AIA names top sustainable architecture and green design solutions

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the top 10 examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.


The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the top 10 examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.

The project descriptions highlight both the design innovations and sustainable strategies, along with the metrics achieved in terms of reduced carbon emissions, reduced energy consumption and improved building functionality.

“These projects were judged against a rigorous set of criteria to determine the best examples of sustainable design concepts and intentions,” said Henry Siegel, FAIA, chair of the AIA Committee on the Environment. “In addition to examining their architectural innovation, the buildings had to have shown design elements within their regional/community context, land use and site ecology that benefits surrounding ecosystems; resource conservation through bioclimatic design; and the health benefits associated with improved lighting and indoor air quality.”

The top 10 projects selected include the following:

  • Aldo Leopold Legacy Center, Baraboo, Wis.

  • Cesar Chavez Library, Laveen, Ariz.

  • South Lake Union Discovery Center, Seattle

  • Pocono Environmental Education Center, Dingmans Ferry, Pa.

  • Garthwaite Center for Science and Art, Weston, Mass.

  • Macallen Building Condominiums, Boston

  • Queens Botanical Garden Visitor Center, Flushing, N.Y.

  • Sculpture Building and Gallery. New Haven, Conn.

  • Lavin-Bernick Center, New Orleans

  • Internal Revenue Service—Kansas City Campus, Kansas City, Mo. (honorable mention).

The 2008 COTE Top 10 Green Projects program celebrates projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. They make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality.

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