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for Continuing Education credit here.
For the ninth year in a row, the AIAs
Committee on the Environment (COTE) celebrated Earth Day by
announcing the winners of its 2005 Top Ten Green Projects
awards program. This years recipients, which hail from
disparate regions of the country, clearly illustrate that
sustainable design can take many forms.
Two of the winners, for example, were
adaptive-reuse projects: an interpretive center on a nature
preserve in rural Pennsylvania (The Barn at Fallingwater by
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson) and a glass foundry in a once-decaying
urban neighborhood (Pittsburgh Glass Center by Davis Gardner
Gannon Pope Architecture and Bruce Lindsey, AIA). Another
was an unusual building typea homeless shelterwithin
a central business district (Austin Resource Center for the
Homeless, Austin, Texas, by LZT Architects).
According to juror Henry Siegel, FAIA,
of Siegel & Strain Architects in Emeryville, California,
We went out of our way to look for buildings that are
more urban or address atypical programs. We want to see diversity
in this award, not just campus buildings and nature centers.
While a plus, an unusual building type is not enough to earn
top recognition in this program. COTE Top Ten buildings must
demonstrate both good design and good performance. In fact,
explains Mark Rylander, AIA, associate partner at William
McDonough + Partners in Charlottesville, Virginia, and past
chair of COTE, You can have stellar metrics but not
win an award if the jurors dont find the design compelling.
Polshek Partnership lessened the impact of
the visual arts center at Sarah Lawrence College
by placing one third of it underground.
Photography: © Richard Barnes/Polshek
But once aesthetics are satisfied, the
really hard work begins. In addition to the typical package
of drawings and photography submitted to more conventional
design awards, the project teams must provide documentation
that describes and supports the projects performance
characteristics within the 10 measures, or categories, that
underlie COTEs definition of sustainable design: land
use, site ecology, community design and connection, water
use, energy performance, energy security, materials and construction,
light and air, bioclimatic design, and long life,loose fit.