News Brief

AIA's Top Ten for Earth Day 2000

The AIA’s Top Ten for Earth Day 2000

The executive committee of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) has selected its ten recognized projects for Earth Day 2000. More details and contact information are available from Mike Janes of The AIA press office at 202/626-7467 or

Bainbridge Island City Hall

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Architect: The Miller|Hull Partnership

Green Consultant: Kathleen O’Brien

The new City Hall brings five departments together under one roof and features Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood, recycled-content and reused materials, daylighting, optimized natural ventilation, and nontoxic finishes.

C. K. Choi Building,

Institute of Asian Research,

University of British Columbia

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc.

This elegant, long and narrow three-story structure is built largely of salvaged materials, including exterior bricks from Vancouver city streets, and timbers from a 1930s building that was being demolished nearby. The facility is designed for extensive daylighting and natural ventilation. Perhaps most remarkably, its nine composting toilets and three urinals require no water or sewer connection. Graywater from all of the Institute’s sinks is recycled and used for irrigation, while rainwater is collected from the roof and used for summer irrigation.

Emeryville Resourceful Building Project

Emeryville, California

Siegel & Strain Architects

This three-unit affordable project, featured in


Vol. 9, No. 1, is most impressive for the careful research and documentation showing that resource-efficient building techniques combined with the use of certified wood can be cost-effective.

The Green Institute’s Phillips Eco-Enterprise Center (PEEC)

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Master Planning: Sirny Architects

Architects, Workplace Designers, Engineers: LHB Engineers & Architects Restoration Ecology: Applied Ecology Energy Analysis: The Weidt Group Contractor: Kraus-Anderson Construction Co.

The Phillips Eco-Enterprise Center (PEEC) offers jobs with ecologically sound businesses. Rooted in community resistance to the county’s plans to construct a solid-waste transfer station at this site, local activists succeeded in building a base for better employment opportunities. Sustainable design elements on the 3.4-acre (1.4 ha) inner-city brownfield site redevelopment project include ground-source heat pumps for heating and cooling, sun-tracking skylights, air-to-air energy recovery, and salvaged steel joists, wood and brick.

Hanover House

Hanover, New Hampshire

Designer: Marc Rosenbaum, PE, Energysmiths

The Hanover House, featured in


Vol. 7, No. 2, is a solar-heated, superinsulated home—one of the lowest energy-use houses in North America. Indoor environmental quality, durability, and material resource efficiency were as important as low energy consumption. Key features include superinsulation, superglass, heat recovery ventilation, airtight construction, and passive solar design. Durable and healthy materials include certified cedar shingles, linoleum, tile, and local hardwood floors. The house is designed for comfort, with even temperatures and humidity, and requires little maintenance.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Austin, Texas

Architect: Overland Partners, Inc.

This 40-acre (16 ha) facility is designed as a series of outdoor spaces and facilities, including visitors’ galleries, a 250-seat auditorium, and classrooms. The facilities and the program they support model “total resource conservation” while showing the beauty of native landscape. Uniting the entire complex is a rainwater capture and reuse system, the largest of its kind conceived in the United States at the time of construction (see


Vol. 6, No. 5). Other design elements include passive solar heating, appropriate building orientation, use of recycled and reclaimed materials, and use of excavated material on site.

New South Jamaica Branch Library

Queens, New York

Stein White Architects

The energy performance of the Library is integral to the basic architectural design, supported by automated controls that regulate shades, lights and ventilation dampers. The building’s relationship to the sun drives the architectural form, and the changing natural light is significant to the quality of the interior space. The building also uses construction materials efficiently, including recycled products.

Department of Environmental Protection - Ebensburg

Ebensburg, Pennsylania

Kulp Boecker Architects, P.C.

Contractor and Developer: Miller Bros. Construction, Inc.

Green highlights of this project include a 16-kW photovoltaic array (the second largest in Pennsylvania), underfloor supply-air plenum air distribution coupled with ground-source heat pump, and projected annual energy consumption below 25,000 Btu/ft2 (284 MJ/m2), or 60% better performance than the ASHRAE Standard 90.1 baseline. The project addresses the following environmental issues: site sustainability, sustainable materials and resource conservation, enhanced air quality, improved energy efficiency, and reduced water consumption.

McLean Environmental Living and Learning Center, Northland College

Ashland, Wisconsin

Architect of Record & Sustainable Building Design Consultant: LHB Engineers & Architects; Design Architect/Engineers: Hammel Green & Abrahamson, Inc.; Energy Analysis: The Weidt Group

The McLean Environmental Living and Learning Center at Northland College is outfitted with a wind turbine, a solar hot water system, and three photovoltaic panels.

Photo courtesy of LHB Engineers
This 40,000 ft2 (3,700 m2) complex houses 114 residents while teaching about energy performance, materials, building life-cycle issues, and sustainability. The building’s renewable systems—a 20-kW Jacobs Wind Turbine, a solar domestic hot water system, and three photovoltaic panels—are monitored by computers. Features include: operable windows instead of air conditioning, products such as linoleum flooring and low-VOC finishes. Indoor air quality is being monitored. Low-flow showers and composting toilets, high-efficiency lighting, and gas boilers were also installed.

World Resources Institute (WRI) Headquarters Office

Washington, D.C.

Architect: HOK, Inc.

The goal of this tenant fit-out, featured in


Vol. 8, No. 11, was to express WRI’s values in physical terms. Every material was chosen because it uses natural resources efficiently; many were chosen because they are alternatives to conventional, but less environmentally friendly, products. The project also recognizes the manufacturers of materials and systems that are moving toward sustainable business practices. The result of these and other sustainable materials is elegantly minimal, with a soft curvilinear form and eased edge. Lighting fixtures save 70% of the electrical energy that is typically used by energy-efficient recessed fluorescent fixtures.

Published April 1, 2000

(2000, April 1). AIA's Top Ten for Earth Day 2000. Retrieved from

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a BuildingGreen Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.