The Aiacote Top Ten Green Projects Program

In 1997 American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (AIA/ COTE) instituted the AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects program, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, in 1997 to recognize and commend the best exemplars of green and sustainable design. The AIA/COTE announces the winners annually on Earth Day, and recognizes the projects and the architects annually at the AIA National Convention and Expo. To learn more about the awards program, visit or

The winning projects address significant environmental challenges with designs that integrate architecture, technology, and natural systems. They provide positive contributions to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants, and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact site development, energy and water conservation, use of green construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality.

The range of building types and sizes of projects among the submissions to the Top Ten program in the past decade have varied greatly. Architects and other design professionals are beginning to address sustainability in increasingly sophisticated and effective design solutions. Whether reducing greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change, reducing peak energy loads to lessen demand on the power grid, using stormwater on site to eliminate runoff, conserving building water, or preserving wetlands, these buildings also promise to enhance the level of comfort and amenity for the people who inhabit them.

Chairs of AIA/COTE


Bob Berkebile, FAIA


Kirk Gastinger, FAIA


Greg Franta, FAIA


Harry Gordon, FAIA


Donald Watson, FAIA


Gail Lindsey, FAIA


Muscoe Martin, AIA


Sandra Mendler


Joyce Lee, AIA


Daniel Williams, FAIA


Mark Rylander, AIA


Vivian Loftness, FAIA


James Binkley, FAIA


Kira Gould, Assoc. AIA

This portion of the book, developed in cooperation with the AIA, presents the winners from the program's inception through 2006 in chronological order. The summaries of the projects either are based on interviews with the architects (particularly those that note Lessons Learned by the Architects) or have been adapted with permission from the AIA's project descriptions, with additional research.

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