Aiacote Top Ten Winner The Plaza At Ppl Center Location Allentown Pennsylvania

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ARCHITECT: Robert A.M. Stern Architects; Kendall/Heaton Associates; Atelier Ten

This LEED Gold high-performance urban office building was designed and built in 18 months on a suburban real-estate budget (see color insert). The eight-story building offers Allentown's downtown its first new office development in over 25 years. A dramatic eight-story glass atrium brings natural light deep into the core of the building, while extensive perimeter glazing provides panoramic views and abundant daylight, filtered through brises-soleil, directly to all building spaces. Carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors ensure that fresh air is supplied directly to each building area as needed. A pair of two-story, plant-filled winter gardens along the south facade of the building provide unique workspaces for occupants, bring daylight deeper into the floor plates, control glare, and improve indoor air quality. Other features include efficient building systems, use of zero-emitting or very-low-VOC-emitting paint, adhesives, sealants, carpet, and composite wood. Estimated energy demand is 30 percent less compared to code requirements. Water use is 45 percent below code requirements. Construction materials contained more than 20 percent recycled content.

Jury Comments: "With a clean aesthetic in a conventional building block, this project makes a number of nice moves with double envelopes, daylight, and a winter garden to frame a public space and contribute it to the city."

2004 AIA/COTE Top Ten Winner WOODS HOLE RESEARCH CENTER LOCATION: Falmouth, Massachusetts ARCHITECT: William McDonough + Partners

Placed within a challenging and constrained site, the design preserves the cultural landscape represented by an existing nineteenth-century summer home, respectfully and adaptively reusing the original house and adding contemporary office, laboratory, and common spaces. The all-electric building relies on renewable energy sources, including a grid-connected and net-metered 26.4-kilowatt photovoltaic array that powers the building's closed-loop, ground-source heat-pump system. A planned on-site wind turbine will likely make the building a net-energy exporter. Icynene spray foam insulates all exterior walls and roof assemblies, creating a technically and ecologically effective air barrier and optimized R-values. Other components reinforce the performance benefits of this extremely secure envelope, including offset-stud framing; double- and triple-glazed argon-insulated low-E windows; enthalpy wheels that recapture heat and moisture from exhaust air and precondition incoming fresh air; and high-efficiency lighting controls and occupancy monitors.

Jury Comments: "By testing and understanding how to achieve the highest level of performance in environmentally sensitive elements, such as water recovery and sole-source wind-turbine energy, this building raises the bar very high for the next generation of buildings."

Building Performance, According to the Architects

The client had very high ambitions, as did the designers. The building not only performs extraordinarily well, but it is full of light and air, generous common space, and safe materials, all of which were goals that competed in the design process with the quantitative goal of the lowest possible energy use. The owner was very knowledgeable, appreciative, and very involved. A commissioning process helped ensure optimal performance. The client's entire organization is delighted with the building.

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Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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