AIA selected the world's top ten green Projects.


According to the reports of Scientific American, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the “top ten green projects” The building with awards is well evaluated by its focus on public health and the combination of sustainable architecture and green design.


With the improvement of living standard as well as the advances of science&technology, we have different requirement of the function of the buildings Outstanding architectural design not only depends on its unique temperament, but concerns on better integrate its environment.


The selected top ten projects have made great contribution to the environment, people are pleased to live in the buildings with environment protection factors.


For example, some building designs use recycle wastewater and some use soil and native vegetation to replace the non-permeable material like asphalt for flooring and roof water-proof. And some use natural light to reduce energy consumption of the buildings and also some use on-site renewable energy to reduce energy loss.


The purpose of these architectural designs is to improve the public health. The location of the buildings are not far from the existing public transit networks to encourage walking, bicycling and riding. Designers think about maximizing use of natural light and the ventilation of the buildings. They use environmental protection material which does not give off harmful particles or gases to improve indoor air quality.


To encourage designers to recognize the importance of sustainable environment in design, AIA introduced a voluntary self-reporting system for architects to track their progress towards low energy projects as part of its goal of having most buildings be carbon-neutral and non-polluting.


“What we see is a national average energy reduction of around 35% over the last three years in USA and this is a great step forward” says Keelan Kaiser, AIA member from Judson University, Architecture Department Chairman.


  1. Norris House

Norris residential area is conceived and created by its design team to mark the 75th anniversary of the Norris Project.

Based on original designs, the USA designers extends the compacted house to public sidewalk and highway. The point of this design is the environmental sustaninability. With the intent to protect air quality and human health, they use all environmental protection material in the house.


  1. Keeling Apartments;

The Charles David Keeling Apartments are located in the southwest of the UC San Diego campus. The design response was to tune the design to capitalize on the favorable environmental features, while moderating or eliminating the undesirable ones. This led to a building envelope that uses thermal mass to buffer temperature changes, minimizes solar gain, and naturally ventilates. Water scarcity is managed through a comprehensive strategy of conservation and reuse, including on-site wastewater recycling.


  1. Clock Shadow Building; Milwaukee

This project cleans up a brown-field site that was difficult to develop. The continental climate provides large swings in temperature and humidity which necessitated passive strategies such as: southern facing windows with sun screens that maximize insolation of the sun during cooler months and operable windows that let cool fresh air into the building, allowing the users to effectively “turn off” the heating and cooling systems during swing months. To gain the most efficiency from the HVAC systems, the project utilizes a geo-thermal system, drilled directly below the building, which stabilizes the temperature of the conditioned water used to heat and cool the spaces.


4.Federal Center South Building 1202; Seattle

Current energy models predict the building to operate at a “net zero capable” The building will earn an ENERGY STAR Score of 100 and comply with 2030 Challenge goals. The project is one of the first in the region to use structural piles for geothermal heating and cooling, as well as a phase change thermal storage tank. Two new products, chilled sails and open office lighting, were developed and manufactured specifically for this project to help achieve aggressive energy targets. To optimize the use of the available reclaimed timbers, the team designed, tested, and constructed the first wood composite beam system in the U.S.


5.Marin Country Day School, California

Around 95 percent of spaces are daylit and naturally ventilated. Night time operation of the cooling tower and an underground water tank provide active thermal storage, for daytime cooling. The design of the building envelope includes air tightness detailing and the use of fire treated wood stud framing to minimize thermal bridging.


6. Merritt Crossing Senior Apts, Oakland, California

The roof area has a cool roof surface and is devoted to both a solar water panels and photovoltaic panels. Ground floor spaces benefit from the full height storefront system that similarly provides ample daylight and transparency to the outdoors. These windows are also thermally broken and have high performance glass. The windows are shaded in summer by either exterior sunshades or an overhang from the second floor. With no mechanical air conditioning, cooling is achieved by a low volume ventilation system augmented by ceiling fans in each habitable room.


7. Pearl Brewery/Full Goods Warehouse; San Antonio

This 67,000 square foot LEED Gold warehouse includes passive solutions including open breezeways, which were carefully oriented to prevailing summer breezes and supplemented with large ceiling fans. Large light monitors oriented to the north provide natural daylight to the breezeways, while the south wall of the cupola is open to allow hot air to escape as it rises. 100% of the rainwater captured from roofs coupled with recycled water, is used to irrigate the landscaping on site, eliminating the need for potable irrigation water. Highly efficient ductless minisplit systems were installed to condition indoor spaces. These systems can serve multiple zones using only one outdoor unit, and allows individual control of the air conditioning in each room.


8. San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters (SFPUC)

The building is designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification and will exceed California’s recently-instituted Title 24 requirements for energy efficiency in new office buildings by 55% according to SFPUC estimates. The building will provide $118 million in energy cost savings over 75 years. The SFPUC consumes 60% less water than similarly sized buildings and is one of the first buildings in the nation with on-site treatment of gray and black water.


9.Swenson Civil Engineering Building; Duluth, Minnesota

As an educational facility whose curriculum directly impacts the natural environment, the building overtly exposes sustainable systems and materials. 73% of the site is devoted to pervious materials and landscaping, reducing site detention requirements. An extensive green roof with native plants covers 22% of the roof, reducing storm water rates and filtering impurities. Storm water is directed from the roof to three scuppers and into above ground cylinders filled with rocks for filtering. Storm water eventually makes its way to a French drain system of underground water storage pipes for retention. The site lighting is minimal, and all fixtures are equipped with full cut-off optics.


10.Yin Yang House; Venice, California

This sound passive design strategy combined with a very tight perimeter building envelope and other active sustainable features such as the 12kw solar system make this home a zero energy consumption home. It produces 100% of its energy needs and since completion, has never received an electric bill. The design maximizes the opportunities of the mild, marine climate with a passive cooling strategy using cross-ventilation and a thermal chimney. A large cantilevered roof overhang shades all the bedrooms from direct sunlight while providing ample natural light and ventilation. The project also has green roofs, its own storm water retention system and retains 95% of roof storm water on site.

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