AIA Top 10


Case studies are currently organized by project type. In the future, you will be able to search the case studies database by a variety of criteria, including by cross-referenced building materials listed on Green Building Pages and by key sustainable design and construction features.


 AIA Top 10 2006


Alberici Corporate Headquarters


Overland, MO

Macky Mitchell Associates


This project entails the adaptive reuse of an existing manufacturing plant into a corporate headquarters for one of St. Louis' oldest and largest construction companies. Requirements included an open office environment, structured parking, training rooms, exercise facilities, and dining facilities. The company now enjoys a healthy, comfortable, beautiful environment that fosters teamwork, creativity, and collaboration, and a 50-year-old structure has new life.

U.S. Green Building Council LEED-NC, v.2/v.2.1 -- Level: Platinum (60 points)

Green Globes -- Level: Four Green Globes

The Animal Foundation Dog Adoption Park

Las Vegas, NV

Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects



The Regional Animal Campus for the Las Vegas Valley is intended to serve the animal sheltering and adoption needs for Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and surrounding Clark County. Driven by a need to expand its operations, the Animal Foundation is developing plans to create a regional animal campus. The dog adoption park is the project's first phase.

The dog adoption park consists of "dog bungalows," each containing 12 kennels, outdoor runs, and a visitation room. The bungalows are arranged in a park-like setting shaded by freestanding canopies supporting photovoltaic panels.

The goals for the dog adoption park were to create a dignified way of presenting animals to the adopting public and to use green strategies, with the intention of achieving a LEED(r) Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Ballard Library and Neighborhood Center

Seattle, WA

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson


This project, the first major building designed within the new Ballard Municipal Master Plan Zone, consists of the 15,000 ft2 Ballard Library, a 3,600 ft2 neighborhood service center, and 18,000 ft2 of below-grade parking.

The new branch has self-checkout stations, 38 computers, a special area for teens, and a meeting room. The children's area in the building's prominent northwest corner overlooks the future municipal park space. The Ballard Library and Neighborhood Service Center draws on this Seattle neighborhood's Scandinavian and maritime roots while focusing on the future of the community, composed of a young, diverse population.

Ben Franklin Elementary School

Kirkland, WA

Mahlum Architects


The Ben Franklin Elementary School serves 450 students in kindergarten through grade six. The students are distributed within small learning communities, each including a cluster of four naturally ventilated and daylit classrooms around a multipurpose activity area. Stacked within two-story wings that extend toward the woods, these communities are integrally linked with views and access to nature beyond.

The school was designed to preserve and harness the environment as a learning opportunity. Because daylight and indoor air quality profoundly impact student performance, the school was designed to maximize performance in these areas. The classroom areas of the school are entirely naturally ventilated and daylit.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Motherhouse

Monroe, MI

Susan Maxman & Partners


When the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (SSIHM) recognized that their order was diminishing, they embarked on a collaborative, long-range planning process to determine the best way to achieve an ecologically responsible, 21st century community on their 280-acre site.

One of the missions of their order is to respect the earth and promote environmental justice, so they hoped to create a community that would exemplify these ideals. All shower and lavatory water is routed to a constructed wetland and reused for flushing toilets. Daylighting and a ground-source heating and cooling system contribute to an expected 20% reduction in energy use, compared to a conventional building. Materials were selected for their durability and environmental responsibility.

U.S. Green Building Council LEED-NC, v.2/v.2.1--Level: Certified (27 points)

Philadelphia Forensic Science Center

Philadelphia, PA

Croxton Collaborative Architects, PC


The new Forensic Science Center for the Philadelphia Police Department is both a state-of-the-art forensics laboratory facility and a demonstration project for green design.

The rigorous program includes a firearms unit; a crime-scene unit for gathering evidence; chemistry laboratories for drug analysis; and criminalistics and DNA laboratories for hair, fiber, and blood analysis. The Forensics Science Center handles all crime-scene evidence for the City of Philadelphia, with the exception of evidence from homicides. The Center is housed in a former K-12 school building on a site that had been abandoned for many years. It is a concrete-frame building with brick infill, originally constructed in 1929.

Solar Umbrella House

Venice, CA

Pugh + Scarpa


Inspired by Paul Rudolph's Umbrella House of 1953, the Solar Umbrella House was designed to establish a precedent for the next generation of California modernist architecture. Many design features at the Solar Umbrella are multivalent and rich with meaning, performing functional, formal, and experiential roles.

Passively adapted to the temperate-arid climate of southern California, the major design feature of the Solar Umbrella is a shading solar canopy. Rather than deflecting sunlight, this contemporary solar canopy uses 89 amorphous photovoltaic panels to transforms the sunlight into usable energy, providing 95% of the residence's electricity. At the same time, it screens large portions of the structure from direct exposure to the intense southern California sun, protecting the body of the building from thermal heat gain. A net meter provided by the City of Los Angeles connects the photovoltaic array to the grid, eliminating both the need for a storage system and the time-of-use charges associated with traditional electricity use.

UT School of Nursing and Student Center

Houston, TX

BNIM Architects & Lake/Flato Architects


The state-of-the-art University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston's School of Nursing and Student Community Center is situated on a small, urban site adjacent to Fay Park, within the heart of the Texas Medical Center campus. A pedagogical model of wellness, comfort, flexibility, environmental stewardship, and fiscal responsibility, it continues the University's shift toward healthy, environmentally responsible actions.

The building is expected to use 41% less energy than a conventional, minimally code-compliant building. Underfloor air distribution increases energy efficiency and thermal comfort. This raised floor, as well as demountable partitions, also allows for revisions to the interior design, accommodating changing needs. Building materials were selected to minimize environmental impact. Three-fourths of the building's demolition and construction waste was salvaged or recycled. Water-conservation strategies, including rainwater harvesting, waterfree urinals, and efficient fixtures, amount to a 48% reduction in potable water use, compared to a baseline calculation.

Westcave Preserve Environmental Learning Center

Round Mountain, TX

Jackson & McElhaney Architects

The Warren Skaaren Environmental Learning Center functions as a visitor center and classroom space for public and school programs at Westcave Preserve, a 30-acre nature preserve in south Texas. The building had to be able to accommodate groups of 150 or more students while hosting visitor groups of one to ten people and serving as a community center. The project goal was to foster respect and stewardship of the natural environment, support environmental education, and preserve the sanctuary into the future.

The challenge of environmental education is to simplify the complexities of the natural sciences and ecology to the concepts of protecting the quality of air, water, and soils and conserving energy. As such, the design of the structure was conceived as a three-dimensional textbook. The architectural expression of the building is a framework for analogies between building materials and systems and how they mimic or model natural systems.

World Birding Center Headquarters

Mission, TX

Lake/Flato Architects



The World Birding Center Headquarters, located in Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, was intended to form a gateway between disturbed land that was cleared for agricultural purposes some 30 years ago and more then 1,700 acres of adjacent native habitat that is being reclaimed and established as a habitat preserve.

The design and construction theme was to do more with less. Through the process of "right sizing," the buildings were reduced to 13,000 ft2, reducing first cost, material and energy use, and maintenance requirements. Structural arched panels enclose the maximum space with the least material and use 48% less steel, by weight, than traditional steel framing. A flooded habitat demonstration garden exhibits the characteristics of the natural flooded Resaca environment and forms the focal point of the design.

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