Earth Day today, just in time to annunce the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design by the AIA and its Committee on the Environment (COTE). Check them all after the break.
355 11th Street / Aidlin Darling Design
355 Eleventh is a LEED-NC Gold adaptive reuse of a historic (and previously derelict) turn-of-the-century industrial building. The building’s original timber frame structure was retained and seismically upgraded. Both a new exterior envelope and new interior were provided to serve the building’s current role as a multi-tenant workspace.
The 3-story, 14,000-square-foot mixed-use project was developed and constructed by the building’s primary occupant; a general contractor specializing in green building. The general contractor’s headquarters occupy the entire second floor of the building. The third floor is leased to an architecture firm. A restaurant and bar that has registered for LEED-CI Platinum certification will occupy the first floor and exterior courtyard.
Homer Science & Student Life Center / Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
Founded in 1898 by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Sacred Heart Preparatory is a 550-student co-educational high school located on the 64-acre campus of the K-12 Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton, California. The historic red brick Main Building, built at the school’s founding, still dominates the center of campus. The school’s mission is to provide an integrated approach to learning, which is spiritually nurturing and academically challenging, producing students who are “committed to social justice, respectful of creation and prepared to be stewards of the earth’s resources.”
The project anticipates a LEED Platinum certification.
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a new international, graduate-level research university established to drive innovation in science and technology and to support world-class research in areas such as energy and the environment. KAUST’s new campus is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s first LEED certified project and the world’s largest LEED Platinum project.
The design team responded to a set of extraordinary challenges. In the context of an extremely hot, humid climate, they were asked to create a low-energy, highly sustainable project. The team was challenged to create a contemporary work of architecture that would resonate with the global scientific community while being firmly rooted in local Saudi culture. Finally, the team was asked to design an institution of the highest physical quality at a historically unprecedented speed—from conception to completion in just three years.
Kroon Hall, the new home for the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, is charged with many ambitious goals: to be novel and inspiring while fitting in with its Neo-Gothic neighbors; to be timeless on a campus known for its icons; to be practical, indeed, the university’s most efficient energy consumer; to provide a home for an academic department previously scattered throughout a collection of outdated buildings; to not only be sustainable but to explicitly reveal through its design how a 100-year design lifespan building can run on nearly 60% fewer resources than its conventional peers. It includes offices for faculty, classrooms, a library and study center, an auditorium and a student lounge.
Manassas Park Elementary School + Pre-K / VMDO Architects
Manassas Park, Virginia, is a small, independent city surrounded by the affluent northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. Incorporated in 1975, the city cobbled together a series of pre-manufactured mobile buildings to create its first generation of school facilities from scratch. Ten years ago, the city began rebuilding all of its public schools—an enormous challenge in a city with an extremely low tax base.
The new Manassas Park Elementary School and Pre-Kindergarten (MPES) are the fourth and fifth new schools, and they join the earlier Cougar Elementary School to complete the city’s elementary campus. The campus sits tightly surrounded by tract housing, private forest, and the historic landmark Camp Carondelet—forested winter quarters of the Confederacy’s Louisiana Brigade between the first and second Manassas campaigns.
Manitoba Hydro, the primary energy utility in the province of Manitoba, set ambitious goals for its new headquarters, including energy efficiency, urban revitalization, and a supportive workplace. The 700,000 square foot, 22-story office tower occupies a full block in the center of Winnipeg, a city that is well known for its extreme climate and a downtown in recovery from severe economic downturn in the late 20th century.
The site was selected for its proximity to the city’s transit system and a network of raised walkways that connects buildings in the downtown core. The form and massing directly respond to the climate, while the architecture works to revive the city’s former ‘Chicago-scale’ urban spirit. The relocation of 2,000 employees from 15 suburban offices to the downtown also signifies the corporation’s shift to a collaborative culture and a commitment to provide the community with a signature architectural image.
Omega Center for Sustainable Living / BNIM Architects
Founded in 1977, the Omega Institute is the nation’s largest holistic learning center. Their mission: “To Look everywhere for the most effective strategies and inspiring traditions that might help people bring more meaning and vitality into their lives.” In 2006 they set out to develop a new and highly sustainable wastewater filtration facility for their 195-acre campus, which is located within one of the most important watersheds in the world, the 13,400 square-mile Hudson River watershed basin.
The primary goal for this project was to overhaul the organization’s current wastewater disposal system by using alternative methods of treatment. As part of a larger effort to educate the client’s visitors, staff, and local community on innovative wastewater strategies, they decided to showcase the system in a building that houses both the primary treatment cells as well as a classroom and laboratory. In addition to using the treated water for garden irrigation and in a greywater recovery system, they will use both the system and building as a teaching tool in their educational program designed around the ecological impact of their system. These classes will be offered to campus visitors, area school children, university students, and other local communities.
The Special No. 9 House was designed for the Make It Right Foundation to provide storm-resistant, affordable, and sustainable housing options for the residents of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward displaced by Hurricane Katrina. To support Make It Right’s goal of building 150 homes in the Lower Ninth Ward, this single-family home is poised for mass production, anticipating a shift from on-site to off-site fabrication as more homes are scheduled for construction.
Recognizing that the intention is to build multiple houses over time, the design challenge was to create a prototype that can be customized easily and inexpensively with various floor plans, material options, and environmental systems to satisfy a range of conditions and desires. This approach does more than provide shelter; it is essential for rebuilding a neighborhood of individual homes. Local off-site fabrication has the benefit of helping attain economic sustainability in the region.
Twelve West / ZGF Architects LLP
Rising 23 stories above the intersection of Twelfth and Washington streets in Southwest Portland, Oregon, Twelve|West is a mixed-use building designed with sustainability and ongoing learning as integral goals. The building includes street-level retail space, four floors of office space leased to a national architectural firm, 17 floors of apartments, and five levels of below-grade parking along with three roof-level terraces and gardens.
Twelve|West is located in Portland’s emerging West End neighborhood with the vibrant mixed-use Pearl District directly to the north, the downtown business district to the east, and the city’s arts and University districts to south. The site was chosen because of the central, transit-rich location and because of the potential to help connect these different districts and inspire further dense development in Portland’s urban core.
Watsonville Water Resource Center / WRNS Studio LLP
The new Watsonville Area Water Operations Center supports the larger Water Recycling Project, a joint effort of the City of Watsonville and the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency to provide recycled water to farmers throughout the coastal areas of South Santa Cruz and North Monterey counties. By treating wastewater and making it available to the $400 million local agricultural industry, the Water Recycling Project protects groundwater that is being consumed more quickly than it is replenished, resulting in saltwater intrusion into coastal wells. In addition, the plant significantly reduces wastewater discharges into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The Water Resources Center is a functional, educational, and visual extension of the water recycling plant it supports. The new 16,000 square foot building consolidates three different city and county water departments into a workspace that allows for thoughtful and continuous collaboration on issues of water management, conservation, and quality in the Pajaro Valley. The facility includes administrative offices, a water quality lab, educational space and a design that puts the story of water in California on display. The building, its systems, and its landscape will serve to educate the public through exhibitions and guided tours.