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Published April 23, 2008 08:51 AM

Top Ten Green Projects of 2008 Announced

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced its Top Ten Green Projects for 2008.

1. Aldo Leopold Legacy Center (Baraboo, Wisconsin; The Kubala Washatko Architects)—The LEED Platinum headquarters for the Aldo Leopold Foundation uses 70% less energy than a conventional building and achieves net-zero-energy performance. Extensive daylighting and passive ventilation contribute to the energy savings.

2. Cesar Chavez Library (Laveen, Arizona; John Birkinbine, AIA, Line and Space, LLC)—Located next to an artificial lake in the Arizona desert, this library uses earth berms to provide thermal mass and regulate temperature, while large overhangs and sunshades allow daylighting with little solar heat gain. Rainwater is collected and used to irrigate the neighboring park.


3. South Lake Union Discovery Center (Seattle, Washington; Miller|Hull Partnership)—This modular exhibit space is currently located in a Seattle park, where it sits on concrete piers to lessen its impact on the site. Designed to be disassembled and relocated, the building features extensive daylighting and air-source heat pumps for heating and cooling (see EBN Vol. 16, No. 10).

4. Pocono Environmental Education Center (Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania; Bohlin Cywinski Jackson)—This education center features extensive daylighting, passive ventilation, and passive solar gain. Native grasses were used for landscaping, and a small wetland north of the site was preserved to help filter stormwater.

5. Garthwaite Center for Science and Art (Weston, Massachusetts; Architerra, Inc.)—This high school science center features a locally fabricated, exposed timberframe structure and polished concrete floors, among other environmentally responsible materials. A boiler fed by wood pellets, provides 80% of the building’s heating needs; the building was expected to use 38% less energy than a comparable conventional building.

6. Macallen Building Condominiums (Boston, Massachusetts; Office dA, Burt Hill)—This 140-unit condominium achieved LEED Gold and features two green roofs, once of which is irrigated with collected stormwater runoff. The project earned a LEED innovation point for collecting and treating cooling tower blowdown water for irrigation.

7. Nueva School Hillside Learning Complex (Hillsborough, California; Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects)—Built into a hillside, this three-building complex was designed to use 69% less energy than a conventional school building; a 30-kW photovoltaic array provides 24% of the project’s electricity. Waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow fixtures contribute to a 50% savings in indoor water use.

8.Queens Botanical Garden Visitor Center (Flushing, New York; BKSK Architects)—Rainwater collected from the roof of this visitor center flows through a series of channels until it reaches swales filled with native wetland species that filter the water; the treated water is piped to a fountain that feeds a stream that flows through the site. The building also features integrated photovoltaics and siding made of western red cedar certified to Forest Stewardship Council standards.

9.Sculpture Building and Gallery (New Haven, Connecticut; KieranTimberlake Associates)—This space at Yale University features an innovative curtainwall system that incorporates solar shading, triple-glazed, low-emissivity glazing, and a translucent, double-cavity spandrel panel. The spandrel panel has an insulation value estimated to be greater than R-20 while maintaining 20% visual light transmittance.

10.Lavin-Bernick Center (New Orleans, Louisiana; Vincent James Associates Architects)—An existing building was stripped down to its concrete structure to form the base for this student center at Tulane University. Windows were added to increase the available daylight and allow natural ventilation; mixed-mode operation in temperate months was expected to decrease cooling requirements in the perimeter spaces of the building by 42%.

Honorable Mention

• Internal Revenue Service—Kansas City Campus (Kansas City, Missouri; 360 Architecture, BNIM Architects)

Full project profiles can be found at and in the case studies listed below in BuildingGreen Suite.

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