Page N3.3. 06 June 2007                     
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    COTE Top Ten 2007


    In this 72,000-square-foot (6,700-square-meter) school about half new, half renovation solar chimneys with south-facing glass are designed for passive ventilation, operating without additional energy input. Sunlight heats air within the glass chimney tops, creating a convection current which draws cooler air into the building through north facing open windows.

    Reclaimed materials include exterior cladding made from 100-year-old western red cedar wine barrels, greenheart flooring and decking from pilings in the Baltimore Harbor, and all of the stone used to construct a wetland and outdoor walks and walls.

    The building uses daylight extensively, and a green roof reduces storm water runoff volume, improves the quality of infiltrated runoff, and reduces municipal water use.

    Carbon Reductions

    The Global Ecology Research Center at California's Stanford University, by EHDD Architects is a 10,800 square-foot (1000-square-meter), low-energy laboratory and office building for the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

    The researchers believe the most pressing environmental issues are global climate change, biodiversity, and water quality. The sustainable design resulted in a 72 percent reduction in carbon emissions associated with building operation and a 50 percent reduction in embodied carbon for building materials.

    The architects addressed biodiversity by choosing salvaged, recycled, and certified materials. They focused on limiting site water consumption, reducing stormwater runoff to San Francisco Bay, and promoting aquifer recharge.

    Water serves as the conduit for the building's "night sky" system, a low-energy cooling system that allows a 50 percent reduction in water use compared to a conventional, water-cooled chiller. Water also provides energy- and water-efficient cooling in the katabatic cooling tower and serves as an efficient medium for heat transfer in the radiant floor and ceiling systems.

    Rooftop Parkland

    The Whitney Water Purification Facility in New Haven, Connecticut, by Steven Holl Architects, provides water to South Central Connecticut and serves as an educational facility with its site forming a public park. The water purification occurs beneath the park, which is essentially a 30,000-square-foot (2,800-square-meter) green roof, while the operational programs are housed in a 360-foot- (110-meter-) long stainless steel building that forms a reflective line in the landscape.

    The meadow-like roof creates a vibrant ecosystem, a diverse habitat and sanctuary for migratory birds. It is planted with various species of sedum and about 7,000 flowering perennials that provide year-round visual interest. The green roof is a low-maintenance system, and no mowing or irrigation is required. Most of the plants are expected to grow to about six inches (15 centimeters) and to form full coverage within two growing seasons.

    Glazed "bubbles" poking through the green roof flood the facilities below with daylight. All staff space is daylit, and supplemental electric lighting comes from low-energy fluorescent fixtures. The geothermal system saves 850,000 kilowatt hours annually, compared to conventional HVAC systems.

    More detailed information about all ten projects can be found at links from the AIA's April 23, 2007 press release. Included are metrics for reduced carbon emissions, reduced energy consumption, and improved building functionality.

    The AIA/COTE jury included David Brems, FAIA, Gillies Stransky Brems Smith PC; Alisdair McGregor, PE, Arup; John Quale, LEED AP, University of Virginia School of Architecture; Traci Rose Rider, LEED AP North Carolina State University; Anne Schopf, AIA, Mahlum Architects; and Susan Szenasy, editor-in-chief of Metropolis.


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    Global Ecology Research Center at California's Stanford University, by EHDD Architects, is one of the AIA/COTE's "Top Ten Green Projects" of 2007.
    Photo: Peter Aaron/ Esto

    ArchWeek Image

    Night sky radiant cooling in the Global Ecology Research Center.
    Image: EHDD Architects

    ArchWeek Image

    Green roof as parkland at the Whitney Water Purification Facility, by Steven Holl Architects.
    Photo: Steven Holl Architects

    ArchWeek Image

    Green roof at the Whitney Water Purification Facility.
    Photo: Steven Holl Architects


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