AIA Releases Its Top 10 List of Green Building Projects

AIA Releases Its Top 10 List of Green Building Projects

The American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment have selected the organization's Top 10 List of outstanding examples of environmentally responsible architecture and design for 2009.

The honorees, which range from the Synergy segment of the sweeping Dockside Green redevelopment project in British Columbia to the community government center of a Northern California town, will be recognized at the AIA's annual National Convention and Design Exposition, which runs April 30 to May 2 in San Francisco.

Here's the list:
Charles Hostler Student Center, Beirut, Lebanon, VJAA -- The 204,000-square-foot facility center sits on Beiruts seafront and is designed to promote social interaction as well as energy and water conservation, while capitalizing on natural features including sunlight and air flow. The structure includes a roof with green spaces.

Chartwell School, Seaside, Calif., EHDD Architecture -- The goal for this 21,200-square-foot building, which received a LEED-Platinum rating, is to provide a high-performance learning environment for children with learning differences. The school sits on a hill overlooking Monterey Bay and was designed to integrate site features, the school program and concepts of environmental conservation.

Gish Apartments, San Jose, Calif., OJK Architecture and Planning -- The 35-unit apartment was designed as affordable housing families at a mixed-use site that includes a ground floor 7-Eleven and hair styling salon. The complex features a rooftop solar array and sits alongside a light rail line. It is the only affordable housing development in the U.S. thus far to receive LEED for Homes and LEED NC Gold certification.

Great River Energy Headquarters, Maple Grove, Minn., Perkins+Will -- The 166,000-square-foot headquarters for the not-for-profit electric utility cooperative is a four-story concrete frame and glass curtain wall office building that achieved a LEED-Platinum rating.
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, Ill., Ross Barney Architects -- The 31,600-square-foot synagogue, which attained LEED-Platinum rating, replaces the original building on the site with a design that conserves 25 percent of space previously used and takes advantage of natural light and ventilation.
Portola Valley Town Center, Portola Valley, Calif., Co-Architects: Siegel & Strain Architects; Goring and Straja Architects -- The center replaces and relocates the town's former library, community hall and town hall, which sat atop the San Andreas fault. The site of the former buildings became parkland and building remnants were recycled in the construction of the new center. It features an energy efficient HVAC system and a solar power system that provides the center with about 40 percent of the energy is uses.
Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, Orange, Texas, Lake|Flato Architects -- The 30,000-square-foot center, located on 252 acres, won a LEED-Platinum rating even though the project was walloped by Hurricane Rita during the early construction stage. Builders salvaged the project as well as numerous fallen trees, many of which were incorporated into the new facilities.

Synergy at Dockside Green, Victoria, British Colombia, Busby Perkins+Will Architects Co. -- Dockside Green is a 1.3 million-square-foot, mixed-use development on a former brownfield site. The LEED-Platinum rated Synergy complex is made up of four detached buildings constructed over an underground parking structure. The project includes a nine-story residential tower with commercial units on the ground floor, a two-story townhouse, a six-story building with commercial units on the ground floor, and a four-story residential building.

The Terry Thomas, Seattle, Wash., Weber Thompson -- The six-story, 64,600-square-foot building has 37,000 square feet of office space on four floors with showers to encourage commuters to use bicycles. The ground level features 3,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. The project received a LEED-Platinum rating for commerical interiors and a LEED-Gold rating for core and shell. 

World Headquarters for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Yarmouth Port, Mass., DesignLAB Architects -- Three connected buildings totalling 54,000 square-feet of space won LEED-Gold certification at a cost of $220 per square foot to build. The design on a former brownfields site features low-tech, low-cost sustainabilty strategies including siting, orientation, natural daylighting, ventilation and high-efficiency mechanical systems.