A New Norris House

Designed by Tricia Stuth and Robert C. French, the New Norris House marks the 75th anniversary of Norris, Tennessee--an affordable planned community filled with a series of homes known as "Norris Houses."

A New Norris House

The new 1,000-square-foot house features terraced bio-retention beds to manage water; a solar hot water panel; lots of daylight; and a passive solar design.

A New Norris House

The new 1,000-square-foot house features terraced bio-retention beds to manage water; a solar hot water panel; lots of daylight; and a passive solar design.

Charles David Keeling Apartments

The Charles David Keeling Apartments in La Jolla, California, are found on the UC San Diego campus, overlooking beautiful coastal cliffs.

Charles David Keeling Apartments

Designed by KieranTimberlake, the apartments have a rooftop gathering space, on-site wastewater recycling, and a a rooftop solar array that provides 6% of the building’s energy.

Charles David Keeling Apartments

Designed by KieranTimberlake, the apartments have a rooftop gathering space, on-site wastewater recycling, and a a rooftop solar array that provides 6% of the building’s energy.

The Clock Shadow Building

Built by Continuum Architects + Planners, this 30,370 square foot building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is mixed-use--non-profit health care organizations share the space with an ice cream store and an artisan cheesemaker.

The Clock Shadow Building

The building has a rooftop community garden and open space, serious insulation to accomodate Milwaukee’s temperature swings, 10-foot by 10-foot windows to maximize daylighting, a rainwater harvesting system, and carbon neutral energy usage.

Federal Center South Building 1202

Created by ZGF Architects LLP, this building in Seattle, Washington, was turned from a brownfield site into the regional headquarters of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwest District. The 209,000-square-foot building is filled with more sustainable elements than we can list here.

Federal Center South Building 1202

Some of the highlights: a rainwater collection system that will harvest 430,000 gallons of water each year, a building envelope outfitted with high-performing glass, and materials derived from a decommissioned WWII warehouse that was formerly on the site.

Federal Center South Building 1202

Some of the highlights: a rainwater collection system that will harvest 430,000 gallons of water each year, a building envelope outfitted with high-performing glass, and materials derived from a decommissioned WWII warehouse that was formerly on the site.

Marin Country Day School Learning Resource Center and Courtyard

This project, built by EHDD, was designed in tandem with students, who also kept track of the construction process and its results.

Marin Country Day School Learning Resource Center and Courtyard

The 34,000-square-foot-project features classrooms, art studios, student service offices, a library and technology center, a courtyard, a playground, and a creek restoration.

Marin Country Day School Learning Resource Center and Courtyard

The 34,000-square-foot-project features classrooms, art studios, student service offices, a library and technology center, a courtyard, a playground, and a creek restoration.

Merritt Crossing Senior Apts.

The Merritt Crossing Senior Apartments, was built by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects--the same firm behind the first housing community for autistic adults, which we wrote about earlier this year.

Merritt Crossing Senior Apts.

The Oakland, California, apartments, built on an abandoned brownfield site near a freeway, are planned with sustainability in mind: rooftop solar panels offset 38% of power use in common areas, a screen wall can hold vegetation from planters on the building’s balconies, and tall windows let in plenty of daylight and scenic views.

Merritt Crossing Senior Apts.

The Oakland, California, apartments, built on an abandoned brownfield site near a freeway, are planned with sustainability in mind: rooftop solar panels offset 38% of power use in common areas, a screen wall can hold vegetation from planters on the building’s balconies, and tall windows let in plenty of daylight and scenic views.

Pearl Brewery/Full Goods Warehouse

Designed by Lake Flato Architects and Durand-Hollis Rupe Architects, this 26-acre former brownfield site in San Antonio, Texas, has been turned into a mixed-use development that includes a 67,000-square-foot LEED Gold warehouse.

Pearl Brewery/Full Goods Warehouse

Highlights include beer vats repurposed as rainwater tanks, a 200.6 kW photovoltaic array that provides 26.8% of the building’s power, and native landscaping elements.

Pearl Brewery/Full Goods Warehouse

Highlights include beer vats repurposed as rainwater tanks, a 200.6 kW photovoltaic array that provides 26.8% of the building’s power, and native landscaping elements.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters, designed by KMD Architects, was created with the goal of being "the greenest urban building in the United States."

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters

The 277,500-square-foot building contains on-site gray and black water treatment, extensive daylight, dimmable LED bulbs, rooftop photovoltaic arrays, and an integrated wind turbine tower.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters

The 277,500-square-foot building contains on-site gray and black water treatment, extensive daylight, dimmable LED bulbs, rooftop photovoltaic arrays, and an integrated wind turbine tower.

Swenson Civil Engineering Building

The Swenson Civil Engineering Building, located at the University of Minnesota Duluth, showcases both its mechanical and structural processes as a teaching tool for students.

Swenson Civil Engineering Building

Designed by Ross Barney Architects and SJA Architects, the building features permeable paving, an underground storm water retention system, occupancy and daylight sensor lighting controls, and local materials.

Swenson Civil Engineering Building

Designed by Ross Barney Architects and SJA Architects, the building features permeable paving, an underground storm water retention system, occupancy and daylight sensor lighting controls, and local materials.

Yin Yang House

Created by Brooks + Scarpa, this live/work space has almost net-zero energy use. The Venice, California, house produces all of its energy on-site with a 12-kW solar system, uses passive cooling, features native and drought tolerant plants, and has a green roof.

2013-05-09

Co.Exist

The Top 10 Green Building Projects Of 2013

The American Institute of Architecture’s annual list of the most sustainable new structures around the country include a brewery, a school, and all the renewable energy and water recycling your heart desires.

Every year, the American Institute of Architects picks its top 10 green projects. The rankings, which have been around for 16 years, are always a mixed bag--everything from libraries to cohousing to a dog adoption park. This year’s list is no different.

One of our favorites projects, The Merritt Crossing Senior Apartments, was built by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects--the same firm behind the first housing community for autistic adults, which we wrote about earlier this year. The Oakland, California, apartments, built on an abandoned brownfield site near a freeway, are planned with sustainability in mind: rooftop solar panels offset 38% of power use in common areas, a screen wall can hold vegetation from planters on the building’s balconies, and tall windows let in plenty of daylight and scenic views.

The building is near public transit, so the community has just one parking space for every four apartments (there are 70 apartments in total). And thanks to the use of parking lifts, two cars can occupy one space. Best of all, the apartments are intended solely for senior residents who have incomes between 30% and 50% of the local median, and half the apartments are for residents at risk of homelessness, have a mental illness, or are afflicted with HIV/AIDS.

Like the Merritt Crossing apartments, the Clock Shadow Building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was built on a former brownfield site. The similarities mostly end there. Built by Continuum Architects + Planners, the 30,370 square foot building is mixed-use--non-profit healthcare organizations share the space with an ice cream store and an artisan cheesemaker. The building has a rooftop community garden and open space, serious insulation to accommodate Milwaukee’s temperature swings, 10 foot by 10 foot windows to maximize daylighting, a rainwater harvesting system, and carbon neutral energy usage.

It’s hard not to love the Marin Country Day School’s new Learning Resource Center and Courtyard. The project, built by EHDD, was designed in tandem with students, who also kept track of the construction process and its results. The 33,740-square-foot project features classrooms, art studios, student service offices, a library and technology center, a courtyard, a playground, and a creek restoration.

Approximately 95% of all spaces in the new project are naturally ventilated and daylit, while covered walkways both provide shade and allow access to the sunlight. The indoor spaces have waterless urinals and dual flush toilets, while the outdoor landscape features drought-tolerant plants.

Half of all the winners this year are in California, but based on the geographic diversity of winners in past years, we’ll chalk it up to a fluke (though the most populous state is represented nearly every year). For all the 2013 winners, check out our slide show above.

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2 Comments

  • Alex

    These buildings are fascinating! Another green building that will start construction in early Fall is the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, VA. Not as large scale as some you mentioned, but it is aiming to be the first LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certified building in Virginia. 

    Check it out here: http://cbf.houriganconstructio... 

  • Alessanribeirosp




    Urban
    sustainability is among the most critically important global 


    issues of the 21st century.
    Over half the world’s population live in 


    urban areas - from small
    cities like York, to megacities like New York -


    and by 2050 that proportion
    will rise to 70% of all humanity.

    Green building ist the
    solution!

    http://www.siemens.co.za/susta...