This urban infill, 32,000-square-foot mixed-use housing project is anticipating LEED Platinum certification and is in the process of measurement and verification for the Living Building Challenge. The main sustainable attribute of the project is an owner-controlled operable double-façade system where occupants can adjust façade screens to provide privacy, views, shading, and thermal comfort as desired.

The structure's design capitalizes on the local climate with passive cooling strategies of cross-ventilation and thermal convection, orientation to control solar cooling loads, and window design that maximizes daylight and natural ventilation. It is estimated that these strategies alone make the building nearly 50 percent more efficient than similar conventionally designed structures.

Other sustainable attributes include high-efficiency LED and electric lighting, photo and occupancy sensors, solar-ventilation chimneys, operable double-glazed low-E windows, increased insulation, formaldehyde-free cabinetry and low-VOC paints on the interiors, low-flow fixtures throughout, and drought-tolerant native plants on site. One hundred percent of stormwater is captured on site by a green roof and a subsurface infiltration system. Along with the green roof, the roof also supports a photovoltaic system that generates 30,000kWh.

By the numbers:

Building gross floor area: 32,000 square feet
Number of occupants: 36 (plus 300 visitors)
Percent of the building that is daylight: 98
Percent of the building that can be ventilated or cooled with operable windows: 97
Total water used, indoors and outdoors: 195,450 gallons per year
Calculated annual potable water use: 83.66 gallons per square foot per year
Total energy (MBtu per yr): 832,183
HERS rating: 50
EPA performance rating: 83
Percent total energy savings: 43
LEED rating: Platinum, LEED-NC v2.1/2.2

For more information on each project, including extended slideshows, click on the individual projects in the sidebar at left. To access a database of past Top Ten projects, visit ECO-STRUCTURE will be covering the 2011 COTE Top Ten projects in depth in its July/August issue.