Ten projects are recognised by the AIA for sustainable, ecological design excellence.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have announced its 2014 top ten sustainable architecture and ecological design projects that improve building comfort for occupants and reduce environmental impacts. These projects are recognised for an integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology.
Arizona State University Student Health Services Building – Lake|Flato Architects and Orcutt |Winslow
This adaptive reuse project transformed the previously underperforming clinic facility in terms of energy usage and campus engagement. The design leverages the natural environment and daylighting, and has eliminated thermal bridging, increased thermal barriers and incorporated high-efficiency mechanical systems and strategically placed, high-performance glazing to achieve LEED platinum certification.
Bud Clark Commons, Oregon – Holst Architecture
The architects of this walk-in day centre for the homeless, with a public courtyard, a 90-bed temporary shelter and 130 studio apartments, considered the well-being of the occupants and the environment in their design, as well as financial viability. Sustainable features include large-scale greywater recycling, zero stormwater run-off, solar hot water and a high-performance envelope, resulting in estimated energy savings of $60 000 per year.
Bushwick Inlet Park, New York – Kiss + Cathcart Architects
Maximising the use of the sensitive waterfront site, the park rises up over the building as a northwest-facing green roof. The primarily solar-powered ground source heat pump wells, rainwater harvest and storage, and drip irrigation use no roof space for chillers, flues or vents, and generate no noise or emissions. Irrigation of the green roof is provided by captured rainwater and greywater from the playground sprinklers.
Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, Oregon – SERA Architects in association with Cutler Anderson Architects
Transforming the building’s uninsulated facade into a high-performance curtain wall was key to the energy-efficient design. To reduce solar gain and maximise daylight, elevation-specific “reeds” were designed to shade the entire 18-storey northwest face and an integrated sunshade was installed on the southwest and southeast faces. In addition, the roof canopy supports a 180kW photovoltaic array and rainwater collection area.
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry Gateway Centre – Architerra
The building’s combined heat and power plant and green roof reduce the overall carbon footprint of the campus, while serving as a research tool. Other green features include solar systems, chilled beams, high-performance lighting, tripled-glazed operable windows, double-skin facade elements and rainwater gardens.
John and Frances Angelos Law Centre, Baltimore – Behnisch Architekten and Ayers Saint Gross
Designed to minimise the building’s dependence on mechanical ventilation and artificial lighting, a holistic approach to sustainability was followed. An integrated heating and cooling system is coupled with a hybrid ventilation system, while operable windows in the atrium are automated based on the favourability of outdoor conditions. In addition, LED lighting throughout the building minimises energy consumption and extends maintenance life dramatically over conventional fixtures.
Sustainability Treehouse, West Virginia – Mithun and BNIM
Through innovative green building systems, a net-zero energy and water facility was achieved. These include a 6 450W photovoltaic array, two 4 000W wind turbines, and a 1 000 gallon cistern and water cleansing system. Situated in the Summit Bechtel Reserve forest, visitors are taught about sustainable design and environmental stewardship trough different vantage points and spaces.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation Headquarters, California – EHDD
Focused on green strategies rather than a sustainable building, the design team addressed staff commuting, travel and building energy use, and stayed cognisant of both good urbanism and energy-efficiency. Sun shading and glare control strategies were employed to compensate for the fact that the building couldn’t be optimally orientated.
US Land Port of Entry, Minnesota – Snow Kreilich Architects, Inc.
Built in a wetland, this LEED gold certified project is the first to employ a ground source heat pump system. The building was orientated to withstand winter winds and maximise solar heat gain in winter, while external insulation and a rain screen were used to fashion an energy-efficient envelope. In addition, recycled content made up 22% of the material used.
Wayne N Aspinall Federal Building and US Courthouse, Colorado – Westlake Reed Leskosky and The Beck Group
This renovation project features a roof canopy-mounted 123kW photovoltaic array, variable-refrigerant flow heating and cooling systems, a 32-well passive Geo-Exchange system, a thermally upgraded enclosure, energy recovery, wireless controls, fluorescent and LED lighting, and post-occupancy monitoring. Its goal is to be a net-zero energy facility.
Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to the American Institute of Architects for the information given to write this article.