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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
 

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