Each year, the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (AIA COTE) announces its awards for newly constructed buildings exemplifying a holistic approach to green design. Their criteria include technology, innovation, and the ability to blend with the surrounding community. Here are some of our favorites from the Top 10 List.

Yin Yang House in Venice, Calif., by Brooks + Scarpa. Source: John Edward Linden via architectmagazine.com

Yin Yang House in Venice, Calif., by Brooks + Scarpa. Source: John Edward Linden via architectmagazine.com

The Yin Yang House. Yin Yang House is a mixed-use private home. The owners included an office space where they can meet with clients in an environment where children can be occupied in the meantime. Award winning features include:

  • Green design features that surpassed Title 24 requirements by 50%.
  • Solar panels supply 100% of the home’s electricity.
  • Integrated spaces for working, socializing, and relaxing.


Federal Center South Building 1202

Federal Center South Building 1202 in Seattle, by ZGF Architects. Source: Benjamin Benschneider/OTTO via architectmagazine.com

Federal Center South, Building 1202. This commercial building serves as the headquarters for the Army Corps of Engineers’ Northwest District. It is designed around a central atrium, providing both light and a view, to hundreds of work spaces. Interesting features include the re-use of over 300,000 feet of lumber from the existing WWII-era warehouse that was on the site.

Merritt Crossing Housing, Oakland, California

Merritt Crossing Housing, Oakland, California. Source: Tim Griffith via aiatopten.org

Merritt Crossing Senior Apartments. These affordable senior housing units are built in a notoriously expensive area in California’s East Bay. Within walking distance of public transportation, the units boast passive solar design, a community garden, and are reserved for seniors who have 30% – 50% of the areas median income. The colorful facades blend in with the surrounding Pan-Asian community.

Interested in a holistic approach to green design for your private home or building? Contact Leslie Saul and Associates Architecture and Interiors.