Page N1.2 . 25 May 2005                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
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AIA Green Building Awards 2005


Another COTE award went to the adaptive reuse of the 19th-century heavy-timber Barn at Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania. Architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson designed the barn and addition as an interpretive portal for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy's Bear Run nature reserve, immediately adjacent to the famous Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The conservancy wanted to express good stewardship of both the natural environment and the artifacts of the cultural landscape. The addition houses a multipurpose exhibit, conference, and distance-learning area. The existing, glazed dairy block walls, glass block windows, and site-built roof trusses are exposed. Salvaged fir, new sunflower-seed composite panels, and sound-absorptive straw panels complement the palette of original materials while underscoring the structure's connection to farming.

A zero-discharge wastewater reclamation system, gray-water flushing, and low-flow fixtures reduce potable water use. A ground-source heat-pump system, daylighting, and electric light sensors minimize energy use.

Another sylvan setting, this one in the Santa Cruz Mountains, was the site for the COTE award-winning Leslie Shao-ming Sun Field Station in Woodside, California. Rob Wellington Quiqley, FAIA designed the building for the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, which has a long history of research in ecology and the consequences of environmental change.

The field station provides a natural laboratory for researchers, educational experiences for students and visitors, and refuge for native plants and animals. The building itself through its site selection for solar access and minimal impact on natural habitats makes a statement about the importance of conserving natural resources.

Water-free urinals, dual-flush toilets, tankless water heaters, and native landscaping reduce water use, and rainwater collected from the roof is reused. Passive cooling and solar heating systems combine with good insulation and extensive daylighting to minimize energy use. The jury particularly liked the integration of the solar panels, which read as part of the design, rather than as after-thoughts.

An urban project more concerned with human habitat is the Austin (Texas) Resource Center for the Homeless, designed by LZT Architects, Inc. Sited on a former brownfield, the building includes a clinic, common room, shower and locker rooms, laundry facilities, a computer room, an art studio, and offices for support agencies.

A rainwater collection system supplements the building's water supply. A passive solar hot-water system preheats water for the showers, and a photovoltaic array supplements municipal electricity. Many of the materials used in the project contain rapidly renewable or recycled content.

In designing the Pittsburgh Glass Center, the team of Davis Gardner Gannon Pope Architecture and Bruce Lindsey considered the neighboring public as well as the building's occupants neighborhood revitalization as well as specified program requirements.

The center is an art studio for a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching, creating, and promoting glass art. The rehabilitated building includes studios for hot glass, flame-working, and cold-working. Because conventional air-conditioning is prohibitively expensive in a glassmaking environment, the design relies on extensive natural ventilation and thermal mass to moderate temperature swings. Heat from the glassmaking equipment is recovered.

A reflective and emissive roof system reduces both internal heat loads and the building's contribution to the "urban heat-island" effect. The parking lot uses pervious limestone and is landscaped with indigenous plants. Alterations to the existing building shell augment daylight, so most occupied spaces do not require electric lighting during daytime. All new construction materials were evaluated and specified for recycled content and local manufacturing and harvesting.

The Monika A. and Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Visual Arts Center, for Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, by Polshek Partnership Architects, brings the visual arts together in one dynamic interdisciplinary environment.

The campus is characterized by undulating topography, dramatic rock outcroppings, and dense foliage. To reduce the damage to the site, this new structure is built into the hilltop, with more than one-third of the floor area embedded in the ground and illuminated by light wells. Photography labs and other studios not needing daylight are located below grade. A stepped, grass-covered green roof reduces the building's visibility and controls stormwater runoff.

The only single-family house in this year's COTE award line-up is Eastern Sierra Residence in Gardnerville, Nevada, designed by Arkin Tilt Architects. This sustainable demonstration house features reuse of salvaged materials, a courtyard shaded by a photovoltaic array that meets the family's electricity needs, and rammed-earth and straw-bale construction with an earthen finish.

The house is virtually energy independent due to careful shading, a highly insulated envelope, and thermal mass. Solar hot-water panels at the edge of the terrace feed a heating system and provide domestic hot water.

One of the projects selected for a COTE award, Rinker Hall, at the University of Florida, Gainesville, has already been covered extensively in ArchitectureWeek. The joint venture between Croxton Collaborative and Gould Evans resulted in a building that is both the message and the messenger for "green" education.

This year the COTE jury also selected for recognition an urban-scale project the Lloyd Crossing Sustainable Urban Design Plan in Portland, Oregon, by Mithun. Jury member Bob Berkebile, FAIA said: "We honored the Lloyd Crossing plan with a special commendation because we were interested in sending a message that the COTE Green Project Awards are evolving. We are interested in seeing larger projects in the coming years, and Lloyd Crossing was a great example of a green urban plan."

The plan integrates many sustainability strategies for energy, water, and habitat to transform a 35-block, inner-city, commercial Portland neighborhood. The plan adds eight million square feet of development over 45 years while dramatically improving the district's environmental performance. The four-block, mixed-use Catalyst Project, will serve as a testing ground for key elements of the larger plan.

Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...

The AIA/ COTE jury included: Bob Berkebile, FAIA, of BNIM Architects; Daniel H. Nall, FAIA, of Flack & Kurtz, Inc.; Henry Siegel, FAIA, Siegel & Strain Architects; Susan Maxman, FAIA, of Susan Maxman & Partners Ltd.; and Deb Snoonian, PE, of Architectural Record.



ArchWeek Image

The Leslie Shao-ming Sun Field Station in Woodside, California, by Rob Wellington Quiqley, FAIA, is one of eight buildings selected for recognition by the AIA Committee on the Environment.
Photo: Brighton Knowing

ArchWeek Image

Austin (Texas) Resource Center for the Homeless, by LZT Architects, Inc.
Photo: Thomas McConnell Photography

ArchWeek Image

Pittsburgh Glass Center by the team of Davis Gardner Gannon Pope Architecture and Bruce Lindsey.
Photo: Ed Masseray/DGGP Architecture

ArchWeek Image

Monika A. and Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Visual Arts Center, for Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, by Polshek Partnership Architects.
Photo: Richard Barnes/Polshek Partnership

ArchWeek Image

Eastern Sierra Residence in Gardnerville, Nevada, by Arkin Tilt Architects.
Photo: Edward Caldwell Photography

ArchWeek Image

Rinker Hall, at the University of Florida, Gainesville, by the Croxton Collaborative and Gould Evans.
Photo: Timothy Hursley

ArchWeek Image

An urban-scale project selected for COTE recognition is the Lloyd Crossing Sustainable Urban Design Plan in Portland, Oregon, by Mithun.
Image: Mithun


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