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BEST EXAMPLES OF
ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE DESIGN

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has selected 10 examples ofviable architectural design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.The facilities, selected by the executive committee of the AIA Committee onthe Environment (COTE), address one or more significant environmental challenges that have a lasting and positive impact on the built and unbuilt environment such as energy and water conservation, use of recycled construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality. The COTE represents more than 1,600 AIA architects committed to making environmental considerations and sustainable design integral to the practiceof architecture.

Committee members selected the facilities for a variety of reasons, including environmentally responsible use of building materials, use of daylight overartificial lighting, designs that create efficiency in heating or cooling, and overallsensitivity to local environmental issues.

The projects selected are (listed in alphabetical order):

Bainbridge Island City Hall Bainbridge Island, Washington

The new City Hall will bring five departments together under one roof, resulting in amore efficient operation for this newly incorporated city. The project features non-toxicor non-ozone depleting materials, including the region's first majorinstallation of CertifiedWood. Recycled content or reused materials have been applied, and the City's storm water management system was significantly upgraded as part of site preparation. Daylighting,optimized natural ventilation, and non-toxic finishes will provide a healthierand safer indoor environment for City Hall employees and others using the building.

C.K. Choi Building for The Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Primary features include:

Maximization of daylight and natural ventilation. Fifty-seven percent belowAshrae 90.1energy consumption. Occupancy and daylight sensors control lighting. Atriafacilitate naturalventilation by inducing a stack effect. Ventilation strips under windows ensurecontinuous airchange. Double glazed windows have low conductivity insulating frames.

Reused, Recycled Materials. Exterior bricks are recycled from Vancouver citystreets. 60%of timber beams are salvaged from a demolished 1930's building. All doors and frames arereused from demolished buildings. Drywall contains 17 - 26% recycled gypsum and 100% recycled paper for the face boards. The carpet is laid without adhesives. Theunderlay is afelt made from 100% recycled fibers.

No Sewer Connection. Nine composting toilets and 3 urinals require no water.Gray water from all sinks is recycled and used for irrigation. Rainwater is collected fromthe roof andused for summer irrigation.

The Emeryville Resourceful Building ProjectEmeryville, California

This three-unit affordable project, which won a 1999 Progressive Architecture ResearchAward, proved that affordable housing and environmental sustainability are notmutuallyexclusive goals, according to that award's jury. The project focused onincreasing energy efficiency, lowering operating costs, reducing resource consumption and creating healthy indoor environments using only conventional means of construction common tobuildersof affordable housing projects. Addressing disciplines that ranged from design to life-cycleassessment to energy analysis, a jury member commented, and conductingresearch in theoffice as well as in the field, the team discovered that the cumulative effectof small environmental improvements combined with selected cost-saving measures cangeneratesignificant results.

The Green Institute's Phillips Eco-Enterprise Center (PEEC)Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Phillips Eco-Enterprise Center (PEEC) connects an under-employed labor force toemployers in ecologically sound businesses. Rooted in community resistance tothecounty's plans to construct a solid-waste transfer station at this site, local activists succeeded in building a base for better employment opportunities. The PEEC isseenas an expression of the Green Institute's mission, which is to create community-based models to protect and nurture our natural and urban environment througheducation andsustainable economic development. Sustainable design elements on the 3.4 acreinner-citybrownfield site redevelopment project include geo-exchange heating and cooling,sun-trackingdaylighting, air-to-air energy recovery, and salvaged steel joists, wood andbrick.

Hanover HouseHanover, New Hampshire

The Hanover House is a solar heated, super insulated home that is one of the lowest energy use houses in North America. Indoor environmental quality, durability,and materialresource efficiency were as important as low energy consumption. Key featuresincludesuperinsulation, superglass, heat recovery ventilation, airtight construction,and passivesolar design. Durable and healthy materials include certified cedar shingles,linoleum, tile,and local hardwood floors. The house is extremely comfortable, with event emperatures and proper humidity, and features a very low maintenance design and a low waterusage.

Lady Bird Johnson Wild flower CenterAustin, Texas

This new facility accommodates research, education and visitor needs on a40-acre site.The Center is designed as a series of outdoor spaces and facilities, includingvisitors'galleries, a 250 seat auditorium, classrooms. Features include a gift shop andtea room,botanical library and research labs with a focus on the education of visitorsabout theuse of native plants and demonstrating an ecologically sensitive approach to the development of a site with fragile environmental conditions. The facilities and the program they support model "total resource conservation" while showing the beauty of native landscape. Uniting the entire complex is a rainwater capture and reuse system,the largest of its kind conceived in the United States at the time ofconstruction. Passivesolar heating, pragmatic building orientation, use of recycled and reclaimed materials,and use of excavated material, is integrated in the design.

New South Jamaica Branch LibraryQueens, New York

The energy performance of the Library is integral to the basic architecturaldesign,supported by a sophisticated mechanical/electrical/control system. The building'srelationship to the sun drives the architectural form, and the changing effectsofnatural light are significant to the quality of the interior space. Automated controls regulate shades, lights and ventilation dampers depending on the time of day andyear. In the summer, daylight levels are limited to those required for libraryoperation.

In the winter, the building captures maximum daylight with the excess heat beingintroduced into the building mass for storage. The building also uses construction materials efficiently including recycled products.

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Ebensburg Ebensburg, Pennsylania

Green highlights include a 16 KW PV array (the second largest in PA),under floor supply air plenum air distribution coupled with ground source heat pump supply,PowerDOE modeling that indicates annual energy consumption at under 25,000btu/sf or 60% better performance than ASHRAE 90.1, and an initial pass through LEED Version 2.0, which indicates that the project might be capable of achievinga platinum rating. The project, upon completion, will successfully address thefollowingenvironmental issues: site sustainability; improved energy efficiency; sustainable materials and resource conservation; enhanced air quality; copious naturaldaylighting;and reduced water consumption.

McLean Environmental Living and Learning Center (ELLC)Northland College, Ashland, Wisconsin

This 40,000-square foot student-housing complex is used in curriculum for 114residentslearning about energy performance, materials, building life cycles and sustainability. Computersmonitor the building's renewable systems-a 20-kilowatt Jacobs Wind Turbine, asolar domestichot water system, and three photovoltaic panels. LHB designed and specifiedsystems and materials and involved students in throughout the design process. Featuresinclude: operable windows instead of air conditioning and using products such as linoleum and low VOC finishes ensured exceptional indoor air quality, which is being monitored. Low-flows howers and toilet fixtures and composting toilets, high efficiency gas boilers and light fixtureswere installed,reducing resource consumption. Resource efficiency was addressed with recycled content materials, biocomposite counter surfaces, low maintenance masonry, andregionally harvested wood.

World Resources Institute Headquarters Office Washington, D.C.Sandra Mendler, AIA, for HOK

The goal of the project was to express WRI's values in physical terms. Everymaterial waschosen because it uses natural resources efficiently; many were chosen because they are alternatives to conventional, but less environmentally friendly, products. The design also focused on recognizing the manufacturers of materials and systems that aremoving towards sustainable business practices. All wood is sustainably harvested or salvaged,and many alternatives have been used such as bamboo flooring and bio composites made from wheat straw, soy, and sunflower seeds for doors, cabinetry, and substrates. The result of these andother sustainable materials is elegantly minimal, with a soft curvilinear formand eased edge.Lighting fixtures save 70 percent of the electrical energy that is typically used by energy efficient recessed fluorescent fixtures.

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Written by: The American Institute of Architects


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