News from AIA - The American Institute of Architects has selected the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.
Aldo Leopold Legacy Center
The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc., Cedarburg, WI
Completed in spring, 2007, the 12,000sf building includes office and meeting spaces, interpretive hall, archive and workshop. The Center was envisioned as a small complex of structures organized around a central courtyard. This design provides flexibility in managing energy use based on program requirements, creates outdoor spaces for work and gathering, and reduces the scale of the buildings on site. The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center is the first building recognized by LEED as carbon-neutral in operation.
Cesar Chavez Library
Line and Space, LLC, Tucson, AZ
In order to protect the outdoor and indoor space from the sun’s radiation, the building uses extensive overhangs to create a ‘hat’ in the desert. The scarcity of water led to roof top rainwater collection for irrigation, while water reducing fixtures are used indoors. Always a concern in the desert, an area of high consumption, the building was carefully cut into the site and the excavated material was used to berm the building for further thermal mass. The windows are also properly shaded to reduce solar gains.
Discovery Center at South Lake Union
The Miller/Hull Partnership, Seattle, WA
A primary program element for this particular center, alongside numerous other environmental goals, was to create a building and core that could provide adaptable exhibit space, capable of being reconfigured and reused for the presentation of multiple residential neighborhoods throughout the South Lake Union Region over a lengthy period of time. In addition to creating flexible interior space, the building itself was designed to be demountable, separating at three integrated joints to break into four separate modules capable of being transported along surface streets.
Pocono Environmental Education Center
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Wilkes-Barre, PA
The building is designed to reinforce the mission of environmental stewardship and education. Through careful site and materials selection, analysis and design of building systems, the structure outwardly expresses the principles of sustainable design. The building is a flexible, multi-purpose gathering space for dining, meetings, lectures and other environmental learning activities. As part of the site design, native grasses were planted to provide a landscape that is low maintenance and integrates the project into its natural surroundings.
Garthwaite Center for Science and Art, Cambridge School of Weston
Architerra, Inc., Boston, MA
The facility is designed to advance sustainability, creating an exemplar and educational tool through a design process that engaged the entire community. This LEED Platinum design incorporates dozens of green features that students can view as well as measure and manipulate. The result is a compelling model for educational institutions. Fifty-five detailed sustainability goals included renewable energy, no water to be discharged to the local sewer, 100% storm water infiltration on-site, artificial lighting designed to less than one watt per square foot and minimal maintenance for 20 years.
Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life
VJAA, Minneapolis, MN
The existing building was stripped to the concrete frame, expanded by 33% and redesigned with a variety of environmental systems. The hot and humid New Orleans climate is further tempered with strategies for expanding the comfort zone; including programming for thermal zoning, and technically innovative systems for variable shading, moving air and radiant cooling. Despite its high ambitions, the project had a modest budget and was completed for $189/SF, fourteen months after Hurricane Katrina. Since then, Tulane sees the project as a new model for sustainable design in New Orleans.
Macallen Building Condominiums
Office dA Inc. and Burt Hill Inc., Boston, MA
The 140-unit condominium is a conscious and deliberate effort by both client/developer and the architectural and engineering team to incorporate sustainable design measures. It utilizes green design as a way of marketing a lifestyle and concern for the environment, while simultaneously increasing revenue from the design project as a business strategy. The building, just completed in South Boston, is striving for LEED Gold certification in sustainable design. Some of the green building features include innovative technologies that will save over 600,000 gallons of water annually while consuming 30% less electricity than a conventional building.
Malecha added, “This project was built on an environmentally challenged site that was previously unused space. So not only does in enhance the environment, but it provides valuable inner city housing and shows a certain amount of urban savvy.”
Queens Botanical Garden Visitor & Administration Center
BKSK Architects, New York, NY
In looking to the future, the Garden has propelled itself into the front ranks of its field as the first botanical garden in the country devoted to sustainable environmental stewardship. The goal has been to integrate a beautiful contemporary building into the experience of its varied gardens and landscapes, heightening the visitor experience of the natural environment and conveying the key elements of successful sustainability. A water channel surrounds the building and weaves through the garden, fed by rainwater that cascades off of the sheltering roof canopy.
The Nueva School, Hillside Learning Complex
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, San Francisco, CA
The 33-acre campus, located in the semi-rural coastal hills of the San Francisco Peninsula, features a thriving coast live oak woodland ecosystem, a variety of dispersed structures and dramatic views of San Francisco Bay. The design is grounded in the desire to integrate straightforward, appropriate and cost-effective sustainable design solutions within the broader language of contemporary architectural expression. Through a variety of simple, observable systems and strategies, reduce site energy use by at least 65% from the national average for schools and meet the 2030 Challenge.
Yale University Sculpture Building and Gallery
KieranTimberlake Associates LLP, Philadelphia, PA
Situated on a former brownfield site, the new complex is comprised of three new buildings. To provide maximum daylight and exceptional energy efficiency, a wall system was designed that incorporates solar shading, a triple glazed low-e vision panel, 8-foot high operable windows and a translucent double cavity spandrel panel. Consequently, the entire skin of the building admits natural light. The green roof on the gallery and native plant landscaping, which includes mature trees, serves as a connective habitat patch for avian species moving through the urban corridor between these parks.