The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has named the year’s top 10 examples of sustainable architecture and green design, selected by the AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE). Many of the new buildings were awarded or are expected to earn LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of achievement under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program.
The awardees range from a prototype for mass single-family home construction in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans to the world’s largest LEED Platinum project, a new international research university in Saudi Arabia. There are also examples of a mixed-use high rise, an art gallery and an elementary school. The winners are located in six states — California, Connecticut, Louisiana, New York, Oregon and Virginia — as well as in Canada and Saudi Arabia.
Most of the buildings make use of geothermal heat pumps, daylighting, shading, natural ventilation and passive solar heating. The architects also employed energy efficiency technologies such as radiant heating and cooling, cool roofs, energy efficient appliances and equipment, and evaporative cooling with reclaimed water. Some use recycled materials and green roofs, while others generate renewable energy with solar panels, and one (Twelve West, in Portland, Ore.) even features roof-mounted wind turbines.