written by:
April 15, 2009

Earlier this week, the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment announced the winners of their annual Top Ten Green Projects competition. The scoring system was based on a whole-systems approach that doesn’t just award projects for being topped with photovoltaic arrays but considers community and context as well as life cycle and potential repurposing plans.

Chartwell School (exterior view) in Seaside, California, by <a href="http://www.ehdd.com">EHDD Architecture</a>. Photo by Michael David Rose.
Chartwell School (exterior view) in Seaside, California, by EHDD Architecture. Photo by Michael David Rose.
1 / 20
Chartwell School (classroom) in Seaside, California, by <a href="http://www.ehdd.com">EHDD Architecture</a>. Photo courtesy Chartwell School.
Chartwell School (classroom) in Seaside, California, by EHDD Architecture. Photo courtesy Chartwell School.
2 / 20
Charles Hostler Student Center (exterior view) in Beirut, Lebanon, by <a href="http://www.vjaa.com">Vincent James Associates Architects</a>. Photo by Paul Crosby.
Charles Hostler Student Center (exterior view) in Beirut, Lebanon, by Vincent James Associates Architects. Photo by Paul Crosby.
3 / 20
Charles Hostler Student Center (aerial view) in Beirut, Lebanon, by <a href="http://www.vjaa.com">Vincent James Associates Architects</a>. Photo by Paul Crosby.
Charles Hostler Student Center (aerial view) in Beirut, Lebanon, by Vincent James Associates Architects. Photo by Paul Crosby.
4 / 20
Gish Family Apartments (exterior view) in San Jose, California, by <a href="http://www.ojkarch.com">The Office of Jerome King Architecture and Planning</a>. Photo by Bernard André Photography.
Gish Family Apartments (exterior view) in San Jose, California, by The Office of Jerome King Architecture and Planning. Photo by Bernard André Photography.
5 / 20
Gish Family Apartments (community room) in San Jose, California, by <a href="http://www.ojkarch.com">The Office of Jerome King Architecture and Planning</a>. Photo by Bernard André Photography.
Gish Family Apartments (community room) in San Jose, California, by The Office of Jerome King Architecture and Planning. Photo by Bernard André Photography.
6 / 20
Great River Energy Headquarters (exterior view) in Maple Grove, Minnesota, by <a href="http://www.perkinswill.com">Perkins + Will</a>. Photo by Lucie Marusin.
Great River Energy Headquarters (exterior view) in Maple Grove, Minnesota, by Perkins + Will. Photo by Lucie Marusin.
7 / 20
Great River Energy Headquarters (interior view) in Maple Grove, Minnesota, by <a href="http://www.perkinswill.com">Perkins + Will</a>. Photo by Lucie Marusin.
Great River Energy Headquarters (interior view) in Maple Grove, Minnesota, by Perkins + Will. Photo by Lucie Marusin.
8 / 20
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (exterior view) in Evanston, Illinois, by <a href="http://www.rbjarchitects.com">Ross Barney Architects</a>. Photo by Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing.
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (exterior view) in Evanston, Illinois, by Ross Barney Architects. Photo by Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing.
9 / 20
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (interior view) in Evanston, Illinois, by <a href="http://www.rbjarchitects.com">Ross Barney Architects</a>. Photo by Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing.
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation (interior view) in Evanston, Illinois, by Ross Barney Architects. Photo by Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing.
10 / 20
Portola Valley Town Center (exterior view) in Portola Valley, California, by <a href="http://www.siegelstrain.com">Seigel & Strain Architects</a>. Photo by César Rubio.
Portola Valley Town Center (exterior view) in Portola Valley, California, by Seigel & Strain Architects. Photo by César Rubio.
11 / 20
Portola Valley Town Center (library) in Portola Valley, California, by <a href="http://www.siegelstrain.com">Seigel & Strain Architects</a>. Photo by César Rubio.
Portola Valley Town Center (library) in Portola Valley, California, by Seigel & Strain Architects. Photo by César Rubio.
12 / 20
Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center (exterior view) in Orange, Texas, by <a href="http://www.lakeflato.com">Lake|Flato Architects</a>. Photo by Hester + Hardaway.
Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center (exterior view) in Orange, Texas, by Lake|Flato Architects. Photo by Hester + Hardaway.
13 / 20
Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center (walkway) in Orange, Texas, by <a href="http://www.lakeflato.com">Lake|Flato Architects</a>. Photo by Hester + Hardaway.
Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center (walkway) in Orange, Texas, by Lake|Flato Architects. Photo by Hester + Hardaway.
14 / 20
Synergy at Dockside Green (exterior view) in Victoria, British Columbia, by <a href="http://www.busby.ca">Busby Perkins + Will</a>. Photo by Vince Klassen.
Synergy at Dockside Green (exterior view) in Victoria, British Columbia, by Busby Perkins + Will. Photo by Vince Klassen.
15 / 20
Synergy at Dockside Green (interior view) in Victoria, British Columbia, by <a href="http://www.busby.ca">Busby Perkins + Will</a>. Photo by Vince Klassen.
Synergy at Dockside Green (interior view) in Victoria, British Columbia, by Busby Perkins + Will. Photo by Vince Klassen.
16 / 20
The Terry Thomas (exterior view) in Seattle, Washington, by <a href="http://www.weberthompson.com">Weber Thompson</a>. Photo by Gabe Hanson.
The Terry Thomas (exterior view) in Seattle, Washington, by Weber Thompson. Photo by Gabe Hanson.
17 / 20
The Terry Thomas (interior view) in Seattle, Washington, by <a href="http://www.weberthompson.com">Weber Thompson</a>. Photo by Lara Swimmer.
The Terry Thomas (interior view) in Seattle, Washington, by Weber Thompson. Photo by Lara Swimmer.
18 / 20
World Headquarters for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (exterior view) in Yarmouthport, Massachusetts, by <a href="http://www.designlabarch.com">designLAB Architects</a>. Photo by Peter Vanderwarker.
World Headquarters for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (exterior view) in Yarmouthport, Massachusetts, by designLAB Architects. Photo by Peter Vanderwarker.
19 / 20
World Headquarters for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (interior view) in Yarmouthport, Massachusetts, by <a href="http://www.designlabarch.com">designLAB Architects</a>. Photo by Peter Vanderwarker.
World Headquarters for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (interior view) in Yarmouthport, Massachusetts, by designLAB Architects. Photo by Peter Vanderwarker.
20 / 20
Chartwell School (exterior view) in Seaside, California, by <a href="http://www.ehdd.com">EHDD Architecture</a>. Photo by Michael David Rose.
Chartwell School (exterior view) in Seaside, California, by EHDD Architecture. Photo by Michael David Rose.

The competition entries were judged on the following ten merits:

  1. Sustainable Design Intent and Innovation. Projects were judged on the ecological goals of the buildings and how they shaped their designs, the efforts made to increase efficiency and reduce unneeded extras such as superfluous square footage, and the incorporation of innovative technologies, among other design considerations.
  2. Regional/Community Design and Connectivity. Projects were judged on how they relate to their local community and region and how they encourage the use of public transportation and discourage the use of personal cars, among other design considerations.
  3. Land Use and Site Ecology. Projects were judged on how the buildings protect and benefit the surrounding ecosystem, how they accommodate the existing wildlife habitats, and how they respond to density and existing land conditions, among other design considerations.
  4. Bioclimatic Design. Projects were judged on the ways the buildings reduced the need for fossil fuel energy sources, and the ways in which the design oriented the buildings, among other design considerations.
  5. Light and Air. Projects were judged on use of and strategies for day lighting, task lighting, and ventilation, among other design considerations.
  6. Water Cycle. Projects were judged on how the buildings manage site water and drainage, capitalize on renewable sources, and reuse rainwater, among other design considerations.
  7. Energy Flows and Energy Futures. Projects were judged on the ways in which the buildings reduced energy loads, conserved energy, and used renewable or alternative energy sources, among other design considerations.
  8. Materials and Construction. Projects were judged on whether the materials were appropriate for the building site and location, the life cycle of the materials, and the energy required to extract, manufacture, and transport the materials used, among other design considerations.
  9. Long Life, Loose Fit. Projects were judged on the flexibility and adaptability of the buildings for potential reuse, among other design considerations.
  10. Collective Wisdom and Feedback Loops. Projects were judged on the evaluations techniques used during the design and building phases as well as the strategies set up to continuously monitor performance and occupant satisfaction, among other design considerations.

The 2009 winning designs, which range in function from apartments to offices to botanical gardens, and in location from British Columbia to Beirut, will be honored at the AIA 2009 National Convention and Design Exposition in San Francisco at the end of April.

To see the Top Ten Green Projects winners, click the “View Slideshow” button at the top right corner of this post.
 

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016
amaroso40040
When a garage damaged by termites had to go, a studio emerges.
June 19, 2016