As it does every year before Earth Day, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) released their list of the year’s top green projects. This year, educational centers made it big, alongside civic infrastructure, and others.
In its 21st year, the COTE Top Ten Awards celebrates projects that “exemplify the integration of great design and great performance,” according to a press release. A jury examines each project according to a set of metrics and sustainable design measures, like water conservation and energy use. This year, the COTE Top Ten Plus award—which previously recognized a single project from past COTE Top Ten award recipient based on recorded performance—is now a designation among the chosen projects. This year, it’s the Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
We picked five other standouts on the list to highlight below. Head over to AIA for more details on all 10 buildings that made the cut.
HOK, CPG, and Studio 505 — Singapore
Unlike its Singaporean peers, NTFGH provides every patient with an adjacent operable window, offering daylight and views. An oasis in a dense city, NTFGH incorporates parks, green roofs and vertical plantings throughout the campus. The building uses 38 percent less energy than a typical Singaporean hospital and 69 percent less than a typical US hospital.
Dattner Architects, WXY architecture + urban design — New York, New York
The Garage and Salt Shed celebrate the role of civic infrastructure by integrating architectural design with sustainability and a sensitivity to the urban context. The 1.5 acre green roof protects the roof membrane, reduces heat-island effect, enhances storm water retention and thermal performance, promotes biodiversity of native species, and softens the view from the surrounding buildings.
ZGF Architects LLP, Affiliated Engineers, Inc. — Stanford, California
The system replaces a 100 percent fossil-fuel-based cogeneration plant with primarily electrical power—65 percent of which comes from renewable sources—and a first of its kind heat recovery system, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and fossil fuel and water use. Designed to sensitively integrate into the surrounding campus, the architectural expression is one of lightness, transparency and sustainability to express the facility’s purpose.
VMDO Architects — Arlington, Virginia
Discovery Elementary School is the largest zero-energy school in the US. Discovery offers a positive example of a solution to the global crisis of climate change–and along the way emboldens students with the expectation that they are creative participants in those solutions.
Sasaki — Fall River, Massachusetts
Bristol set ambitious goals of making its new science building not only elegant and inviting, but also a model of sustainability. The 50,000 sq. ft building sets the standard as the first zero net energy (ZNE) academic science building in the Northeast.