Page E1.2 . 02 June 2004                     
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    AIA Top Ten Green Buildings 2004


    To the south, in Los Angeles, Fields Devereaux Architects & Engineers/ GreenWorks designed the Lake View Terrace Branch Library. The library's energy performance exceeds California standards by over 40 percent.

    A building-integrated photovoltaic system shades the entry and roofs the community room while providing 15 percent of the building's energy. The design provides nearly 100 percent shading of glazing for glare-free daylight during operating hours. The jury commented: "Ample daylight without glare, the distinguished evaporative cooling tower that greets you at the entryway, natural ventilation, inventive use of color, careful material selection, and outstanding views make this library wonderful."

    To the north, in White Rock, British Columbia, is the White Rock Operations Building by Busby + Associates Architects. The 6545-square-foot (608-square-meter) building earned a gold LEED certification through a variety of strategies that include photovoltaic panels for electricity and solar tubes to provide base radiant heating for the building.

    A green sod roof reduces runoff from impermeable surfaces, while a pervious parking lot allows infiltration of water into the ground. The facility also uses storm water rather than potable water to wash city vehicles and to flush toilets. Waterless urinals and low-flow faucets further reduce water consumption. Extensive use of construction materials produced within a 500-mile (800-kilometer) radius of the site reduced transportation effects on the environment.

    The Factor 10 House in Chicago is the contribution of Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis to the Chicago Housing Authority competition for affordable, sustainable housing prototypes.

    The modular design responds to a narrow city site between adjacent buildings, with an open 1,830-square-foot (170-square-meter) floor plan that incorporates a solar chimney in the stairwell. The open plan enhances cross ventilation, and the house can be cooled passively without central air conditioning.

    While such passive cooling is probably impossible in a production bakery, the award-winning Greyston Bakery in Yonkers, New York by Cybul & Cybul Architects applies spatial composition towards the quality of the work environment.

    The building is bisected by a three-level light shaft with translucent floors, then bisected again in the opposite direction by a two-story atrium, which separates the office area from the production bakery, and introduces light and air into the offices. The light shaft and atrium also allow natural airflow throughout the bakery. Outside ambient air cools the baked products as they travel down a continuous spiral conveyor.

    Said the jury: "This is a cultural ecology where the design team understood that a workplace is not just a box you work in, but a quality environment to maintain workers; one in which the fundamental processes reveal the greatest potential for energy savings."

    Another building that merges environmental response with attention to visual connectedness in the workplace is the Genzyme Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts by Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner Inc. All the environmental design strategies energy efficiency, water conservation, material selection, urban site selection, and indoor environmental quality not only contribute to the expected LEED rating, but establish a spatially open atmosphere for the building occupants.

    The high-performance curtain-wall system boasts operable windows on all 12 floors. These windows, linked to the building management system, allow for automated control and night cooling. A third of the exterior envelope is a ventilated double-facade with a four-foot (122-centimeter) buffer that tempers solar gain year round. The building's central atrium space acts as a huge return air duct and light shaft, and steam from a nearby power plant supplies central heating and cooling.

    The reuse of a building is arguably the most sustainable strategy available. This was the approach taken by Krueck & Sexton Architects for the Herman Miller Building in Zeeland, Michigan. This project restores and transforms a two-story 1974 office building into an environmentally responsive, high-quality workplace.

    The architects stripped the interior and refinished it with materials of 50 percent recycled content. They reorganized it spatially to achieve maximum daylight penetration and a 29 percent reduction in energy consumption over the ASHRAE 90.1-1999 standard. Envelope improvements and high-efficiency mechanical equipment and lighting mean that 69 percent of the building's energy is produced on site.

    Another office building in the Top Ten Green is The Plaza at PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects in association with Kendall/Heaton Associates and Atelier Ten.

    An eight-story glass atrium brings daylight deep into the core of the building, while extensive perimeter glazing provides panoramic views and light filtered through brises-soleil. Carbon dioxide sensors ensure that fresh air is supplied directly to each building area as needed. A pair of two-story plant-filled winter gardens along the south facade provide unique workspaces for the occupants, as they bring daylight deeper into the floor plates, control glare, and improve indoor air quality.

    One of the Top Ten, the Gilman Ordway Building of the Woods Hole Research Center at Falmouth, Massachusetts by William McDonough & Partners, has already been described at length in ArchitectureWeek. An upcoming issue will feature 20 River Terrace, The Solaire, in New York City, by Cesar Pelli & Associates Architects.

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...

    This seventh annual AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects initiative was developed by the American Institute of Architects in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Building News magazine, and The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR Program. The jury was chaired by Sandy Mendler, AIA, HOK and also included Susan Ubbelohde, University of California, Berkeley; Tony McLaughlin, Buro Happold; Don Watson, FAIA, architect and author; and William Moorish, University of Virginia.



    ArchWeek Image

    The City of White Rock Operations Building by Busby + Associates Architects was one of the AIA's Top Ten Green Projects of 2004.
    Photo: Colin Jewall

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    Factor 10 House by Esherick Homsey Dodge & Davis Architects.
    Photo: Doug Snower Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    Greyston Bakery by Cybul & Cybul Architects.
    Photo: David Johnson and Mauricio Sanchez

    ArchWeek Image

    Genzyme Center by Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner Inc.
    Photo: Anton Grassl

    ArchWeek Image

    Herman Miller Building by Krueck & Sexton Architects.
    Photo: Mariuz Mizera

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    Woods Hole Research Center Gilman Ordway Campus by William McDonough + Partners.
    Photo: Judy Watts Wilson

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    20 River Terrace - The Solaire by Cesar Pelli & Associates Architects.
    Photo: Jeff Goldberg/Esto

    ArchWeek Image

    The Plaza at PPL Center by Robert A.M. Stern Architects.
    Photo: Peter Aaron/Esto


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