New Orleans, LA, by KieranTimberlake: "The Special No. 9 House was designed for the Make It Right Foundation to provide storm-resistant, affordable, and sustainable housing options for the residents of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward displaced by Hurricane Katrina. To support Make It Right’s goal of building 150 homes in the Lower Ninth Ward, this single-family home is poised for mass production, anticipating a shift from on-site to off-site fabrication as more homes are scheduled for construction. Key goals were to create safe, healthy and dignified housing to residents in a flood-prone area, and to empower residents to return to improved living conditions that take advantage of New Orleans’ climate and express its deep cultural heritage."
- Twelve|West, Portland, OR, by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects LLP: "Rising 23 stories above the intersection of Twelfth and Washington streets in Southwest Portland, Twelve|West is a mixed-use building designed with sustainability and ongoing learning as integral goals. Twelve|West was designed to achieve the highest levels of urban sustainability, and is expected to earn a Platinum rating under LEED NC overall and LEED CI for the office floors. An emphasis was put on selecting low-impact materials, including salvage, reclaimed and FSC-certified wood. Much of the concrete building structure is exposed on the interior minimizing the use of finish material and providing ample thermal mass. Energy use reduction was a primary driver of the design. Simulations predict energy savings of 45% over a baseline code building."
For more information visit the AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects website.
(Images via AIA)