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 2011


Cherokee Studios


Los Angeles, CA



The main architectural feature of this project is the building's owner-controlled double-façade system. The occupant is able to adjust the operable screens of the building façade as necessary for privacy, views, shading, and thermal comfort. As a result, the facade is virtually redesigned "live" from within, responding to the occupants of the building in real time. The façade also enhances the existing streetscape and promotes a lively pedestrian environment. By visually breaking up the façade into smaller, articulated moving elements, the building appears to move with the passing cars and people. Like many features of the building, the façade is multivalent and rich with meaning, performing several roles for formal, functional, and experiential effect.

It is pending LEED Platinum certification.

First Unitarian Society Meeting House

Madison, WI

The Kubala Washatko Architects, Inc.



Improving a Frank Llyod Wright building is a daunting task, one which was met with success.

The success of this project lies not in any single design technology, but with the integration of sustainable thinking and technical solutions in a forward-looking, historically sensitive, and beautifully crafted building that responds to the social needs and spiritual aspirations of those who enter.

Recognizing the historical significance of the original Meeting House, the architects convened a unique design peer review group comprised of nationally recognized Wright experts. The group met to identify key issues in the design of a new addition and to assess its impact on the historic building and site.

U.S. Green Building Council LEED-NC, v.2.2 -- Level: Gold

Greensburg Schools/Kiowa County Schools

Greensburg, KS



Following the devastating tornado that destroyed its town and schools, Unified School District (USD) 422 chose a bold strategy to combine its schools into a single K–12 facility that would retain a distinct identity for each school function: elementary, middle and high school. The design utilizes a highly flexible, sustainable approach that constantly maintains a student-centered focus.

The plan maximizes daylight and natural ventilation to positively impact student performance. The new school serves as a major community focal point, a catalyst for future buildings, and a tool to promote student health, productivity and enhanced learning. The school itself serves as an active teaching tool and has been integrated into the curriculum.

The school is targeting a LEED Platinum rating.

High Tech High Chula Vista

Chula Vista, CA

Studio E Architects


The facilities reflect the school's guiding principles of personalization, adult-world connection, and common intellectual mission. These principles permeate every aspect of life at HTH: the small school and class sizes, the openness and transparency, sustainable design attributes, and showcasing of student work in progress.

The facilities are designed to help each student do well, support each family to lead healthier lives, and provide increased opportunities for everyone to participate. High Tech High demands that a school be safe, but not in a way that feels like a prison. Schools should be healthy, but not in a way that feels sanitized. Schools should be cost-effective to operate, but not at the expense of discomfort or functionality.

U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Schools 2.0 (2007) -- Level: Gold

Collaborative for High Performing Schools -- Level: Verified

EPA Energy Star -- Level: 94


Livestrong Foundation

Austin, TX

Lake|Flato Architects


After 10 years of leasing space in a suburban office building, the Livestrong Foundation found its permanent home in the 1950s-era Gulf Coast Paper Co. (GPC) warehouse in East Austin, an underserved community in the process of revitalization.

The adaptive reuse of the GCP warehouse transformed the concrete tilt-wall building to provide office space, meeting rooms, multi-use facilities, an in-house gym, an open-air courtyard, and parking for the staff of 62. Ongoing plans call for adding a community-based cancer-support program to provide direct services, with an emphasis on uninsured and underinsured East Austin residents.

U.S Green Building Council LEED-NC, v2.2 -- Level:Gold

LOTT Clean Water Alliance

Olympia, WA

The Miller Hull Partnership


While most sewage treatment plants are invisible to their communities and separated by a chain link fence, the LOTT Clean Water Alliance Regional Service Center is a visible and active participant in the public life of Washington's capital city. The LOTT Clean Water Alliance provides Class A reclaimed water and emphasizes water conservation through a strong community outreach program, in addition to providing wastewater treatment services to 85,000 people in four local communities. The new facility, located on the site of its existing Budd Inlet Treatment Plant, brings all management and staff together in one location. The facility includes three major elements: a renovated 7,700 ft2 water quality laboratory, a new 21,300 ft2 office, and a 3,500 ft2 education and technology center.

OS House

Racine, WI

Johnsen Schmaling Architects


Located in an old downtown neighborhood in Racine, Wisconsin, this house for a young family demonstrates how a small, sustainable residence built with a moderate budget can fit into a rustbelt city suffering from decades of economic decline. One of the first LEED Platinum homes in the Upper Midwest, the house occupies a narrow infill lot along the edge of Lake Michigan, completing a row of residences built over the last century. Based on massing studies testing the building's performance in relation to site constraints, solar exposure, and vegetation, the building is a simple rectangular volume with a series of outdoor rooms—an entry court, elevated patios, and a main-level terrace—all confined within the boundaries of the rectangular volume itself. The main level's transparency allows for a visual link between the street and the lake, while the upper rainscreen system creates a deep, ventilated envelope with superior performance. Along the edges of the outdoor rooms, the façade transforms into a delicate scrim of aluminum rods, defining spatial boundaries without obstructing views.

U.S. Green Building Council LEED for Homes v.1 -- Level: 97.5

Research Support Facility

Golden, CO



From its inception, the Department of Energy's (DOE) Research Support Facility (RSF) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) was designed to be a world-changing building. With the goal of creating the largest commercial net-zero energy structure in the country, the building is meant to serve as a blueprint for a net-zero energy future and influence others in the building industry to pursue low energy and net-zero energy performance. This building is meant to further the DOE and NREL's long-term mission.

Step Up on 5th

Santa Monica, CA


This mixed-use project provides 46 studio apartments of permanent affordable housing and supportive services for the homeless and mentally disabled population in the heart of downtown Santa Monica. The density of the project is 258 dwelling units/acre, which exceeds the average density of Manhattan by more than 10%.

The mixed-use plan includes ground-level commercial space. Residents have access to a computer center and are provided with services tailored to support low-income families, such as computer training and after-school programs.

This building distinguishes itself from most conventionally developed projects in that it incorporates energy-efficient measures that exceed standard practice, optimize building performance, and ensure reduced energy use during all phases of construction and occupancy.

Vancouver Convention Centre West

Vancouver, British Columbia

LMN Architects + MCM/DA


The design of the new Vancouver Convention Centre West presented an opportunity to fully engage the urban ecosystem at the intersection of a vibrant downtown core and one of the most spectacular natural ecosystems in North America. Certified LEED Canada Platinum, the project weaves together architecture, interior architecture, and urban design in a unified whole that functions as a living part of both the city and the harbor. The project defines an urban district that is the focal point of the downtown waterfront in a city of intense civic involvement and environmental awareness.

Canada Green Building Council LEED-NC -- Level: Platinum

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