Architecture 2008 Green Architecture Awards
posted by April 18 at 9:15 AMon
There’s a lot of talk about green design: why we need it, which developers are doing it, when elected officials set goals for it. This is all good. But under-recognized are the architects who actually figure out how to reduce a building’s environmental impact, while still creating structures that meet the traditional challenges of good design.
So three cheers to the Seattle chapter of the American Institute of Architects. For the past ten years it has encouraged architecture firms to submit designs for a “What Makes It Green” gallery. This year AIA Seattle received 57 entries from around the Pacific Northwest. And last week, before about 250 industry bigwigs at a forum called Regeneration, the top ten submissions won awards for the first time.
“We wanted to inspire designers and policy makers to think about the future of the built environment in creating sustainable design,” say Lisa Richmond, Executive Director of AIA Seattle. The awards give architecture firms the recognition they deserve.
Here are two of the ten. The Bertschi School on north Capitol Hill, completed in April of last year, won the jury’s unanimous approval.
In addition groovy stuff like re-using rainwater and recycling building materials, the smart architects at The Miller|Hull Partnership were recognized for conserving energy.
The new project incorporates photovoltaic panels which will supply 6.1% of the school’s energy. … The gym has an integral natural ventilation scheme which uses fresh air coming in low at the roll up doors and the natural stack effect of hot air and vents high with operable louvers in the skylights tied to a thermostat. No CFCs or HCFCs are used in the mechanical units. The scale and proportion of the building enhance it’s ability to use daylight to illuminate the spaces. A daylighting study was used to optimize window and skylight size and placement for this use. Occupancy and daylight sensors are used to minimize the use of electric lighting.
Another winner—yet unbuilt—Portland City Storage will store 350 boats to reduce river contamination. It’s designed by MulvannyG2 Architecture and slated to be finished by 2010.
The project’s goal is to meet the USGBC LEED gold certification requirements and produce more power than it uses through alternative electrical power in the hopes of giving back to the Portland grid. The hybrid design will integrate a wind farm located at the top of the storage buildings and an innovative regenerative elevator system that feeds into the building system grid. … Using median average figures based on average wind speed for the Portland metropolitan area, the wind farm should produce approximately 800,000 KWH of usable system power output per year.
The full line-up of winners, including Seattle’s Mosler Lofts by Mithun Architects, is over here.