American Institute of Architect (AIA) – a professional organization for architects in United States unveiled a list of Top 10 environmental friendly green projects for 2009. After analyzing various energy efficient features of the numerous buildings, AIA generated this top 10 list for green buildings. Those remarkable green buildings are listed below:

Charles Hostler Student Center

charlesCharles Hostler student Center located on the campus of the American University of Beirut is a startling example for how a perfect campus should be. This building covers an area of about 204,000 square feet. Here the project is organized as a cluster of interior and exterior spaces rather than a single building. This allows the building forms themselves to redistribute the air, activity and shade. The east-west orientation of the building forms helps to provide shade to the exterior courtyards, which reduces the amount of the southern exposure. That orientation also directs the nighttime breezes and the daytime sea breezes for cooling the outdoor spaces.

The rooftop of this study center includes a green space, which allows a very pleasurable physical and visual integration to the upper campus. This green rooftop reduces the amount of exposures to the sun. Shading and ventilation process increases the amount of usable program areas of outdoor spaces.


chartwell_schoolAn outstanding and stunning Chartwell school campus occupies an area of about 21,200 square-feet. Excellent daylight inside is provided by the tall and north-facing glass windows and clerestories. This helps in achieving the net-zero electrical goal of that school. Sloping shed roofs helps in good photovoltaic orientation of the building. Radiant heat plays a very beneficial role in providing a quite and pleasant environment to the students of the school and also reduces the size of the mechanical equipments and mechanical rooms. Framing the structure at the two feet on the centre reduces the amount of materials used on the project and thus saves the overall construction cost.

Gish apartment

gish7Gish apartment is a 35-unit transit-oriented family apartment in downtown San Jose, California. This ground breaking apartment covers an area of about 75,200 square-feet. This is the first US housing apartment to receive the LEED for homes and LEED for new construction Gold certification. By choosing a site adjacent to light rail and reserving 35 percent of units for tenants with developmental disabilities, the owner earned a major parking reduction from the city. As a result, the project has a high housing density of 81 units per acre. Other energy efficient features of this apartment includes the reuse of urban brownfield site, a roof-top photovoltaic array, high performance insulation in 2×6 exterior walls, double-glazed windows, and high-efficiency heating and hot water system

Great River Energy Headquarters

greatriver_mnGreat River Energy (GRE) is Minnesota’s second largest electric wholesale supplier, generating and transmitting the electricity to 28 distribution cooperatives serving more than 620,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers. The headquarters of the GRE covers 166,000 square-feet area. It is a four-story building with concrete frames and architectural glass curtain walls. GRE wished to design its headquarters as a model of electric efficient building, which could be adopted by the electric co-op members across the state. The major goal of these members was to reduce the demand for large and coal fired generating plants. They also wanted to meet the new demands with the wind power or with other renewable resources.

This building achieved most of the features of a green building by providing abundant day light, view to the exterior, exceptional indoor air quality and a quality work environment within a reasonable budget.

Jewish Reconstructionist congregation

jewEye-catching Jewish Reconstructionist congregation (JRC) in Evanston, Illinois covers 31,600 square feet. This new synagogue for Jewish Reconstructionist congregation building earned the LEED Platinum certification. Perimeter space of this building has 9.5 ft ceilings. This enhances the day lighting and natural ventilation. The synagogue is a wooden box clad with reclaimed cypress, with spectrally selective, low emissive glazing. The reclaimed cypress is also used in the indoor of the worship spaces. At the perimeter sites of the building Gabion walls filled with waste masonry are used. Most of the floors are made up of polished concrete. Thus there is no necessity for the floor covering. Paints and finishes with low level of volatile organic compounds are used throughout the building.

Portola Valley Town Center

portola-01Portola valley town center was constructed at Portola valley in California by demolishing three town structures – a library, a community hall and a town hall. The materials of the old town center were reused as beams, paneling, countertops and structural fills. The new building is 20 percent smaller than the old. The salvaged wood is used for the exterior siding and louvers and the local eucalyptus is used for the wood flooring. The concrete mixture is 70 percent slag. Because of such energy efficient measures, the carbon emission is reduced by 32 percent.

Energy efficiency is achieved greatly by proper building orientation, day lighting, natural ventilation, sunshades and thermal mass. Small and efficient air conditioning units pre-cool make-up air and eliminating the need of full air conditioning. This building includes a photovoltaic system with 76KW, which supplies 40 percent electricity to the building. The non renewable energy cost is reduced by 51 percent and the carbon consumption is reduced by 76.2 tons per year. Strikingly, an abandoned culvert will become a cistern for storing 40,000 gallons of rain water.

Shangri La Botanical Garden & Nature Center

shangrila1Shangri La Botanical Garden & Nature Center in the heart of Orange, Texas is a project which involves in the restoration of the land, which had been closed to the public for 50 years. This building finished one edge of its complex with the cues taken from the brick, glass and steel from the green houses built in the early 1920s. The nature discovery lab and pavilion, outdoor classrooms, bird blind and boat house are designed to float above the land on helical pier foundations and for very minimal impact. Photovoltaic panels are used for the power generation for these structures. Proudly this green building earned the LEED platinum certification.

Synergy at Dockside Green

Synergy_BridgeDockside green covers wide area of about 1.3 million ft2 in the heart of Victoria, BC. This resourceful building includes many environmental friendly features like rolling canopies that are used to control glare and solar radiations. Occupants have a control over their spaces with the help of dashboards, which also controls the canopies as well as heating and ventilation. There are also green roofs which includes planting spaces for vegetables and a green way to support the social equity and local food production. These green roofs and spaces help in minimizing the heat island effect. It also takes away the great burden of the city storm water system by allowing the storm water to leak into it.

Meanwhile all the waters landed by the rain gets collected and reused for the purpose of irrigation, toilet flushing and for the greenway treatments. A wood-fire combined heat and power plant will produce the heat and hot water to the entire usage. This greatly combined along with the hydropower-based electricity, will reduce the carbon emission to a greater extent. Highly renewable resources such as bamboos and cork were used as the interior finishes and the materials with the low level volatile organic compounds were also used in the construction.

The Terry Thomas

Weber_Thompson_HQThe Terry Thomas, a gorgeous green building in Seattle, WA cover 37,000 ft2 office space in four floors. The highlight of this building is its less dependency on the energy. A holistic design concept was tailored with specific sites to provide day light, ventilation and reinforced community connection to the tenants of the building. This indirectly resulted in increase in the productivity potential. By this process, they also created an experimental and educational tool for promoting sustainable design.

World Headquarters for the International Fund for animal Welfare

10187_2_Animal3The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is located in Cape Cod in yarmouthport, Massachusetts. This new headquarters received the LEED Gold certification. This project aims to create a restored meadow and to re-establish a natural habitat with native vegetation. IFAW also incorporated low-tech, low-cost and sustainable features such as orientation, natural day lighting, ventilation and very efficient mechanical system. This green house also incorporates a plan that reduces the square footage by 50 percent per person during the elaboration of the workspace and increasing the employees.

Rating the buildings according to the green building features leads to the increase in the awareness about the energy efficient green buildings in the world as well as it gains reputation to the buildings.