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Top Green Architecture Projects

There are a lot of us out here now doing this environmental proselytizing thing. I’ll admit, there’s a bandwagon-y feel to it all (a lot of us green at being green, so to speak). That’s why when you see someone that’s been at it a long time, you must give respect. And today’s Green Among Gray respect goes to The American Institute of Architects, which has been recognizing sound environmental design and building since 1997 with its AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects list.

The AIA recently named its 2008 honorees, and a few big cities are represented: Seattle, Boston, Kansas City. The buildings are judged on measures that include energy conservation, water use, and bioclimatic design (how well the structure is suited to its surroundings). These buildings make use of such things as rainwater collection (for irrigation) and dual-flush toilets to reduce water consumption; natural ventilation instead of AC; daylighting to reduce electricity draw; recycled materials, such as tires, instead of virgin building materials; and, of course, lots of solar panels.

The AIA/COTE list is simply another illustration of how progressive our society can be, how doable all this STUFF that we hear about but don’t really have a context for is. It’s a big-scale thing, for which the responsibility lies not on “average Joe worker” (you and me) but on our employers, on our corporations, on our conglomerates. And the more us little worker bees see of it, the more likely we are to do our small-scale things to pitch in. And, in turn, the more of us who pitch in with little stuff, the more likely the bigwigs will be to enact the big-scale stuff. It can become a self-sustaining process. A green-energy synergy. Let’s keep it rolling.

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“Top Green Architecture Projects”