Page N1.2 . 28 April 2010                     
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  • AIA Top Green Buildings 2010
  • 2010 BREEAM Awards
  • New York AIA Awards 2010
  • Pritzker Prize goes to SANAA
  • North American Wood

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    AIA Top Green Buildings 2010


    The home received a HERS rating of 35, meaning it consumes 65 percent less energy than a comparable baseline home in the same climate, surpassing the 2030 Challenge energy target for 2010, which is a 60 percent reduction. Based on utility bills for the home in 2009, energy was used at a rate of 7.8 kilowatt-hours per square foot per year (83.9 kWh per square meter per year), of which almost 30 percent was generated by the rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels.

    The Special No. 9 House is part of the Make It Right Foundation's ongoing effort to provide storm-resistant, affordable, sustainably designed housing for residents of the Lower Ninth Ward who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


    While that first house was built onsite, future models are expected to be factory-built, with panelized and modular components. Homeowners will be able to choose from either of two prototypes, each one available with several options for materials, systems, and aesthetics.

    Middle Eastern Campus

    In another hot climate, thousands of miles away, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) demonstrates the successful application of traditional design approaches to sustainable contemporary buildings, on the scale of a 26-building, 6.5 million-square-foot (604,000-square-meter) campus. The new LEED Platinum-certified (LEED-NC v2.2) graduate-level research facility in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, was designed by HOK.

    Located on the Red Sea, the project incorporates elements of five regional cultural typologies, such as the walkable compactness of a traditional Arabic city, and the shaded and passively cooled circulation of a traditional souk (market). A large roof system, inspired by Bedouin tents, limits penetration of the sun while harnessing its power in solar panels, and an integral shading system creates dappled light, taking after mashrabiya screening. Solar-powered wind towers create airflow in the pedestrian spine, drawing on the passive ventilation strategies of traditional Arabic homes.

    The buildings are oriented to limit harsh eastern and western sun exposure and take advantage of prevailing Red Sea winds, with narrow floor plates to facilitate daylighting. In addition to passive strategies to reduce loads, the campus features chilled beams, heat-recovery wheels, low-flow duct design, and other efficient systems. It is projected to perform 27.1 percent better than ASHRAE 90.1-2004 standards, using 25.2 kWh/ft2/year (271.7 kWh/m2/year) of energy, with PV and solar thermal systems generating about 8 percent of that.

    Water in Watsonville

    In Watsonville, California, a water recycling plant provides treated wastewater to the agricultural industry to reduce withdrawals from the local aquifer. The message of water as a finite and critical resource is woven throughout the adjacent Watsonville Water Resources Center, an operations and administrative center with an educational component.

    Located on the Pajaro River, in a sea of monoculture crop plantings near Monterey Bay, the LEED Platinum-targeted center houses the City of Watsonville's Water and Waste Water Operations and the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency. WRNS Studio designed the $11 million, 16,000-square-foot (1,500-square-meter) building.

    With a comprehensive stormwater management system, including bioswales and infiltration swales, the center helps to restore its site to pre-agricultural conditions. The plant palette resembles that of native coastal ecosystems, making irrigation — with recycled non-potable water — necessary only for plant establishment. Lyrical touches, such as rain chains and a tiled water feature that runs only when recycled water is available, communicate the local seasonality and scarcity of water.

    Inside the building, water is used for radiant heating and cooling, and water-efficient plumbing fixtures save energy, too, by reducing water heating needs.

    Most of the building is daylit and naturally ventilated, due in part to the long, thin plan and east-west orientation. A rooftop PV installation is projected to generate about 60 percent of the 10.6 kWh/ft2/year (113.9 kWh/m2/year) of energy the center is expected to use.

    Suburban School in the Woods

    The design of structures for use as conservation teaching tools seems de rigueur for sustainable school buildings. VMDO Architects took a particularly artful approach in its design of the Manassas Park Elementary School and Pre-Kindergarten in Manassas Park, Virginia, an independent city with a culturally and socioeconomically diverse student population. From building siting to interior decor, the architects facilitated a strong connection between students and their environment.

    Locating the two new buildings adjacent to the city's existing elementary school allowed them to share parking lots and other infrastructure. The new elementary school was tucked into a narrow spot between a large private forest and the Camp Carondelet forest, an eight-acre (3.2-hectare) Civil War landmark.

    To optimize daylighting in the elementary classrooms, the building plan is E-shaped, with three cubic, three-story "houses" linked by a circulation spine. Within each of those three main volumes, the graphics and interpretive signage correspond to a designated season — spring, summer, or fall — with each building floor representing a different level of the woods — forest floor, understory, or canopy. The sylvan surroundings are also directly visible through ample glazing.

    A popular feature of the elementary school is a green-light system that signals when to open windows, engaging students and visitors alike in the physical operation of the building according to the weather.

    The $28 million, 140,000-square-foot (13,000-square-meter) project also includes the smaller Pre-K building. Energy consumption is projected to be 52.7 percent less energy than the baseline design, and LEED certification is pending under LEED-NC v2.2, with a Gold rating expected.

    Portland Mixed-Use

    Across the country in Portland, Oregon, the Twelve West building reaches sustainable heights in a dense urban setting. The 23-story, 552,000-square-foot (51,300-square-meter) mixed-use project, designed by ZGF Architects for Gerding Edlen Development Company and Downtown Development Inc., takes advantage of a transit-rich location near the downtown business district.

    The building combines ground-level retail, four floors of offices for ZGF's Portland office, 17 floors of apartments, and five levels of below-grade parking. It is expected to earn a Platinum rating under LEED-NC, as well as a LEED-CI Platinum rating for the ZGF offices.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    KieranTimberlake designed the Special No. 9 House for the Make It Right Foundation, which aims to build 150 affordable, sustainable homes in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans.
    Photo: © Momenta Workshops/ Alexi Lebedev Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Cross-section drawing of the "garden" model of the Special No. 9 House, showing sustainable features and strategies. It earned LEED Platinum certification under LEED for Homes v1.0.
    Image: © KieranTimberlake Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Diagrams illustrating the modular, panelized, and stick-built components of the Special No. 9 House, along with customization options.
    Image: © KieranTimberlake Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Plan drawings of the Special No. 9 House base prototype and several other possible configurations.
    Image: © KieranTimberlake Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), designed by HOK, stands beside the Red Sea in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.
    Photo: © JB Picoulet Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    KAUST site plan drawing.
    Image: © HOK Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Axonometric diagram of KAUST laboratories and pedestrian spine, showing sustainable features.
    Image: © HOK Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Stack ventilation and heavily shaded facades are two strategies used at KAUST to cope with the hot conditions.
    Photo: © JB Picoulet Extra Large Image


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