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Cambridge Cohousing, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Energy Resource Center, Downey, California

Environmental Showcase Home, Phoenix, Arizona

Florida House Learning Center, Sarasota, Florida

Interface Ray C. Anderson Plant, La Grange, Georgia

Patagonia Distribution Center, Reno, Nevada

Ridgehaven Green Demonstration Project, San Diego, California

SC Johnson Wax Commercial Products Headquarters, Racine, Wisconsin

Thoreau Center for Sustainability, San Francisco, California

Wal-Mart Environmental Demonstration Store, City of Industry, California

Cambridge Cohousing by The Green Village Co.represents an innovative and promising model of collaboration for community residents and green-thinking professionals.

The overall environmental achievements at Cambridge Cohousing are a good precedent for multifamily housing.

Cambridge Cohousing by The Green Village Co.represents an innovative and promising model of collaboration for community residents and green-thinking professionals.

The overall environmental achievements at Cambridge Cohousing are a good precedent for multifamily housing.

The Energy Resource Center by WLC Architects acts as a showcase building, integrating not only top-quality energy strategies but also environmental material choices and indoor environmental quality elements.

Energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and resource conservation were all key goals in the design of the Energy Resource Center.

Environmental Showcase Home by Jones Studio was designed to introduce a full range of environmentally responsible design ideas, systems, and products to mass-market production housing builders.

At the Environmental Showcase Home, water conservation, waste reduction, and the evaluation of materials through a life-cycle assessment were integrated into the design solution.

Interface's Ray C. Anderson Plant, a manufacturing plant and customer center for the carpet manufacturer, was designed by Thompson, Ventulet, Stainback & Associates.

The SC Johnson Wax Commercial Products building designed by Zimmerman Design Group and Hellmuth Obata + Kassabaum (HOK) serves as a benchmark for environmentally responsible design and construction.

The challenge for HOK was to create the most advanced, environmentally responsible building possible without adding to the overall cost.

1998 AIA/COTE Top Ten Winner FLORIDA HOUSE LEARNING CENTER LOCATION: Sarasota, Florida ARCHITECT: Osborn Sharp Associates

The primary goal was to create a state of the shelf demonstration of sustainable design and development. The firm wanted the public to adopt the thinking and to take action by using the right design and by making the right purchases. The architect was also the president of the nonprofit learning center. This helped to simplify the communication and decision making. The firm used a collaborative process between all professionals and stakeholders.

The design process had to be more collaborative with the required integration of the building systems. The firm developed a taxonomy of system layers to integrate whole-system thinking into the process, termed "natural, built, economic, and social layers." The firm uses the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and the Florida Green-Building systems as metrics. More importantly, however, they use them to involve, communicate with, and educate the client.

Building Performance, According to the Architects

This project is unique as a public and private partnership for a sustainable model home and yard for the public to visit. The public may also attend classes on how to make their lifestyle in Florida more sustainable.

Florida House Learning Center is unique as a public and private partnership for a sustainable model home and yard for the public to visit.
The firm uses the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and the Florida Green-Building systems as metrics in the Florida House Learning Center.

We have remodeled the finish materials and landscaping, adding storm shutters as well. The building is doing better than expected and has been improved over the years through upgrades. A public and private volunteer advisory board maintains the demonstration home and yard and keeps the curriculum up to date. More than 10,000 people visit each year, verifying the strong demand for credible information on sustainable designs of homes and yards.

The firm also learned the importance of educating everyone involved in the construction process on the different sustainability goals. The contractors, their subcontractors, the subcontractors' employees, and down the line, all need to know what must be done and avoided to accomplish a sustainable design.

Lessons Learned by the Architects

We have learned that there is a new language of sustainable design and construction, that an integrative design process takes much more time and fees, and that there will be hurdles in local codes and construction practices to overcome.

We incorporate sustainable issues into our entire project specifications by using (1) a separate specification document that addresses only the sustainable-design issues and (2) separate notes and notices on our plans. We rely on our consultants for the specialized information. Furthermore, we would also

■ Expand the design-charrette process to aid in the discovery of auxiliary community needs and stakeholders for a center of this type

■ Build in more hurricane resistance and technology

■ Add more photovoltaic solar cells

■ Add more offices and meeting rooms or classrooms for a center of this type

■ Incorporate and feature more varied glass types and window technology, especially the use of "second-surface" low-E glass for Florida's climate

1998 AIA/COTE Top Ten Winner RIDGEHAVEN GREEN DEMONSTRATION PROJECT LOCATION: San Diego, California ARCHITECT: Platt/Whitelaw Architects

Building Performance, According to the Architects

The project was originally designed as a green demonstration project. The city of San Diego has continued to add demonstration elements such as leaf composting, pho-tovoltaics, and recharging stations. The building has exceeded expectations for a number of reasons: extensive commissioning allowed the building to exceed the design energy-efficiency goals. Responsible maintenance and operations by the city (based on a green-maintenance manual provided by the design team) has resulted in maintaining the interior environmental quality.

The client (the director of the city's environmental services department) and his team were visionary in creating a green demonstration project. An integrated design team was assembled that included members of the local utility company as well as experts in energy efficiency and sustainable design. Charrettes were used to pursue a process of visioning as well as detailed modeling and cost analysis. The client never lost sight of the overall vision throughout the process, even during periods when the budget and schedule were severely challenged.

Lessons Learned by the Architects

The project was an adaptive reuse of an existing building. The budget was extremely limited. Priorities were set based on payback benefits. Certain envelope improvements were excluded from the project due to longer payback benefits. Since the existing building has limited floor-to-floor heights, underfloor distribution was not feasible, but subsequent work we have done with wind scoops and vertical ducting, down to displacement ventilation outlets, has shown promising application for buildings with large floor plates such as this.

Working through a charrette process with an integrated client and design team was a stimulating, successful process that we try to apply on other projects. We learned the true value of energy modeling as a design tool. As a result, we introduced the resources and ability to model energy performance into our practice; although we usually still use consultants for this task, we are able to better understand and challenge that process. The awareness we gained of the impact of the built environment on human health and performance has become an integral part of our firm's design philosophy. This brings with it the responsibility to keep expanding our knowledge base. We have developed the appropriate resources in the office and have "greened" our office operation. An understanding of and commitment to sustainable design is an important criterion in the selection of new staff members.

We use the LEED system as a design tool, because it is a useful, comprehensive checklist. Like any other tool, it is only as good as the user's ability to apply it. We have several LEED-accredited professionals on staff; the training is one important component in developing a full understanding of the practice of sustainable design. We do maintain a healthy skepticism of the LEED (and any other) rating system, since its blind application (shopping for points) can be detrimental.

1998 AIA/COTE Top Ten Winner THOREAU CENTER FOR SUSTAINABILITY LOCATION: San Francisco, California ARCHITECT: Tanner Leddy Maytum Stacy

The client was critical to the vision and success of the Thoreau Center. The client team and the design team shared the same goal—to make the Thoreau Center a model for practical integration of a sustainable building within the context of a national historic landmark. The client was involved in the design decisions and sup-

Thoreau Center for Sustainability is a model for the practical integration of sustainable building principles into the context of a national historic landmark.

Thoreau Center for Sustainability is a model for the practical integration of sustainable building principles into the context of a national historic landmark.

ported the entire project process. The firm has continued its relationship with the client team and has completed several other projects with them.

The firm currently uses the LEED-rating system, with one gold-rated project complete and several others in the works. Having LEED-accredited professionals on staff is very important and encourages other staff members to become accredited.

Building Performance, According to the Architects

The Thoreau Center has been very successful on a number of levels. The project has continued to be a model for sustainable design within the context of historic preservation. The methods and materials selected ten years ago still perform very well; they have been easy to maintain and operate; and they still look great. The other aspect of the design and original concept of the project was to create a community of nonprofit organizations to share the buildings and share resources. This has been extremely successful. More than 50 nonprofit organizations are now located in the Thoreau Center, with a public gallery, shared conference center, and a lively café where the community comes together.

Lessons Learned by the Architects

The design team learned many lessons from this project in the design, documentation, and construction process. An inclusive process, with the client group and reviewing agencies, was critical to the success of the project. The importance of product research in materials selection and the incorporation of sustainable-building requirements into the project specifications were also critical to the construction process. Finally, incorporation of operation and maintenance procedures and tenant standards was vital to the ongoing success of the Thoreau Center over the last ten years. The lessons learned from this project have been incorporated into the firm's office practice and into our projects over the last ten years.

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