News Brief

AIA Awards 2006 Top Ten Green Projects

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment has selected this year’s Top Ten Green Projects. The 2006 jury included Kevin Burke, AIA, of William McDonough + Partners; David Miller, FAIA, of the Miller Hull Partnership, LLP; Kath Williams, Ph.D., of Kath Williams + Associates; Kevin Hydes, P.E., of Stantec Consulting, Ltd.; R. K. Stewart, FAIA, of Gensler; and Catriona Campbell Winter, of the Clark Construction Group, LLC. Full project descriptions are online at and in

BuildingGreen Suite.

Alberici Corporate Headquarters

Overland, Missouri

Mackey Mitchell Associates

Alberici Corporate Headquarters

Photo: Alise O’Brien
This 109,000 ft2 (10,100 m2) LEED® Platinum adaptive reuse project includes an open office environment, training rooms, exercise and dining facilities, and structured parking. Although the original manufacturing plant faced southwest, the addition of a “saw-tooth” patterned wall of offices in effect reoriented the building due south and provided ample glazing while blocking western sunlight. The interior is organized around three large atria and receives abundant light and fresh air. In addition to visually uniting the two floors, the atria act as thermal flues to induce ventilation. The open-plan environment fosters teamwork and collaboration while affording 90% of building occupants direct views to the outdoors. The project earned 60 LEED points, more than any other project to date.

The Animal Foundation Dog Adoption Park

Las Vegas, Nevada

Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects

The Animal Foundation Dog Adoption Park

Photo: Tom Bonner
The 18,700 ft2 (1,740 m2) Dog Adoption Park consists of bungalows arranged in a park-like setting shaded by freestanding photovoltaic canopies. Given southern Nevada’s climate, the team decided to focus on eliminating the cooling load and reducing water use. The bungalow’s form and orientation were governed by daylighting and wind-powered ventilation, and the project is expected to use 81% less energy than baseline models. A Living Machine treats wastewater for reuse on site.

Ballard Branch Library and Neighborhood Service Center

Seattle, Washington

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Ballard Branch Library and Neighborhood Service Center

Photo: Nic Lehoux
This project consists of the 15,000 ft2 (1,400 m2) Ballard branch of the Seattle Public Library, a 3,600 ft2 (330 m2) neighborhood service center, and 18,000 ft2 (1,670 m2) of below-grade parking. The main entry is pulled back from the street, allowing for a deep front porch that joins the library and the service center under a large canopy. The gently curving green roof reduces stormwater runoff. Daylighting studies allowed the team to maximize the use of varying intensities of natural light. Electricity is generated onsite using photovoltaics in stand-alone panels on the roof and integrated into the glazing.

Ben Franklin Elementary School

Kirkland, Washington

Mahlum Architects

The Ben Franklin Elementary School

Photo: Benjamin Benschneider
The Ben Franklin Elementary School serves 450 students in kindergarten through grade six. The 56,000 ft2 (5,280 m2) school was designed to preserve and harness the environment as a teaching tool. Two-story classroom wings reach like fingers toward the large wooded area along the north end of the school. Between these wings, courtyards landscaped with native plants serve as classrooms. The interior was designed to maximize natural ventilation and daylighting, enhancing students’ ability to learn and reducing the building’s energy use.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Motherhouse

Monroe, Michigan

Susan Maxman & Partners, Architects

Immaculate Heart of Mary Motherhouse

Photo: Barry Halkin Photography
Because respecting the Earth and promoting environmental justice are among their missions, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary wanted to renovate their 380,000 ft2 (35,300 m2) motherhouse in a way that would exemplify those ideals. All shower and lavatory water is treated in a constructed wetland and reused for flushing toilets. Daylighting and a ground-source heating and cooling system contribute to an expected 20% reduction in energy use, compared to a conventional building. Materials were selected for their durability and environmental responsibility.

Philadelphia Forensic Science Center

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Croxton Collaborative Architects, P.C., and Cecil Baker & Associates

The Philadelphia Forensic Science Center

Photo: Croxton Collaborative Architects, P.C.
The Philadelphia Forensic Science Center is housed in a former school that had been abandoned for many years. The 58,700 (5,450 m2) concrete-frame building with brick infill was originally constructed in 1929. The project’s energy-efficiency features include load separation of lab areas, which require 100% outside air; envelope upgrades resulting in a superinsulated building; and extensive daylighting. The project also substantially increased the perviousness of the site, with vegetated swales filtering runoff and reducing input into city sewers.

Skaaren Environmental Learning Center at Westcave Preserve

Dripping Springs, Texas

Jackson & McElhaney Architects

Skaaren Environmental Learning Center at Westcave Preserve

Photo: Greg Hursley
The 3,030 ft2 (281 m2) Warren Skaaren Environmental Learning Center functions as a wilderness classroom at the Westcave Preserve, a 30-acre (12 ha) nature preserve and canyon in southern Texas. The design of the structure was conceived as a three-dimensional textbook. A rainwater collection and filtration system demonstrates water quality and water cycles. A constructed wetland and composting toilets show recycling of materials in nature. Natural ventilation, the building’s orientation, and a weather station illustrate air currents and air quality. Systems that reduce the project’s use of nonrenewable energy include a photovoltaic array, ground-source heat pumps, daylighting, high levels of insulation, overhangs, attic fans, and efficient lighting.

Solar Umbrella House

Venice, California

Pugh + Scarpa

Solar Umbrella House

Photo: Marvin Rand
The 1,790 ft2 (166 m2) Solar Umbrella House is an adaptive reuse of a home originally built in 1923. The home’s major design feature is a solar canopy that provides 95% of the residence’s electricity while screening large portions of the structure from the sun. A solar heating system supplies heat through the concrete floors of the new addition. Three solar panels preheat the domestic hot water, and a fourth heats the swimming pool. The home’s daylit interior requires no electric lighting on sunny days. Materials were selected based on their effects on the environment and indoor air quality.

University of Texas Health Science Center and Student Community Center

Houston, Texas

BNIM Architects and Lake|Flato Architects

The University of Texas School of Nursing and Student Community Center

Photo: Hester + Hardaway
The University of Texas School of Nursing and Student Community Center is situated on a small, urban site within the heart of the Texas Medical Center campus. The 194,000 (18,000 m2) building is expected to use 41% less energy than a conventional, baseline building. Three vertical atria, a horizontal atrium, and perimeter operable windows provide occupants with natural light and ventilation. Underfloor air distribution increases energy efficiency and thermal comfort. Low-emitting materials were selected to protect indoor air quality. Rainwater harvesting, waterless urinals, and efficient fixtures contribute to a 63% reduction in potable water use.

World Birding Center Headquarters

Mission, Texas

Lake|Flato Architects

World Birding Center Headquarters

Photo: Hester + Hardaway, Paul Hester
The 13,000 ft2 (1,210 m2) World Birding Center Headquarters is adjacent to more then 1,700 acres (690 ha) of remnant native habitat that is being reclaimed and established as a habitat preserve. Landscape plantings were strictly limited to native species. A 47,000 gallon (180,000 l) rainwater storage system is used for irrigation and as a wildlife watering trough. Water-efficient fixtures and waterless urinals minimize potable water use in the building. Energy-efficiency strategies include variable-speed mechanical cooling equipment, demand water heaters, and efficient lighting. Shielded exterior lighting protects this important night sky and migration flyway.

Published May 3, 2006

Boehland, J. (2006, May 3). AIA Awards 2006 Top Ten Green Projects. Retrieved from

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