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 highlight 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.

ASU Polytechnic: Bill Timmerman
ASU Polytechnic Academic Buildings won a 2011 Texas Architects Design Award
Lake/Flato received an 2012 AIA COTE Award for Arizona State University Polytechnic Academic District. Remediated brownfield tarmac site - Photo Credit: Bill Timmerman
1315 Peachtree Street Exterior, designed by Perkins+Will - Photo Credit: Eduard Hueber
Chandler City Hall, designed by SmithGroupJJR. View looking at council chambers and office tower from southeast - Photo Credit: SmithGroupJJR
Exterior views, Iowa Utilities Board Office of Consumer Advocate Office Building, designed by BNIM. - Photo Credit: BNIM / Assassi

“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

Sue Barnett
Clark Brockman
Steve Dumez
Laura Lee
Scott Shell
Paul Schwer

For more information about the winners, visit the AIA’s COTE website.

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