Guest writer: Jared Silliker

ballardlibrary Ballard Library, photographed byMark Svensen

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) selected their this week. These buildings are green in so many ways, showcasing a wide range of sustainable design strategies and applications.

And the winners are…

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Ballard Library and Neighborhood Service Center, by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Seattle, WA, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, by Mahlum Architects, Kirkland, WA, Alberici Corporate Headquarters, by Mackey Mitchell Associates, Overland, MO, Philadelphia Forensic Science Center, by Croxton Collaborative Architects, and Cecil Baker Associates, Philadelphia, PA, Regional Animal Campus, by Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects, Las Vegas, NV, Renovation of the Motherhouse, by Susan Maxman & Partners, Monroe, MI, School of Nursing & Student Community Center, by BNIM Architects, & Lake/Flato Architects, Houston, TX, Solar Umbrella House, by Pugh + Scarpa, Venice, CA, Westcave Preserve Environmental Learning Center, by Jackson & McElhaney Architects, Travis County, TX, World Birding Center, byLake/Flato Architects, Mission, TX In its eleventh year, the AIA COTE awards seek to identify projects that address environmental conservation and the notion of sustainable development. Designs should integrate architecture, technology, and natural systems, and are rated on 10 green metrics:

� Sustainable design intent & innovation � Regional/community design & connectivity � Land use and site ecology � Bioclimatic design � Light & air � Water cycle � Energy flows & energy future � Materials & construction � Long life, loose fit � Collective wisdom & feedback loops

A wide variety of project types were selected this year, and three 2005 design firm winners were again at the top of the field in 2006�Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Croxton Collaborative Architects, and Mahlum Architects.

THE PROJECTS (see full profiles)

Ballard Library and Neighborhood Service Center�Seattle, WA Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Seattle

This redeveloped site was formerly home to a bank and a parking lot. With the hardscape reduced from 100 to 20 percent, the library now serves as a catalyst building in Ballard and is easily accessible for pedestrians, by bicycles, and public transit. The jury complimented the green roof design, which also serves ventilation purposes and houses photovoltaics.

Benjamin Franklin Elementary School�Kirkland, WA Mahlum Architects, Seattle

Creating connections is key in learning and in the environment, and these students are truly connected with their environment. Small learning communities, formed by clusters of four naturally ventilated and day-lit classrooms, surround a multi-purpose activity area. The building uses the forest for sun-shading, but still captures the northwest’s precious natural light.

Alberici Corporate Headquarters�Overland, MO Mackey Mitchell Associates, St. Louis

An adaptive reuse of an existing manufacturing plant, this corporate headquarters includes an open office environment, structured parking, and exercise facilities. An on-site wind generator provides 20 percent of the facility’s annual electrical needs, and the building is the highest rated LEED building in the world (60 points, Platinum).

Philadelphia Forensic Science Center�Philadelphia, PA Croxton Collaborative Architects, New York City & Cecil Baker Associates, Philadelphia

This adaptive reuse project has helped to breathe new life and a better sense of security into an under-served neighborhood in north Philadelphia. It is a 1929 concrete frame, brick infill building and the lab is in a former K-12 school. The jury applauded the simple, clever design strategies including the tapered ceiling while working within a small public budget.

Regional Animal Campus�Las Vegas, NV Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects, Henderson, NV

The goal of The Animal Foundation’s campus is to create a memorable and dignified way of presenting animals to the adopting public and to use sustainable strategies. The campus plans to achieve LEED platinum certification, and the jury praised the natural ventilation success in a tough climate. Given southern Nevada’s climate, reducing the dog bungalows’ cooling load and water use were identified for facility efficiency.

Renovation of the Motherhouse�Monroe, MI Susan Maxman & Partners, Philadelphia

Part of a long-range planning for the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (SSIHM), the project utilized existing structures to meet housing, long term care and spiritual needs, while achieving sustainable and preservation goals. Many of the structures on their property were built in the 1930’s and are historically significant. Built on a reconstructed wetland, there is a strong connection to the neighborhood and shows how a building can connect with its surroundings.

School of Nursing & Student Community Center�Houston, TX BNIM Architects, Kansas City, MO & Lake/Flato Architects, San Antonio, TX

A healthy building for a healing environment was created for The University of Texas Health Science Center, and establishes benchmarks for daylight, visual acuity, cognitive learning, flexibility, durability, and reduced operating costs. The jury identified programmatic challenges on a difficult and dense site. And the building is prepared to evolve and get even greener�there is a framework ready for photovoltaics when the University can afford it.

Solar Umbrella House�Venice, CA. Pugh + Scarpa, Santa Monica, CA

Inspired by Paul Rudolph’s Umbrella House of 1953, the Solar Umbrella provides a contemporary reinvention of the solar canopy. A reuse of a cottage in a dense urban area, the new design reorganizes the residence towards the south, and photovoltaic panels not only protect the building from thermal heat gain, but also provide the residence with 95 percent of its electricity.

Westcave Preserve Environmental Learning Center�Travis County, TX Jackson & McElhaney Architects, Austin, TX

A 30-acre nature preserve and canyon 28 miles northwest of Austin, Texas needed to expand its community programs by building a new �wilderness classroom.� The Learning Center is a place for environmental education, but also teaches with its design elements that mimic and model the surrounding natural systems. Built on an east-west axis, the building utilizes thermal mass and the site vegetation was carefully preserved.

World Birding Center�Mission, TX Lake/Flato Architects, San Antonio, TX

The rich bird habitat of the Lower Rio Grande Valley has already been stripped of significant native environment, so the new Center needed to do more with less. It creates a gateway between disturbed agricultural land and a 1700-acre native habitat preserve. The 13,000 square foot design was originally planned for 20,000, and responds to the harsh climate while minimizing existing habitat disturbance.

THE JURY Kevin Burke, AIA, William McDonough + Partners, Charlottesville, VA; David Miller, FAIA, Miller Hull Architects, Seattle, WA; Kath Williams, PhD, Kath Williams + Associates, Bozeman, MT; Kevin Hydes, PE, Stantec Consulting Ltd., Montreal; RK Stewart, FAIA, Gensler, San Francisco, CA; and Catriona Campbell Winter, The Clark Construction Group, Bethesda, MD.

AIA COTE will host an event on May 3 at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC to honor the winners. The projects will also be honored in June at the AIA 2006 National Convention and Design Exposition in Los Angeles.