“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.”
ASU Polytechnic Academic District, Lake|Flato Architects
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.
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 coal-dominated energy mix through a grid-tied trigeneration system (combined heating, cooling, and power) helped the project achieve aggressive carbon targets.
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.
Iowa Utilities Board Office of Consumer Advocate, BNIM
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 kBtu/ft2. 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.
Below are the other 2012 Winners:
Hood River Middle School Music and Science Building, Opsis Architecture
Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, SMP Architects
Mercy Corps Headquarters, THA Architecture
Portland Community College Newburg Center, Hennebery Eddy Architects
University of California–Merced Campus, UC–Merced
University of Minnesota–Duluth Classroom Building, Salmela Architect
2012 AIA-COTE Award Jurors
For more information about the winners, visit the AIA’s COTE website.