The AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE), in partnership with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) announced the winners of the first annual COTE Top Ten for Students last month. The competition, run in parallel with the AIA COTE Top Ten, recognizes student work in studio projects that integrate regenerative schemes into their overall design strategies. The winning projects will be on view at the 104th ACSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, to be held in March 2016. 

This year's COTE Top Ten Awards jury included Nicole Gerou, Assoc. AIA, an architectural designer with NORR; Bob Harris, FAIA, LEED Fellow, sustainability leader at Lake | Flato Architects; Dr. Alison Kwok, AIA, a professor at the University of Oregon's Department of Architecture; Bill Leddy, FAIA, principal at Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects; and Margot McDonald, AIA, a professor and interim department head at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo's College of Architecture and Environmental Design. 

The projects were evaluated based on criteria in 10 categories: Design and Innovation; Regional/Community Design; Land Use and Site Ecology; Bioclimatic Design; Light and Air; Water Cycle; Energy Flows and Energy Future; Materials and Construction; Long Life, Loose Fit; and Collective Wisdom and Feedback Loops. 

Centennial Mills reCYCLEd
Gabrielle Steffel | University of Oregon
Faculty Sponsor: Ihab Elzeyadi
Jury comment: "This project demonstrates mastery and understanding of all ten measures and maturity beyond its years. The architecture is wonderfully understated, and it shows an impressive amount of restraint and sophistication. The project is an outstanding example of adaptive reuse. It makes connections to the larger urban context beyond the property line and starts to address place-making next to the river in a strong way. It is an inviting space that the community would appreciate."

Gabrielle Steffel

LEAP Collaborative
David Berry, Sierra Jensen | University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Faculty Sponsors: William E. Martella, Kevin Stevens
Jury comment: "This project rises to the top for its clarity of addressing all ten measures. The communication of the solutions is graphically well represented, and the delivery of ideas is convincing and compelling. The project addresses design questions at a range of scales evenly. The response to urban site conditions is attractive, and the climate analysis and PV integration is solid."

David Berry & Sierra Jensen

[Re]Sustaining Old North Saint Louis
Brandon Fettes, Kyle C. Vansice | Iowa State University
Faculty Sponsors: Kristin Nelson, Ulrike Passe
Jury comment: "This project is a contemporary interpretation of a historic context; it does a good job of honoring the urban character and it creates a new place in the city. The design moves are simple, yet the building does not appear overly simple from the street. The energy metrics and inclusion of a psychrometric chart are convincing and clearly defined, especially the smart energy-use graphic. The operable sunshades add performative value and animate the exterior of the façade."

Kyle C. Vansice & Brandon Fettes

Urban Market Park + Culinary School
Matthew Barnett, Zane Espinosa |  University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Faculty Sponsors: Paul Bielicki, Kevin Stevens
Jury comment: "This project is a well-conceived tall building that takes a clear, no-nonsense approach to addressing the design issues at hand and the ten measures. The solutions are holistic, and the passive, active, and vegetative qualities shine through. The exploded axon is successful, and the plan demonstrates a sophisticated amount of restraint. The energy analysis is thorough and it is clear that the students are enamored by the ground source system. The investigation of the underground and roots of the building is quite beautiful."

Matthew Barnett & Zane Espinosa
Juan Tejedor & Natasha Chamilakis

Oscillating Synergy: A Mid-Rise Office Tower on the High Line
Natasha Chamilakis, Juan Tejedor | University of Pennsylvania 
Faculty Sponsor: Franca Trubiano
Jury comment: "This project stands out for its fantastical aesthetics and strong graphic capabilities. There is an impressive analysis of resources and a careful consideration of the envelope. It sparks a pertinent conversation about performance and parametrics. The design is energizing and inspiring for its attempt to provide a performative backbone to the geometric exercise of parametric design. The intention to derive the geometry by the desire to regulate light and solar gain should be lauded."

Old North Bikes: Human Powered Revitalization in Old North St. Louis
Stephen Danielson; Benjamin Kruse Iowa State University 
Faculty Sponsor: Ihab Elzeyadi
Jury comment: "This design presents a lively, humble, yet strong community response. It is designed to be a social atmosphere rather than a complex, flashy object. The diagrams and metrics are well done. The interiors are convincing and the simple exterior is successful, however the louver system needs more articulation."

Stephen Danielson & Benjamin Kruse

Verdant City
Elizabeth Yarina | Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Faculty Sponsor: Andrew Scott
Jury comment: "This simple, elegant proposal for an ecological designed trailer park creates micro-climates in the form of a greenhouse. It leverages the existing and embodied energy in the trailers – a good example of how sustainable design doesn’t need to be complicated. It also exhibits a strong social component as it addresses the food cycle in addition to social equity (not explicitly part of the competition challenge, but highly commendable). There is a nice ad hoc quality to the part-greenhouse, part-trailer scheme. This site is a place where there is a bifurcation of migrant farm workers and artist colony, and the design addresses this social disparity and creates an oasis in the middle of town."

Elizabeth Yarina

Innovation Engine
Robert Larson | University of Oregon
Faculty Sponsor: Ihab Elzeyadi
Jury comment: "This project goes above and beyond in terms of its material volume investigation; using various material options in relation to their carbon footprint. The project is also exemplary for its storm water management, exploration of effective aperture methods, and well-delineated interiors. The adaptive reuse narrative is compelling and the section nicely articulates the function and design of the atrium."

Robert Larson

Regenerative Urban Ecology: Fostering a Place-Based Work Space
Adam Chamy, Valerie Lynn Sherry, Michael Sisson | University of Maryland
Faculty Sponsors: Powell Draper, Peter Noonan 
Jury comment: "This project dives deep into watershed issues and addresses the idea of river water filtration robustly. The sense of place is very strong and successful. The tower offers compositional relief and nicely gestures and relates to the site. The intention to save energy is there, however there is a lack of clarity around the effectiveness of the thermal chimney and passive ventilation."

Valerie Lynn Sherry, Adam Chamy, Michael Sisson

HRR: Harvest, Recycle, Reuse
Heidi Reburn; Sean Wittmeyer | Iowa State University 
Faculty Sponsors: Kristin Nelson, Ulrike Passe
Jury comment: "The students are thinking about real people and shifting the discussion from the building as an object to an object that people inhabit. The timeline and narrative of building usage is a nice way of analyzing different programs of the building at different times of day while studying human interaction with the space. The design takes into account the life-cycle and livability of the building throughout an entire 24-hour day. Design moves and their effect on energy usage are carefully considered."

Heidi Reburn & Sean Wittmeyer