U.S. Department of Energy - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Architect group names top ten green buildings for 2009

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has named the year's top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design, selected by the AIA's Committee on the Environment (COTE). Many of the new buildings have achieved LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of achievement under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program. The top buildings cover a range of uses, including a student center, a synagogue, apartment buildings, and large commercial buildings. They are located in six U.S. states—California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Texas, and Washington—as well as in Victoria, British Columbia, and in Beirut, Lebanon.

In terms of energy, most of the winning buildings make use of natural daylighting, ventilation, and shading. The buildings also draw on such energy technologies as radiant heating and cooling, evaporative cooling, displacement cooling, waste heat recovery, water-source heat pumps, variable-speed pumps and fans, lighting controls, high-performance windows and doors, automated exterior blinds and louvers, and energy efficient appliances and equipment. Many generate renewable energy using solar photovoltaic power systems, while the more innovative onsite energy systems include a 200-kilowatt wind turbine and a biomass gasification system that runs on waste wood. See the AIA press release and the AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects Web site.

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