Last week, at the Regeneration ’08 conference in Seattle, winners of the 2008 “What Makes It Green?” competition were announced. Partnering with regional chapters of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the AIA Seattle’s Committee on the Environment took the opportunity to recognize some of the best green designs in the Northwest and Pacific regions. (For this competition, the regions were defined as Alaska, Guam/Micronesia, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Idaho, Japan, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia).
Below are the top 10 projects, along with short descriptions of ‘what makes them green’. (For more details on these projects, and to see all of the 2008 submissions, check out: http://wmig.aiaseattle.org/taxonomy/term/1).
- Bertschi School, Seattle WA
Because it is an urban infill project, the Bertschi Center reduces urban sprawl and provides the opportunity for families to live in the city and minimize their transportation usage. This project also takes advantage of its position as an educational facility, and provides features such as cutaways in the walls to showcase green features.
- Center for Urban Waters, Tacoma WA
This site will be almost completely porous, greatly reducing stormwater runoff. The Center will be located along the Thea Foss Waterway and will incorporate a public waterfront esplanade; views of the building from downtown Tacoma will emphasize its green roof, photovoltaic panels, and skylights.
- Corvallis CoHousing, Corvallis OR
This 34-unit housing project establishes a community that is based on the concept of shared resources. Automobile parking is marginalized, and the neighborhood’s nine residential buildings are organized around a pedestrian path. A community house includes a large kitchen and dining room for meal sharing.
- Home on the Range, Billings MT
Data on the cost savings achieved with this LEED Platinum building have been used to educate building professionals on the benefits of going green. Also notable is the fact that this building is almost entirely daylit.
- Kitsap SEED, Bremerton WA
SEED, or Sustainable Energy and Economic Development, encourages the development of clean energy alternatives through community-based projects (which will in turn act to stimulate the local economy). The Kitsap campus is intended to house clean energy technology companies. Its site is a former naval dumping ground, so the project aims to revegetate the site, and enable it to utilize all stormwater.
- Lake Sammamish Park, Issaquah WA
The concept of this park design, not yet built, is to emphasize the ‘connectivity’ between landscape and built forms.
- Mosler Lofts, Seattle WA
As Seattle’s first LEED- and Built Green-certified condominium tower, this project has attracted a group of homeowners who are committed to living green. The project revived adjacent Clay street, extending the project’s green effect beyond the footprint of the building itself. The Lofts’ financial success also provides a positive model for developers.
- Portland City Storage, Portland OR
This structure will provide dry storage for 350 boats, reducing the contamination that they cause when stored in the waters of the Willamette River. The project will reclaim a site which has been used for dumping concrete waste from a nearby concrete plant; the site will be reconstructed and revegetated, thereby improving salmon habitat.
- Pringle Creek, Salem OR
The Pringle Creek Community has achieved notoriety as a highly sustainable living environment; this new cottage meets the sustainability standards of the overall community. It maintains a small building footprint; is sited to preserve open space, existing tree stands, and water pathways to Pringle Creek; and meets the high energy efficiency standards established in the Community’s Design Guidelines. The cottage received LEED Platinum certification.
- Staley-Vidas Residence, Bend OR
An integrated design approach helped designers and contractors determine progressive green strategies from the project’s inception. Data on energy usage and product performance will be collected and used as a learning tool. A Platinum LEED for Homes rating is anticipated for this house; it is also registered with Earth Advantage.
The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce has a blog inviting the local community to discuss whether or not these winners (and the overall submissions to “What Makes it Green”) reflect the best of green building in the area.
Photo Credit: Seattle AIA