Mother Earth Living

Green Building: The Green Gamut

The American Institute of Architects lists the Top Ten Green Projects for 2002.
By Natural Home Staff
September/October 2002

Pier 1
Photos courtesy of the architects
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The American Institute of Architects has selected its annual Top Ten “Green” Projects for 2002, a list that includes federal projects, large and small businesses, and individual residences, proving the environmental, social, and economic benefits of sustainable design for clients of any size. Winning projects come from architectural firms known for their leadership in sustainable design, as well as several that are just beginning to utilize sustainable building principles.

Bank of Astoria
Manzanita, Oregon
Tom Bender, Architect
The design for this 7,500-square-foot bank building focused on community, cultural, spiritual, and energetic dimensions of sustainability as well as the more conventional energy and material aspects. The facility benefits from significant daylighting, on-site stormwater retention, and natural ventilation and cooling. Local materials were used where possible, and landscaping is native coastal plants.

Building 850, Energy and Sustainability Showcase Project
Port Hueneme, California
CTG Energetics
Home to the Naval Base Ventura County Public Works Department, this 10,000-square-foot building incorporates daylighting, shading, and innovative glazing elements, maximum use of natural ventilation, photovoltaic power generation, prototype natural gas heat-pump air conditioning, a graywater system for capture and reuse of rainwater and lavatory discharge, self-sustaining landscaping, and extensive use of recycled materials.

Camp Arroyo
Livermore, California
Siegel & Strain Architects
This environmental education camp was designed to demonstrate a series of ecological design principles as part of the curriculum. Bathhouses are made of stabilized earth, the cabins are efficient wood structures, and the dining hall is a straw bale building. Low-tech solutions to heating, cooling, and water treatment—including natural ventilation, shading strategies, and passive solar techniques—were favored. A biological wastewater treatment system treats water with minimal energy input.

Edificio Malecon
Buenos Aires, Argentina
HOK
This 125,000-square-foot office building was built on a reclaimed brownfield site. Its broad northern face—the primary solar exposure—is shaped to track the sun and is fully screened with deep sunshades for hotter months. The south face is equipped with a high-performance curtain wall system to minimize solar gain. A green roof helps insulate the 40,000-square-foot podium from solar radiation and manages storm-water runoff.

Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities
Ankeny, Iowa
RDG Bussard Dikis
Designed and built with a modest budget, this 13,000-square-foot facility uses 48 percent less energy than a conventional design and is 98 percent daylit. The building uses a geothermal heat pump system for heating and cooling. An adjacent farm field, destined for commercial development, was restored into a native tall-
grass prairie and wetlands.

National Wildlife Federation Headquarters
Reston, Virginia
HOK
The National Wildlife Federation used a rigorous payback analysis to select “state-of-the-shelf” construction technologies and materials for this 85,000-square-foot building. Native plantings support local wildlife and reduce the need for irrigation and frequent mowing. Passive solar and daylighting techniques were employed; a vertical trellis on the southern façade is planted with deciduous vines that leaf out in summer to provide shade and fall off in winter to allow passive solar gain.

Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies, Oberlin College
Oberlin, Ohio
William McDonough + Partners
Designed to be restorative, the center celebrates the interaction of human and natural environments. Built to become a net-energy exporter, the teaching and public space integrates natural energy flows while blurring the distinction between indoors and out. The light-drenched two-story atrium serves as the southern campus’s “town hall.” Daylighting and natural ventilation enhance the feeling of an outdoor room.

Pier 1
San Francisco, California
SMWM
This adaptive reuse project transformed a dilapidated warehouse on San Francisco’s waterfront into 140,000 square feet of office space and an acre of new public open space. The design reflects the history and nature of the site, uses green materials, and provides clean air and natural light for occupants. Pier 1 is surrounded by water, which flows through radiant tubes in floor slabs for heating and cooling.

Puget Sound Environmental Learning Center
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Mithun
This 70,000-square-foot facility includes an interpretive center, a great hall, offices, studios, dining hall, and visitor accommodations. Wastewater is treated on-site and reused. Rainwater is collected for irrigation and other uses. Renewable energy elements include photovoltaic panels and rooftop solar hot water panels. Ventilation replaces air conditioning, with operable skylights providing maximum through-ventilation.

Tofte Cabin
Tofte, Minnesota
Sarah Nettleton Architects
The renovation of a 1947 cabin resulted in a soulful 950-square-foot retreat. Locally quarried granite echoes the color of the spruce and the lake as it references the granite bedrock beneath the house. Natural stack ventilation through low and high windows cools the cabin. A superinsulated thermal envelope minimizes the load on the geothermal heat pump in-floor heating system that also provides hot water.


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