Texas Firms among AIA COTE Award Winners
On April 19, the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment (AIA– COTE) announced its Top Ten projects for 2012. This year’s batch of winners highlights community ties, social equity, and attentiveness to water issues. One Texas firm and three national/international firms with offices in Texas are among the winners. “These projects really demonstrate that you don’t need a client with bottomless pockets or a purely pedagogical mission related to sustainability,” wrote one juror. Another juror emphasized the enduring importance of buildings that inspire people and connect neighborhoods: “It is the true measure of sustainability—the fact that a project becomes so embraced by its community that its value far exceeds the value of a conventionally designed building.”
1 ASU Polytechnic Academic District
This pedestrian-oriented campus in Mesa, Arizona, replaced a decommissioned Air Force base. The design team resolved longstanding flooding issues by supplanting 14 acres of asphalt and concrete with naturalized habitats. “Extroverted circulation” in protected atria and courtyards optimizes the available space, providing outdoor connections and gathering spaces while also reducing construction costs and minimizing the amount of impervious surface.
A singular focus on responsible use of resources—both natural systems and taxpayer funds— led to this ultra-high-performance building in Des Moines, Iowa, that boasts an energy use intensity of 22. In a state that has experienced a number of recent devastating floods, stormwater management was a prime consideration; native prairie habitat re-established over infiltration basins treats stormwater on site while also serving as green space. Other 2012 Winners
2 1315 Peachtree Street Perkins+Will
This project entailed the transformation of a conventional 1986 building in Atlanta into a high-performance office space and demonstration project incorporating daylighting, an open office plan, rainwater catchment, high-performance glazing, and photovoltaics. Reducing reliance on the region’s coaldominated energy mix through a grid-tied trigeneration system (combined heating, cooling, and power) helped the project achieve aggressive carbon targets. 3 Chandler City Hall SmithGroupJJR
The team behind this municipal building strove to reinvigorate a Phoenix suburb’s historic downtown by bringing the city government into one central building. The goal: to foster community identity and seed economic development. Community art projects integrated within the building and site bring awareness to sustainability features.
14 Texas Architect
4 Iowa Utilities Board Office of Consumer Advocate
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