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AIA Honors Top 10 Green Projects

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

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WASHINGTON, DC—Office, health-care, housing and school projects have garnered the year's top honors from architecture’s most rigorous recognition program for sustainable design.

The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) announced the 2015 COTE Top 10 Green Projects Awards on April 22.

The projects are recognized for their design, materials and building techniques, showcasing excellence in ecological design and reduced energy consumption.

Bullitt Center
All photos courtesy of AIA, photographer noted; © Nic Lehoux

The Bullitt Center in Seattle is a 2015 COTE Top Ten award winner. The office building is the largest certified Living Building.

The projects include the largest certified Living Building, a residential community for adults with autism, and the first project completed under Boston’s Energy Plus (E+) Green Building Program, which seeks to develop energy-positive sustainable housing.

The recipients demonstrate a “thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology,” the AIA said in its announcement.

E+ Townhouses
© Sam Oberter

The award-winning E+ Highland Street Townhouses are the first project completed under Boston’s Energy Plus (E+) Green Building Program, which develops energy-positive sustainable housing.

Now in its 19th year, the COTE Top Ten Awards program is the profession’s most rigorous recognition program for sustainable design excellence.

According to AIA, the winners improve comfort for building occupants and reduce environmental impact through strategies, such as:

  • The 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.

The winners are listed below; descriptions, photos and additional information are available by clicking the project name.

The Winning Projects…

The Bullitt Center (Seattle); The Miller Hull Partnership

CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory (Hamilton, ON); Diamond Schmitt

© Peter A. Sellar

CANMET in Hamilton, ON, is a research lab serving the steel and manufacturing sectors. Nearly one-third of the construction material for the facility is made of recycled materials.

Collaborative Life Sciences Building for OHSU, PSU & OSU (Portland, OR); SERA Architects

E+ // 226-232 Highland Street Townhouses (Boston); Interface Studio Architects (ISA) and Urbanica Design

© Jeremy Bitterman

The Collaborative Life Sciences Building in Portland, OR, features an atrium filled with natural light.

Hughes Warehouse Adaptive Reuse (San Antonio); Overland Partners

Military Medical Hospital (San Antonio); RTKL

New Orleans BioInnovation Center
© Timothly Hursley

The New Orleans BioInnovation Center features a window/wall ratio of 35 percent.

New Orleans BioInnovation Center (New Orleans); Eskew+Dumez+Ripple

Sweetwater Spectrum Community (Sonoma, CA); Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

© Tim Griffith

The Sweetwater Spectrum Community in Sonoma, CA, is a residential community for adults with autism.

Tassafaronga Village (Oakland, CA); David Baker Architects

University Center—The New School (New York City); Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP


Tagged categories: Aesthetics; American Institute of Architects (AIA); Architecture; Awards and honors; Color; Color + Design; Design; Energy efficiency; Green building; North America

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (5/5/2015, 8:40 AM)

While the E+ is visually appealing, those giant holes through the structure puzzle me. It looks like they consume a quarter of the potential usable space while increasing the envelope more than that, requiring significantly more insulated wall area.

Comment from John Royal, (5/6/2015, 8:49 AM)

@ Tom, I think those are windows rather than holes you're seeing: It's the reflection in the window that makes them look like holes.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (5/7/2015, 8:19 AM)

John, you're right. I Googled up some other images as well, and they are deeply recessed windows.

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