Architecture

AIA announces Top Ten sustainable buildings in the US

The American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment has unveiled its Top Ten examples of sustainable architecture in America
The American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment has unveiled its Top Ten examples of sustainable architecture in America
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Bullitt Center, by the Miller Hull partnership (Photo: Nic Leoux)
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Bullitt Center, by the Miller Hull partnership (Photo: Nic Leoux)
Bullitt Center is a high-performance urban office building (Photo: Nic Leoux)
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Bullitt Center is a high-performance urban office building (Photo: Nic Leoux)
Bullitt Center sports operable floor-to-ceiling windows for daylight and fresh air (Photo: Nic Leoux)
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Bullitt Center sports operable floor-to-ceiling windows for daylight and fresh air (Photo: Nic Leoux)
Bullitt Center boasts enviable views from within (Photo: Nic Leoux)
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Bullitt Center boasts enviable views from within (Photo: Nic Leoux)
Exterior shot of Bullitt Center, by the Miller Hull partnership (Photo: Nic Leoux)
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Exterior shot of Bullitt Center, by the Miller Hull partnership (Photo: Nic Leoux)
Inside Bullitt Center, by the Miller Hull partnership (Photo: Nic Leoux)
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Inside Bullitt Center, by the Miller Hull partnership (Photo: Nic Leoux)
Bullitt Center's feature staircase (Photo: Nic Leoux)
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Bullitt Center's feature staircase (Photo: Nic Leoux)
Bullitt Center also sports a solar array (Photo: Nic Leoux)
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Bullitt Center also sports a solar array (Photo: Nic Leoux)
Bullitt Center, by the Miller Hull partnership (Photo: Nic Leoux)
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Bullitt Center, by the Miller Hull partnership (Photo: Nic Leoux)
Bullitt Center is a high-performance urban office building (Photo: Nic Leoux)
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Bullitt Center is a high-performance urban office building (Photo: Nic Leoux)
Canmet, by Diamond Schmitt Architects (Photo: Peter A Sellar)
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Canmet, by Diamond Schmitt Architects (Photo: Peter A Sellar)
Canmet is a laboratory and support office space (Photo: Peter A Sellar)
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Canmet is a laboratory and support office space (Photo: Peter A Sellar)
Inside Canmet, by Diamond Schmitt Architects (Photo: Peter A Sellar)
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Inside Canmet, by Diamond Schmitt Architects (Photo: Peter A Sellar)
Canmet is a complex energy use intensive building (Photo: Peter A Sellar)
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Canmet is a complex energy use intensive building (Photo: Peter A Sellar)
Canmet, by Diamond Schmitt Architects is rated LEED Platinum (Photo: Peter A Sellar)
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Canmet, by Diamond Schmitt Architects is rated LEED Platinum (Photo: Peter A Sellar)
Canmet, by Diamond Schmitt Architects (Photo: Peter A Sellar)
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Canmet, by Diamond Schmitt Architects (Photo: Peter A Sellar)
Collaborative Life Sciences Building, by CO Architects and SERA Architects (Photo: Alene Davis)
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Collaborative Life Sciences Building, by CO Architects and SERA Architects (Photo: Alene Davis)
The Collaborative Life Sciences Building is a joint project by CO Architects and SERA Architects (Photo: Alene Davis)
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The Collaborative Life Sciences Building is a joint project by CO Architects and SERA Architects (Photo: Alene Davis)
Collaborative Life Sciences Building, CO Architects and SERA Architects, is certified LEED Platinum (Photo: Alene Davis)
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Collaborative Life Sciences Building, CO Architects and SERA Architects, is certified LEED Platinum (Photo: Alene Davis)
E+ Highland Street, by ISA-Interface Studio Archtects (Photo: Sam Oberter)
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E+ Highland Street, by ISA-Interface Studio Archtects (Photo: Sam Oberter)
E+ Highland Street, by ISA-Interface Studio Archtects comprises four three-story wood-framed townhouses in Boston, Massachusetts (Photo: Sam Oberter)
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E+ Highland Street, by ISA-Interface Studio Archtects comprises four three-story wood-framed townhouses in Boston, Massachusetts (Photo: Sam Oberter)
E+ Highland Street is based in the Fort Hill Area (Photo: Sam Oberter)
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E+ Highland Street is based in the Fort Hill Area (Photo: Sam Oberter)
E+ Highland Street draws inspiration from the Passivhaus movement (Photo: Sam Oberter)
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E+ Highland Street draws inspiration from the Passivhaus movement (Photo: Sam Oberter)
E+ Highland Street, by ISA-Interface Studio Archtects, boasts sustainable design and technology (Photo: Sam Oberter)
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E+ Highland Street, by ISA-Interface Studio Archtects, boasts sustainable design and technology (Photo: Sam Oberter)
Inside Federal Center South Building, by ZGF Architects (Photo: Benjamin Benschneider)
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Inside Federal Center South Building, by ZGF Architects (Photo: Benjamin Benschneider)
Federal Center South Building, by ZGF Architects meets LEED Gold certification (Photo: Benjamin Benschneider)
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Federal Center South Building, by ZGF Architects meets LEED Gold certification (Photo: Benjamin Benschneider)
Inside Federal Center South Building, by ZGF Architects (Photo: Benjamin Benschneider)
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Inside Federal Center South Building, by ZGF Architects (Photo: Benjamin Benschneider)
Federal Center South Building, by ZGF Architects cost US$72,000,000.00, excluding land costs (Photo: Benjamin Benschneider)
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Federal Center South Building, by ZGF Architects cost US$72,000,000.00, excluding land costs (Photo: Benjamin Benschneider)
Federal Center South Building, by ZGF Architects was completed in 2012 (Photo: Benjamin Benschneider)
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Federal Center South Building, by ZGF Architects was completed in 2012 (Photo: Benjamin Benschneider)
Federal Center South Building, by ZGF Architects (Photo: Benjamin Benschneider)
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Federal Center South Building, by ZGF Architects (Photo: Benjamin Benschneider)
New Orleans BioInnovation Center, by NBBJ (Photo: Timothy Hursley)
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New Orleans BioInnovation Center, by NBBJ (Photo: Timothy Hursley)
New Orleans BioInnovation Center, by NBBJ (Photo: Timothy Hursley)
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New Orleans BioInnovation Center, by NBBJ (Photo: Timothy Hursley)
New Orleans BioInnovation Center, by NBBJ, a LEED Gold research facility (Photo: Timothy Hursley)
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New Orleans BioInnovation Center, by NBBJ, a LEED Gold research facility (Photo: Timothy Hursley)
Hughes Warehouse Adaptive Reuse, by Overland Partners (Photo: Dror Baldinger)
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Hughes Warehouse Adaptive Reuse, by Overland Partners (Photo: Dror Baldinger)
Hughes Warehouse Adaptive Reuse, by Overland Partners featured the renovation of a 100 year old building (Photo: Dror Baldinger)
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Hughes Warehouse Adaptive Reuse, by Overland Partners featured the renovation of a 100 year old building (Photo: Dror Baldinger)
Military Medical Hospital, by RTKL (Photo: Charles Davis Smith)
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Military Medical Hospital, by RTKL (Photo: Charles Davis Smith)
Military Medical Hospital, by RTKL (Photo: Charles Davis Smith)
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Military Medical Hospital, by RTKL (Photo: Charles Davis Smith)
Military Medical Hospital, by RTKL is home to a world-class burn treatment and recovery unit (Photo: Charles Davis Smith)
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Military Medical Hospital, by RTKL is home to a world-class burn treatment and recovery unit (Photo: Charles Davis Smith)
Military Medical Hospital, by RTKL, is based in San Antonio (Photo: Charles Davis Smith)
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Military Medical Hospital, by RTKL, is based in San Antonio (Photo: Charles Davis Smith)
Military Medical Hospital, by RTKL aims to create an environment that doesn't feel military (Photo: Charles Davis Smith)
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Military Medical Hospital, by RTKL aims to create an environment that doesn't feel military (Photo: Charles Davis Smith)
Military Medical Hospital, by RTKL (Photo: Charles Davis Smith)
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Military Medical Hospital, by RTKL (Photo: Charles Davis Smith)
Sweetwater Spectrum Community, by LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects (Photo: Tim Griffith)
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Sweetwater Spectrum Community, by LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects (Photo: Tim Griffith)
Sweetwater Spectrum Community is a new national model for supportive housing for adults with autism (Photo: Tim Griffith)
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Sweetwater Spectrum Community is a new national model for supportive housing for adults with autism (Photo: Tim Griffith)
Sweetwater Spectrum Community, by LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects (Photo: Tim Griffith)
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Sweetwater Spectrum Community, by LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects (Photo: Tim Griffith)
Sweetwater Spectrum Community, by LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects includes four homes, a community center, therapy pools and urban farm (Photo: Tim Griffith)
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Sweetwater Spectrum Community, by LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects includes four homes, a community center, therapy pools and urban farm (Photo: Tim Griffith)
Sweetwater Spectrum Community has a variety of passive and active strategies, including building orientation and high performance envelope (Photo: Tim Griffith)
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Sweetwater Spectrum Community has a variety of passive and active strategies, including building orientation and high performance envelope (Photo: Tim Griffith)
Tassafaronga Village, by David Barker Architects, was one of our picks for best of the competition (Photo: Brian Rose)
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Tassafaronga Village, by David Barker Architects, was one of our picks for best of the competition (Photo: Brian Rose)
University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Photo: James Ewing)
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University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Photo: James Ewing)
University Center, by Skidmore is based at New School campus at 65 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan (Photo: James Ewing)
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University Center, by Skidmore is based at New School campus at 65 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan (Photo: James Ewing)
Inside the University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Photo: James Ewing)
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Inside the University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Photo: James Ewing)
Inside the University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Photo: James Ewing)
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Inside the University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Photo: James Ewing)
University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill comprises a total of 32,516 sq m (350,000 sq ft) floor space (Photo: James Ewing)
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University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill comprises a total of 32,516 sq m (350,000 sq ft) floor space (Photo: James Ewing)
University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill also features an auditorium, a library, cafeteria, and a lobby and cafe space on two levels, with provisions for music performances (Photo: James Ewing)
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University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill also features an auditorium, a library, cafeteria, and a lobby and cafe space on two levels, with provisions for music performances (Photo: James Ewing)
University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, boasts a novel staircase (Photo: James Ewing)
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University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, boasts a novel staircase (Photo: James Ewing)
The American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment has unveiled its Top Ten examples of sustainable architecture in America
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The American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment has unveiled its Top Ten examples of sustainable architecture in America

Timed to coincide with Earth Day, and hot on the heels of the recent Best Housing awards, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) has today unveiled its Top Ten examples of sustainable architecture in America.

Now in its 19th year, the COTE Top Ten Awards is one of the more significant environmentally-focused architectural awards out there. The list of winners is dominated by LEED-certified buildings, and, as you'd expect, most boast plenty of sustainable technology and design. We take a look at a few outstanding winners below.

E+ // 226-232 Highland Street Townhouses – ISA-Interface Studio Architects

E+ Highland Street, by ISA-Interface Studio Archtects (Photo: Sam Oberter)
E+ Highland Street, by ISA-Interface Studio Archtects (Photo: Sam Oberter)

The not very snappily-named E+ // 226-232 Highland Street Townhouses project, by ISA-Interface Studio Architects, comprises four three-story wood-framed townhouses in Boston, Massachusetts, in the Fort Hill Area. The homes are designed as prototypes for a series of energy-efficient urban townhouses and draw inspiration from (though are not accredited by) the Passivhaus standard. Each of the homes is LEED Platinum-rated and comprises a total floorspace of around 171 sq m (1,850 sq ft).

Sustainable design and technology includes southward-sloping roofs with solar panels, a north-facing bay window to maximize natural light, cross-ventilation, and triple-glazed windows. Heating and cooling comes via a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning unit (HVAC) and a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV).

Tassafaronga Village – David Baker Architects

Tassafaronga Village, by David Barker Architects, was one of our picks for best of the competition (Photo: Brian Rose)
Tassafaronga Village, by David Barker Architects, was one of our picks for best of the competition (Photo: Brian Rose)

Tassafaronga Village, by David Baker Architects, is a green neighborhood based in Oakland, California, built upon a 3-hectare (7.5-acre) brownfield site that was once home to a rundown public housing project developed in 1945. The site is populated by inexpensive and energy-efficient homes for low-income families, and includes a 60-unit apartment building, 99 townhouses, and 20 apartments, plus an on-site medical clinic.

The apartment building sports a green roof which helps reduce stormwater runoff, and water-saving low-flow fixtures like taps and shower head were used throughout. The local Housing Authority has begun tracking water use, and reports that the project demonstrates a reduction of 30 percent potable water consumption. In addition, a solar array reduces grid-based electricity needs, and provides some domestic hot water.

University Center – Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, boasts a novel staircase (Photo: James Ewing)
University Center, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, boasts a novel staircase (Photo: James Ewing)

The LEED Gold-rated New School campus at 65 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, comprises a total of 32,516 sq m (350,000 sq ft) floor space, which is split between academic space on the first seven floors and 600 bedrooms on the levels above. The building also features an auditorium, a library, cafeteria, a lobby, and a cafe.

Sustainable features include a large 325 sq m (3,500 sq ft) green roof which reduces stormwater runoff, plus a water treatment system that collects water from toilets, sinks, showers, dishwashers, and washing machines, then cleans it to feed the University Center's cooling towers, and irrigation for the green roof.

Head to the gallery to see the remaining winners.

Source: AIA

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