America’s best sustainable buildings named for 2013

The year’s 10 best sustainable building projects have recently been chosen by the American Institute of Architects. The competition, which is known as the ‘Top 10 Green Projects’ scheme, is open to all US architects and promotes sustainable design that minimises environmental impact.

One notable winner was an unusual house in California designed by the Brooks + Scarpa firm of architects. This building, known as the Yin Yang House, is capable of producing all of the energy it needs.

The house has a green roof and retains around 95 per cent of storm water to reduce its water consumption. The roof is large and has been designed to overhang the bedrooms in a way that shades them from direct sun while still allowing for plenty of ventilation and natural light. Solar panels built into the house contribute towards its energy requirements and a passive cooling system removes the need for energy-hungry air conditioning.

Another winning project, also located in California, was an apartment block designed by KieranTimberlake. As water is scarce in the area, a water recycling system has been incorporated into the building, while a green roof absorbs any rainwater that is available.

The building’s structure uses thermal mass to reduce the sun’s heat, even out temperature changes and enhance natural ventilation levels. As sustainable design is embraced by more architects, Chester individuals or businesses planning building projects might like to follow suit, integrating green ideas into their designs. Reputable firms are on hand to turn basic ideas into fully-fledged projects.

Posted by Matt Hughes
January 2, 2014

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