American Institute of Architects Select Top Ten Green Projects

April 27, 2011

Photo of two wings of a modern office building with a courtyard in front.

NREL's Research Support Facility was among the top green buildings cited by the AIA in 2011.
Credit: Dennis Schroeder, NREL

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) selected the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions on April 14. The new Research Support Facility at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) was among the projects on AIA's Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Projects list, now in its 15th year. The jury noted that NREL's structure serves as a challenge to the building industry and a blueprint for it to pursue low-energy performance projects. The Green Projects program celebrates projects that result from thoroughly integrated approaches to architecture, natural systems, and technology that include the use of sustainable or renewable construction materials.

Among the other winners were a rebuilt school in tornado-ravaged Greensburg, Kansas, that uses a 50-kilowatt wind turbine to provide a portion of its electricity. DOE has supported the city since leaders asked for help in making the community a model of sustainability following the devastation on May 4, 2007. AIA also cited a 20,000-square-foot addition to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed national historic landmark Meeting House that is approximately 40% more efficient than a comparable base case facility as well as British Columbia's Vancouver Convention Centre West. The convention center is the world's first LEED Platinum convention center and includes Canada's largest living roof, which hosts some 400,000 indigenous plants on 6 acres. See the AIA press release, the Research Support Facility Web page on the NREL website, and coverage of Greensburg in EERE Network News.