Architecture

Celebrating the very best in sustainable buildings

Celebrating the very best in s...
Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building is the first zero net energy (ZNE) academic science building in the Northeast United States
Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building is the first zero net energy (ZNE) academic science building in the Northeast United States
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Discovery Elementary School was designed by VMDO Architects
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Discovery Elementary School was designed by VMDO Architects
Discovery Elementary School is located in Arlington, Virginia
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Discovery Elementary School is located in Arlington, Virginia
Discovery Elementary School is the largest zero-energy school in the US
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Discovery Elementary School is the largest zero-energy school in the US
Discovery Elementary is Arlington Public Schools’ first elementary school designed in the 21st century
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Discovery Elementary is Arlington Public Schools’ first elementary school designed in the 21st century
Discovery Elementary has a very large solar panel array on its roof
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Discovery Elementary has a very large solar panel array on its roof
Discovery Elementary School was designed by VMDO Architects
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Discovery Elementary School was designed by VMDO Architects
Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building is designed by Sasaki
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Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building is designed by Sasaki
Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building is located in Fall River, Massachusetts
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Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building is located in Fall River, Massachusetts
Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building sets the standard as the first zero net energy (ZNE) academic science building in the Northeast
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Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building sets the standard as the first zero net energy (ZNE) academic science building in the Northeast
Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building takes a holistic approach to eliminating the use of fossil fuels and increasing efficiency
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Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building takes a holistic approach to eliminating the use of fossil fuels and increasing efficiency
Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building was completed in 2016
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Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building was completed in 2016
Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building is designed by Sasaki
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Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building is designed by Sasaki
Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building is located in Fall River, Massachusetts
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Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building is located in Fall River, Massachusetts
Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building is the first zero net energy (ZNE) academic science building in the Northeast United States
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Bristol Community College John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building is the first zero net energy (ZNE) academic science building in the Northeast United States
Brock Environmental Center was designed by SmithGroupJJR
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Brock Environmental Center was designed by SmithGroupJJR
Brock Environmental Center is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia
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Brock Environmental Center is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Brock Environmental Center was completed in 2015
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Brock Environmental Center was completed in 2015
Brock Environmental Center is the COTE Top Ten Plus award winner
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Brock Environmental Center is the COTE Top Ten Plus award winner
Brock Environmental Center surpasses LEED Platinum certification standards
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Brock Environmental Center surpasses LEED Platinum certification standards
Brock Environmental Center was designed by SmithGroupJJR
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Brock Environmental Center was designed by SmithGroupJJR
Brock Environmental Center is the COTE Top Ten Plus award winner
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Brock Environmental Center is the COTE Top Ten Plus award winner
Brock Environmental Center was completed in 2015
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Brock Environmental Center was completed in 2015
Chatham University Eden Hall Campus was designed by Mithun
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Chatham University Eden Hall Campus was designed by Mithun
Chatham University Eden Hall Campus was completed in 2015
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Chatham University Eden Hall Campus was completed in 2015
Chatham University Eden Hall Campus generates more energy than it uses, is a water resource, produces food, recycles nutrients, and supports habitat and healthy soils
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Chatham University Eden Hall Campus generates more energy than it uses, is a water resource, produces food, recycles nutrients, and supports habitat and healthy soils
Chatham University Eden Hall Campus was completed for $50 million
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Chatham University Eden Hall Campus was completed for $50 million
Chatham University Eden Hall Campus has excellent water management and treatment systems
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Chatham University Eden Hall Campus has excellent water management and treatment systems
Chatham University Eden Hall Campus was completed in 2015
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Chatham University Eden Hall Campus was completed in 2015
Milken Institute School of Public Health was designed by Payette
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Milken Institute School of Public Health was designed by Payette
Milken Institute School of Public Health is located in Washington, DC
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Milken Institute School of Public Health is located in Washington, DC
Milken Institute School of Public Health is a LEED Platinum building constructed on a brownfield site
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Milken Institute School of Public Health is a LEED Platinum building constructed on a brownfield site
Milken Institute School of Public Health was completed in 2014
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Milken Institute School of Public Health was completed in 2014
Milken Institute School of Public Health cost $60 million
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Milken Institute School of Public Health cost $60 million
The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage & Spring Street Salt Shed was designed by Dattner Architects
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The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage & Spring Street Salt Shed was designed by Dattner Architects
The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage & Spring Street Salt Shed was completed in 2015
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The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage & Spring Street Salt Shed was completed in 2015
The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage & Spring Street Salt Shed is rated LEED Gold
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The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage & Spring Street Salt Shed is rated LEED Gold
The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage & Spring Street Salt Shed is wrapped in a custom perforated double-skin facade that reduces solar gain while allowing daylight and views
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The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage & Spring Street Salt Shed is wrapped in a custom perforated double-skin facade that reduces solar gain while allowing daylight and views
The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage & Spring Street Salt Shed sports a large green roof
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The Manhattan Districts 1/2/5 Garage & Spring Street Salt Shed sports a large green roof
The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital is located in Singapore
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The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital is located in Singapore
The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital was designed by HOK
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The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital was designed by HOK
The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital was completed in 2015
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The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital was completed in 2015
The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital was constructed for $371.5 million, not including furnishing
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The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital was constructed for $371.5 million, not including furnishing
The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital uses  69 percent less energy than a typical US hospital
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The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital uses  69 percent less energy than a typical US hospital
82 percent of the patient beds at the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital in Singapore are primarily passively cooled and naturally ventilated
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82 percent of the patient beds at the Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital in Singapore are primarily passively cooled and naturally ventilated
The NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center was designed by HOK
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The NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center was designed by HOK
The NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center is located in Honolulu, Hawaii
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The NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center is located in Honolulu, Hawaii
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Inouye Regional Center features the adaptive reuse of two World War II-era airplane hangars linked by a new steel and glass building
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Inouye Regional Center features the adaptive reuse of two World War II-era airplane hangars linked by a new steel and glass building
The NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center's primary mission is that of environmental prediction and marine stewardship
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The NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center's primary mission is that of environmental prediction and marine stewardship
The R.W. Kern Center was designed by Bruner/Cott & Associates
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The R.W. Kern Center was designed by Bruner/Cott & Associates
The R.W. Kern Center is located in Amherst, Massachusetts
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The R.W. Kern Center is located in Amherst, Massachusetts
The R.W. Kern Center is conceived as a gateway to a college campus that includes classrooms, offices, a café, and gallery space
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The R.W. Kern Center is conceived as a gateway to a college campus that includes classrooms, offices, a café, and gallery space
The R.W. Kern Center is self-sustaining, generating its own energy, capturing its own water, and processing its own waste
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The R.W. Kern Center is self-sustaining, generating its own energy, capturing its own water, and processing its own waste
The R.W. Kern Center was completed in 2016
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The R.W. Kern Center was completed in 2016
The R.W. Kern Center cost $7.6 million
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The R.W. Kern Center cost $7.6 million
The Stanford University Central Energy Facility is located in Stanford, California
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The Stanford University Central Energy Facility is located in Stanford, California
Stanford University Central Energy Facility was designed by ZGF Architects LLP
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Stanford University Central Energy Facility was designed by ZGF Architects LLP
Stanford University Central Energy Facility was completed in 2105
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Stanford University Central Energy Facility was completed in 2105
Stanford University Central Energy Facility cost $175 million, not including furnishing
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Stanford University Central Energy Facility cost $175 million, not including furnishing
Stanford University Central Energy Facility is a campus-wide energy system that  replaces a 100 percent fossil-fuel-based cogeneration plant with primarily electrical power, 65 percent of which comes from renewable sources
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Stanford University Central Energy Facility is a campus-wide energy system that  replaces a 100 percent fossil-fuel-based cogeneration plant with primarily electrical power, 65 percent of which comes from renewable sources
Stanford University Central Energy Facility boasts a first of its kind heat recovery system, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and fossil fuel and water use
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Stanford University Central Energy Facility boasts a first of its kind heat recovery system, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and fossil fuel and water use

Each year, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) reveals its 10 most sustainable buildings. Representing some of the best high-profile green architecture you're likely to see in one place, this year's selection includes solar-powered schools, super-efficient universities, and a Singaporean hospital that uses 69 percent less energy than its typical US counterpart.

The 2017 COTE Top Ten Awards comprises a total of 10 projects, one of which is a previous winner that has performed just as green as expected over the years, and is hailed as the COTE Top Ten Plus winner.

We've highlighted three of our favorites below, but hit the gallery to see the rest of the projects.

Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital – HOK

The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital was constructed for $371.5 million, not including furnishing
The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital was constructed for $371.5 million, not including furnishing

Singapore's Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital is an impressively green hospital that focuses on passive design principles.

Unlike some other Singaporean hospitals, it offers every patient an adjacent operable window to ensure fresh air and views. The building reduces water use with a greywater recycling system, while cross ventilation and exterior shading also helps keep the temperature down. This must work as an impressive 70 percent of the facility is naturally ventilated, representing 82 percent of inpatient beds.

Its green roofs are packed with dense vegetation and the exterior walls are also covered in greenery. The building is reported to use 38 percent less energy than a typical Singaporean hospital and 69 percent less than a typical US hospital.

"This project is an extraordinary model for hospitals to behave as healing environments, not seen in the United States," say AIA's judges. "In a tropical climate, 82 percent of the patient beds are primarily passively cooled and naturally ventilated. The reliance on passive strategies provides significant energy reductions and also connection to daylight and views."

Stanford University Central Energy Facility – ZGF Architects LLP

Stanford University Central Energy Facility was completed in 2105
Stanford University Central Energy Facility was completed in 2105

In 2011, Stanford University decided to explore replacing its aging and almost 100 percent fossil-fuel-based energy systems. The result was this high-tech, architecturally attractive and sustainable central energy facility designed by ZGF Architects LLP.

The Stanford University Central Energy Facility runs from 65 percent renewable sources. It features a large roof-based solar power array and water storage tanks that provide 93 percent of the campus buildings' heating and hot water requirements. The new facility saves 127 million gallons of water annually, or 18 percent of the entire campus' potable water use.

"This project fulfills a carbon-neutral strategy for Stanford and houses a central plant and facilities building," say AIA's judges. "The facility demonstrates a long-range climate and energy plan in action. It transforms what would be a typical unappreciated energy plant into a classroom and a moment of architectural joy."

R.W. Kern Center – Bruner/Cott & Associates

The Stanford University Central Energy Facility is located in Stanford, California
The Stanford University Central Energy Facility is located in Stanford, California

The R.W. Kern Center serves as a gateway to Hampshire College and includes classrooms, offices, a café, and gallery space. The building is completely self-sustaining: it generates its own electricity using solar panels, captures rainwater for use, and recycles its own waste.

In a nice touch, the design team took advantage of the public nature of the welcome center to make electrical conduits, ductwork, and piping all visible to the public, thus highlighting some of the work that goes into making such a sustainable building. A digital dashboard is prominently displayed in the central commons and café space that shows energy usage, and information on the building's systems and performance is available to campus visitors via a website and an on-site brochure.

"The R.W. Kern Center at Hampshire College is designed to meet the Living Building Challenge; it achieves net zero energy and water and was built without red list products [materials that contain chemicals designated as harmful to living creatures]," say AIA's judges. "A collaborative and integrated team approach resulted in this being one of the highest performing projects in the country, with a ripple effect across other higher education campuses in the Northeast."

Source: AIA

3 comments
ljaques
What is with all these buildings being built -supposedly- as sustainable, yet they sport entire walls (or three!) of heat-passing R2 glass? That means they're using 3x the number of solar panels to heat and cool it, and larger HVAC systems that likely add $1m to the price tag. Wiki says "Sustainable architecture is architecture that seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space and the ecosystem at large." That is not happening here and I'm wondering why they're getting awards and kudos for it. I notice that there are no Leed 4 awards here. How can AIA give them kudos for wasting energy? It doesn't feel "carbon neutral" to me when so many extras are added. How about you? After looking at this, I call "Net Zero" and "sustainability" _lies_!
Bob
Interesting article but how many years were these buildings designed to last? 30-40? All this sustainable design has to be maintained. In other countries old designs may have been more inefficient but the buildings are usable for over 100 even 200 years. Energy efficiency has nothing to do with longevity. In fact an energy efficient building that has to be replaced after 40 years may actually be more inefficient in the long run.
Helios
@ ljaques,Bob... Glad I'm not the only one that can see through the ecobling that these buildings actually represent. We need to start seriously discussing the need for zero population growth and end the delusional worldview that economic growth is the solution to the world's troubles. We shouldn't continue to build new buildings on open lots, repair and replace when necessary is the best option.