SINCE 1997, the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) has celebrated the best examples of sustainable architecture and green design with its annual selection of top 10 projects. The 2008 list was released in late April, and the winning projects—which range from a 7,750-square-foot education center to a 350,000-square-foot condo mid-rise—were honored in May at the American Institute of Architects' annual convention. “One thing that's very clear from this year's winners,” says Henry Siegel, COTE chairman and a founding principal of Siegel & Strain Architects, “is that design matters. [Sustainability] can't just be buildings that perform well. Paraphrasing David Orr, ‘If it's not beautiful, it's not sustainable.' ” Siegel also notes that the types of projects being submitted to COTE for consideration, which in the past have tended to be of the “campus and nature center” variety, are increasingly city-based. “[We're] looking for diversity, for urban projects,” says Siegel. “As time goes by, it is getting more diverse.” For detailed information about this year's projects and to see the winners from previous years, visit