News Brief

AIA Announces Top 10-Plus Four-Green Projects for 2007

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment has selected ten winners and four honorable mentions in its 2007 Top Ten Green Projects competition. Full project descriptions are online at and in

BuildingGreen Suite.

The Top Ten

EpiCenter, Artists for Humanity (Boston; Arrowstreet, Inc.)—This 23,500 ft2 (2,180 m2) LEED Platinum gallery and studio space has a 49-kilowatt grid-connected rooftop photovoltaic array that provides for all of the building’s electrical needs. Young employees at Artists for Humanity encouraged the organization to build a green building; the site was chosen in part to help revitalize an urban neighborhood. Daylight reaches deep into gallery and studio spaces, and natural ventilation helps ensure good indoor air quality.

Heifer International Headquarters

Photo: Timothy Hursley

Heifer International Headquarters (Little Rock, Arkansas; Polk Stanley Rowland Curzon Porter Architects)—Part of a four-phase master plan to revitalize a brownfield site, the 94,000 ft2 (8,700 m2) headquarters is surrounded by a constructed wetland. Harvested rainwater is stored in a 42,000-gallon (160,000-l) storage tank situated in the middle of a fire stair, making the water collection highly visible. Daylight features prominently in the narrow building, with low interior partitions bringing it deep into the interior.

Global Ecology Research Center (Stanford, California; EHDD Architects)—Housing the Carnegie Institution, this 10,800 ft2 (1,000 m2) laboratory and office building features extensive daylighting, shading, and natural ventilation, as well as night-sky radiant cooling. These and other energy-efficiency measures reduce the carbon dioxide emissions associated with building operations by 72%, compared with a conventional building. Salvaged and recycled materials, including redwood siding from wine vats, were used extensively throughout.

Hawaii Gateway Energy Center (Kailua-Kona, Hawaii; Ferraro Choi and Associates)—The first building of a research campus for the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii, this 3,600 ft2 (330 m2) LEED Platinum visitor center was designed as a thermal chimney, moving air through the building at 10 to 15 air changes per hour without a mechanical system. Incoming air passes over a coil filled with water drawn from deep in the ocean, providing space cooling and dehumidification. A 20-kilowatt photovoltaic system generates all of the electricity used by the facility.

The Government Canyon Visitor Center

Photo: Chris Cooper

Government Canyon Visitor Center (Helotes, Texas; Lake Flato Architects)—Situated at the entrance to an 8,600-acre (3,500-ha) protected aquifer recharge area, this 4,250 ft2 (395 m2) education center features water conservation in its architecture with an extensive rainwater harvesting system. The main exhibit hall opens to the outdoors to limit the amount of conditioned space; rolling screens and overhangs protect visitors from rain and sun.

Sidwell Friends Middle School (Washington, D.C.; KieranTimberlake Associates)—The goal for the 39,000 ft2 (3,600 m) LEED Platinum addition to, and renovation of, this school, originally built in 1950, was to teach environmental responsibility by example. A green roof reduces stormwater runoff; excess water flows into a biology pond on site. Building orientation and screens limit solar heat gain while allowing daylight into classrooms. A constructed wetland processes wastewater, which is used in toilets and cooling towers.

Wayne L. Morse U.S. Courthouse (Eugene, Oregon; Morphosis and DLR Group)—The designers of this 267,000 ft2 (24,800 m2) LEED Gold courthouse had to balance environmental goals with security requirements, resulting in creative uses of space indoors and landscaping outdoors. Parking was placed underground, creating space for barriers between the road and the building, which contain native plantings. Indoor spaces take full advantage of daylighting; even courtrooms, normally surrounded by offices and cut off from views, are lit naturally.

Whitney Water Purification Facility (New Haven, Connecticut; Steven Holl Architects)—This 140,000 ft2 (13,000 m2) facility houses offices aboveground with water purification facilities below, maintaining as much open space as possible on the site and allowing gardens and a restored wetland to filter stormwater. A ground-source heat pump provides heating and cooling for the building, and the water-processing facility’s gravity-fed processing lowers energy needs.

Z6 House (Santa Monica, California; Ray Kappe and LivingHomes)—This 2,480 ft2 (230 m2) modular home features natural ventilation, a photovoltaic array, a green roof, and rainwater harvesting. Sliding panels indoors allow rooms to be connected to or separated from central common spaces, creating a flexible living space that can change with occupants’ needs. Recycled and rapidly renewable materials were used extensively, and the modular design (with construction in a factory) reduced construction waste. (See


Vol. 15, No. 10 for more details.)

Willingboro Master Plan and Public Library (Willingboro, New Jersey; Croxton Collaborative Architects)—Part of a larger plan to revitalize an abandoned strip mall, this 48,700 ft2 (4,530 m2) library reused the structural steel frame of a Woolworth’s store. In addition to creating an open, daylit interior, the project team replaced portions of the asphalt parking lot with trees and vegetated swales, reducing stormwater runoff.

Honorable Mentions

Gerding Theater at the Armory— Portland, Oregon; GBD Architects

Provincetown Art Association and Museum—Provincetown, Massachusetts; Machado and Silvetti Associates

Stillwell Avenue Terminal Train Shed—New York City; Kiss + Cathcart Architects

William J. Clinton Presidential Center—Little Rock, Arkansas; Polshek Partnership Architects

Published May 1, 2007

Wendt, A. (2007, May 1). AIA Announces Top 10-Plus Four-Green Projects for 2007. Retrieved from

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