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Portland Architects Batting .300 at COTE Top 10 Awards

14 June 2012 | Posted By Jeff Cole 2,851 views No Comment

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) 2012 selection of the nation’s top ten green projects sees Portland firms batting .300, with three out of the ten projects designed by local firms. This reflects well on the maturity of high performance sustainable design in the city.

  • THA Architecture’s Mercy Corps project, an 85,000 square foot Portland headquarters for the global relief organization, has a measured energy use index (EUI) of 36 kBTU/sf-yr, with the rooftop infrastructure in place for a photovoltaic array to bring energy use to net zero.
  • Opsis Architecture’s Music and Science Building for the Hood River (OR) Middle School Campus is pursuing the International Living Future Institute’s Net Zero Certification. Before recognizing the energy contribution from photovoltaics, total building energy use for the 7,200 square building is 24 kBTU/sf-yr (24 thousand British Thermal Units per square foot per year).

This year’s COTE Top 10 are distinguished by the company they keep. Note that all three of these buildings are already net zero energy projects (or will be soon). Thirty projects were submitted for consideration by the jurors this year, and the levels of performance achieved across a variety of sustainability metrics, the integrated strategies used to achieve project goals, and the design quality are all significantly elevated above previous years. Rocky Mountain Institute’s Alexis Karolides, AIA, in her fifth year as a national COTE member, has written a particularly interesting column reflecting on trends, seen in these projects, which “speak to the evolution of green leadership in the built environment.”

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