Architecture

AIA celebrates America's best new sustainable buildings

AIA celebrates America's best ...
Brooks + Scarpa's The Six in Los Angeles, California, is one of the 10 sustainable projects highlighted in the 2020 COTE Top Ten Awards
Brooks + Scarpa's The Six in Los Angeles, California, is one of the 10 sustainable projects highlighted in the 2020 COTE Top Ten Awards
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Austin Central Library is located in Texas and was designed by Lake|Flato Architects, in collaboration with Shepley Bulfinch
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Austin Central Library is located in Texas and was designed by Lake|Flato Architects, in collaboration with Shepley Bulfinch
The AIA describes Austin Central Library as arguably the most daylit library in the United States. The building has received LEED Platinum certification (a green building standard) due to its energy-efficient design and it includes solar power and a rainwater collection system, which is used to irrigate the landscaping
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The AIA describes Austin Central Library as arguably the most daylit library in the United States. The building has received LEED Platinum certification (a green building standard) due to its energy-efficient design and it includes solar power and a rainwater collection system, which is used to irrigate the landscaping
The U.S. Land Port of Entry is located in Columbus, New Mexico, and was designed by Richter Architects
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The U.S. Land Port of Entry is located in Columbus, New Mexico, and was designed by Richter Architects
The U.S. Land Port of Entry serves as a safe point of entry for visitors from Mexico. Its design echoes the traditional architecture of New Mexico and the Chihuahuan desert. Additionally, a focus on natural light and energy efficiency, plus sustainable additions like solar panels, earned it LEED Platinum certification
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The U.S. Land Port of Entry serves as a safe point of entry for visitors from Mexico. Its design echoes the traditional architecture of New Mexico and the Chihuahuan desert. Additionally, a focus on natural light and energy efficiency, plus sustainable additions like solar panels, earned it LEED Platinum certification
Environmental Nature Center Preschool is located in Newport Beach, California, and was designed by LPA
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Environmental Nature Center Preschool is located in Newport Beach, California, and was designed by LPA
Environmental Nature Center and Preschool has received COTE Top Ten Plus award for its exceptional post-occupancy energy performance data and has also received LEED Platinum certification. It gets power from a roof-based solar panel array and is passively cooled instead of relying on air conditioning. Additionally, its rainwater collection system is used as a teaching aid for the young children that use its facilities
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Environmental Nature Center and Preschool has received COTE Top Ten Plus award for its exceptional post-occupancy energy performance data and has also received LEED Platinum certification. It gets power from a roof-based solar panel array and is passively cooled instead of relying on air conditioning. Additionally, its rainwater collection system is used as a teaching aid for the young children that use its facilities
Etsy's new headquarters is located in Brooklyn, New York City, and was designed by Gensler
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Etsy's new headquarters is located in Brooklyn, New York City, and was designed by Gensler
Etsy's headquarters includes lots of greenery inside and Gensler also repurposed an old water tower on the building's roof to build lots of features, such as the staircase. Additionally, the building's interior layout is focused around maximizing natural light inside
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Etsy's headquarters includes lots of greenery inside and Gensler also repurposed an old water tower on the building's roof to build lots of features, such as the staircase. Additionally, the building's interior layout is focused around maximizing natural light inside
The Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice is located in Manhattan, New York City, and was designed by Gensler
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The Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice is located in Manhattan, New York City, and was designed by Gensler
The Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice is an influential modernist office building designed in the 1960s by Kevin Roche. What started out as a simple update to ensure it met NYC's fire code resulted in Gensler carrying out an extensive renovation over two years. The amount of natural light inside has been maximized, while wheelchair access has also been improved and the building's pre-existing garden has been turned into a touch and smell garden for the sight impaired too
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The Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice is an influential modernist office building designed in the 1960s by Kevin Roche. What started out as a simple update to ensure it met NYC's fire code resulted in Gensler carrying out an extensive renovation over two years. The amount of natural light inside has been maximized, while wheelchair access has also been improved and the building's pre-existing garden has been turned into a touch and smell garden for the sight impaired too
The John W. Olver Design Building is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, and was designed by Leers Weinzapfel Associates
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The John W. Olver Design Building is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, and was designed by Leers Weinzapfel Associates
The John W. Olver Design Building was the first cross-laminated timber (CLT) academic building in the US. It has a high level of air-tightness, efficient heating and cooling systems, and a design that focuses on maximizing natural light inside with generous glazing. Additionally, a rainwater management system directs water to a local river, and the building is topped by a green roof terrace. The building been certified LEED Gold
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The John W. Olver Design Building was the first cross-laminated timber (CLT) academic building in the US. It has a high level of air-tightness, efficient heating and cooling systems, and a design that focuses on maximizing natural light inside with generous glazing. Additionally, a rainwater management system directs water to a local river, and the building is topped by a green roof terrace. The building been certified LEED Gold
The Keller Center - Harris School of Public Policy is located in Chicago and was designed by Farr Associates and Woodhouse Tinucci Architects
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The Keller Center - Harris School of Public Policy is located in Chicago and was designed by Farr Associates and Woodhouse Tinucci Architects
Keller Center - Harris School of Public Policy has been rated LEED Platinum and involved giving a building completed in 1963 a sustainable makeover. The renovation focused on improving its interior layout and boosting daylight inside. A rainwater collection system provides water for irrigation and flushing toilets, while solar panels reduce its power draw from the grid. Accessibility has been improved too
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Keller Center - Harris School of Public Policy has been rated LEED Platinum and involved giving a building completed in 1963 a sustainable makeover. The renovation focused on improving its interior layout and boosting daylight inside. A rainwater collection system provides water for irrigation and flushing toilets, while solar panels reduce its power draw from the grid. Accessibility has been improved too
The Marine Education Center at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory is located in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. It was designed by Lake|Flato Architects, in association with Unabridged Architecture
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The Marine Education Center at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory is located in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. It was designed by Lake|Flato Architects, in association with Unabridged Architecture
The Marine Education Center at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory is used to teach students about coastal ecosystems. The center includes rainwater collection, which is used for flushing toilets, a solar hot water system, and is passively cooled
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The Marine Education Center at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory is used to teach students about coastal ecosystems. The center includes rainwater collection, which is used for flushing toilets, a solar hot water system, and is passively cooled
Brooks + Scarpa's The Six in Los Angeles, California, is one of the 10 sustainable projects highlighted in the 2020 COTE Top Ten Awards
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Brooks + Scarpa's The Six in Los Angeles, California, is one of the 10 sustainable projects highlighted in the 2020 COTE Top Ten Awards
The Six provides a safe home for disabled veterans and is certified LEED Platinum due to its energy-efficiency. It features a focus on cross ventilation and natural light, while strategically-positioned concrete floors and walls function as thermal heat sinks. A solar panel array is situated on the roof
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The Six provides a safe home for disabled veterans and is certified LEED Platinum due to its energy-efficiency. It features a focus on cross ventilation and natural light and a solar panel array is situated on its roof
UpCycle is located in Austin, Texas, and was designed by Gensler
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UpCycle is located in Austin, Texas, and was designed by Gensler
UpCycle involved transforming an old warehouse into a creative office space. Gensler made use of almost all the existing building, including, for example, industrial fans, which became decorative details. In a nod to the building’s past as a shipping facility, a decommissioned train car serves as an outdoor break room. Additionally, a series of new windows were installed to increase daylight inside
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UpCycle involved transforming an old warehouse into a creative office space. Gensler made use of almost all the existing building, including, for example, industrial fans, which became decorative details. In a nod to the building’s past as a shipping facility, a decommissioned train car serves as an outdoor break room. Additionally, a series of new windows were installed to increase daylight inside
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The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Awards offers an opportunity to check out some of the best new sustainable architecture in the country. This year's selection of buildings includes a renovated headquarters for Etsy that incorporates recycled materials and a library with a rainwater collection system.

As in previous years, the 2020 COTE Top Ten Awards consists of recently-completed buildings that AIA's judges feel exemplify design excellence and environmental performance. The buildings can be anywhere in the world, but must be designed by firms that are licensed to practice in the United States – that said, each one of this year's projects is located in the US anyway.

Gensler is a big winner this year, with three buildings designed by the firm. Of these, its Etsy headquarters is a standout for its sustainability.

Etsy's new headquarters is located in Brooklyn, New York City, and was designed by Gensler
Etsy's new headquarters is located in Brooklyn, New York City, and was designed by Gensler

The project involved the renovation of an existing office building in Brooklyn, New York City. Daylight was maximized inside (a common theme of all this year's COTE Top Ten Awards winners) and a disused water tower on the roof was dismantled so that the wood could be used to create a staircase.

The interior boasts significant greenery, including green walls, to improve the wellbeing of staff, and there are also multiple terrace areas available. Additionally, all required electricity is provided by an off-site solar panel array and rainwater is used for irrigation.

Austin Central Library is located in Texas and was designed by Lake|Flato Architects, in collaboration with Shepley Bulfinch
Austin Central Library is located in Texas and was designed by Lake|Flato Architects, in collaboration with Shepley Bulfinch

Lake|Flato Architects also has good reason to be pleased as the firm designed two of the buildings featured in the 2020 COTE Top Ten. The Austin Central Library is a standout. Created in collaboration with Shepley Bulfinch, it was previously lauded by AIA for its natural light and has received LEED Platinum certification (a green building standard) due to its energy-efficient design.

Notable sustainable elements include a large roof-based solar panel array which produces over 273,000 kWh of electricity annually and provides shade for visitors to the building's roof garden. A rainwater collection system collects water for irrigation and toilet use, and shading was also carefully situated to reduce solar heat gain.

Head to the gallery to see more on the 2020 COTE Top Ten Awards. Regular readers will recognize some familiar projects, like The Six veteran housing by Brooks + Scarpa and the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, by Gensler.

Source: AIA

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1 comment
ljaques
Well, I like the preschool building. The wooden honeycomb looks like it should have handles on the front to allow the kids to climb in and on it. // Those sharp agave or whatever behind the blond's head are bound to take the eyes of children/adults in that Etsy building. // Why is "sustainable" so hideous, Mr. and Ms. Architects?