Earth Daze

AIA honors the top eleven sustainable buildings of 2018

Architecture Art National News Sustainability
The New United States Courthouse by SOM (Courtesy © GSA / David Lena)

As a fitting kickoff to Earth Day weekend, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced the 2018 recipients of its COTE Top Ten Awards. Honoring ten projects that have surpassed rigorous thresholds in integration, energy use, water conservation, and wellness benchmarks, the award showcases cutting-edge buildings that are not only sustainable, but that contribute to the surrounding neighborhood. This year’s jury included:

  • Michelle Addington, Dean, School of Architecture, The University of Texas Austin Austin, Texas
  • Jennifer Devlin-Herbert, FAIA, EHDD. San Francisco
  • Kevin Schorn, AIA, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, New York
  • Julie V. Snow, FAIA, Snow Kreilich, Minneapolis
  • Susan Ubbelohde, LOISOS + UBBELOHDE, Alameda, California

The 2018 awardees ranged in usage from libraries to art galleries, as well as one single-family home. While the COTE Top Ten Awards are given to buildings that meet certain requirements, an additional “Top Ten Plus Award” is handed out to a single project with exceptional post-occupancy performance. The winners are as follows:

(© Doublespace Photography)

Albion District Library; Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Architect: Perkins+Will

According to the jury: “This project clearly demonstrates the immediate positive impact of good design. A district library that serves a diverse and newly-immigrant community, the library has a dramatically increased visitorship (with a notable 75 percent increase for teenagers) over the old facility.”

(Courtesy Lake|Flato)

Georgia Tech Engineered Biosystems Building; Atlanta, Georgia
Architect: Lake|Flato in collaboration with Cooper Carry

According to the jury: “The Georgia Tech Engineered Biosystems Building weaves a large array of active and passive strategies into a highly tuned machine for this university research laboratory.”

(Courtesy Studio Twenty Seven Architecture)

Mundo Verde at Cook Campus; Washington
Architect: Studio Twenty Seven Architecture

According to the jury: “A 25,000-gallon cistern holds rainwater for reuse, while the gardens have increased site vegetation from zero to 40 percent.”

(Courtesy Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects)

Nancy and Stephen Grand Family House; San Francisco
Architect: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

According to the jury: “This cost-effective building serves a community of sick children and their families while prioritizing environmental performance.”

(Courtesy © GSA / David Lena)

New United States Courthouse; Los Angeles; Los Angeles
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

According to the jury: “We were impressed with the quality of the calm, light-filled interior spaces for occupants who are often in the courthouse under difficult circumstances.”

(Joshua Yetman)

The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Washington, D.C.
Architect: DLR Group

According to the jury: “The Renwick Gallery renovation wove complex and robust new systems while preserving the impressive historic design and collection and allowing opportunities for new works to be displayed.”

(Courtesy Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects)

San Francisco Art Institute – Fort Mason Center Pier 2; San Francisco
Architect: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

According to the jury: “The design team recognized the assets of the existing structure and created a great, low-energy building with a healthy interior environment.”

(Courtesy Olson Kundig)

Sawmill; Tehachapi, California
Architect: Olson Kundig

According to the jury: “The team is commended for their site-specific analysis, as evidenced by the decision to let rainwater recharge the water table rather than collect it. If a single-family dwelling is to be built in a desert climate, this is how to do it.”

(Courtesy WRNS Studio)

Sonoma Academy’s Janet Durgin Guild & Commons; Santa Rosa, California
Architect: WRNS Studio

According to the jury: “This project demonstrates that, even with an energy-heavy program that includes a commercial kitchen, a fully integrated and dedicated design team can produce a beautiful and extremely well-performing building.”

Top Ten Plus winner:

(Courtesy KieranTimberlake)

Ortlieb’s Bottling House; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Architect: KieranTimberlake

According to the jury: “An exceptional example of passive strategies used in adaptive reuse of an historic urban building.”

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