Sustainable Architecture Awardees

The Sustainable Architecture awards program recognizes the efforts of licensed Connecticut architects who have developed and demonstrated ways to decrease Green House Gases, reduce energy use and demand, and conserve water use in the built or natural environments. Equally important is the creation of durable, comfortable, and healthy spaces. The award attempts to raise the public awareness of the current climate crisis and the massive role played by construction, maintenance, and operations of the built environment.
The Sustainable Architecture Award also honors the climate change initiatives of AIA Connecticut and Connecticut Passive House to secure a more sustainable and environmentally thriving future.

2021 Sustainable Architecture Award Jury

Karla Butterfield
Sustainability Director
Steven Winter Associates, Inc.

George Penniman, AIA, LEED
Penniman Architects

Leonard Wyeth, AIA, CPHD
Wyeth Architects

2021 Sustainable Architecture Award Winners

New Construction

2+U | Pickard Chilton
Photography: Benjamin Benschneider Photography

2+U creates a space for the community in the heart of downtown Seattle. Located next to the Seattle Art Museum, the project knits together the Waterfront, Business District, and Arts District by lifting the tower 85 feet above the street, providing connectivity at the pedestrian scale, and views through the block to Elliott Bay.

2+U is a LEED Platinum (v2009 Core & Shell) certified project, and
delivers impressive environmental and health & wellness benefits as well as creating positive community & social impact. Collaborating with a multidisciplinary team committed to sustainable, high performance solutions, the project began with a sustainability visioning session that shaped the design process. Impactful goals included maximizing daylight, optimizing energy efficiency while exceeding the stringent Seattle Energy Code, and minimizing water usage.

Jury Comments: Despite the use of glass which is typically not a model of minimal energy use, 2+U has a beautiful design with a nice consideration to local materials. The project is very pedestrian friendly and has clear metrics of sustainability features.

11 Crown | Kenneth Boroson Architects, LLC
Photography: Grant Wright (Kenneth Boroson Architects)

This new development located at the intersection of Crown, Perkins, and South Colony Streets in Meriden consists of three separate buildings, totaling 121,300 gross square feet. The design of the three buildings creates a courtyard that contains parking, garden areas and a playground for residents, while shielding the topographic challenges and creating walkable safe streets. In addition to state and federal grants, this project was awarded 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) funding from the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), and was completed on budget.

All structures were designed to be in compliance with PHIUS+ certification criteria. The Colony Street townhomes meet all the required thresholds including the strict air tightness requirements of the Passive House standard which will result in energy efficient, durable and comfortable homes for all the occupants. The project was also designed to be compliant with Energy Star, US DOE ZERH (Zero Energy Ready Homes), and US EPA Indoor airPLUS programs.

Jury Comments: With limited funds and the need to satisfy the requirements of multiple public funding sources, this project is impressive. Given the funding restraints, great effort was made to integrate into the urban fabric. It should be commended for achieving the Passive House standard in an affordable housing context.

Renovations, Adaptive Re-Use, or Retro-Fit

165 Capitol Avenue | Amenta Emma Architects
Photography: Robert Benson Photography

The age-old debate of whether to reuse or build new is laid to rest with the transformation of downtown Hartford’s State Office Building at 165 Capitol Avenue. Not only is the building now a beautiful contemporary workplace with a stunning double-height lobby featuring canted marbles walls, but the design also respects the historic fabric of the 1930’s era building while making it a model of 21st century sustainability goals.

With ailing windows replaced with double-pane replicas, asbestos and lead paint abated, and every building system overhauled or replaced, the building now meets the USGBC’s standards for LEED® silver, and Connecticut’s strict High Performance Building energy efficiency requirements. Insulation and other additions to the building’s skeleton help it achieve 50.13 kBtu/sf/yr, less than half the 111.7 kBtu/sf/yr national average.

Jury Comments: It is said that the greatest reduction of construction carbon is by reuse of existing structures. This certainly applies here. This project is a beautiful example of the value of preserving an older building while incorporating high performance, sustainability features, and creating beautiful spaces with improved occupant/visitor experience.

View past Sustainable Architecture Award winners: