At the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2006 National Convention and Design Expo, the AIA Housing and Custom Residential Knowledge Community announced the winners of the “Show You’re Green” awards. The eight projects from all across the United States were chosen as excellent examples of outstanding housing that is aesthetically appealing while meeting “green” sustainable design guidelines. This award aims to showcase the wide range of ways that architects have included green elements in aesthetically excellent, affordable designs.
The High Point neighborhood in Seattle, entered by the architectural firm Mithun, was recognized for incorporating sustainability factors into the entire process-from recycling the previous development’s old-growth lumber to natural drainage systems that mimic the drainage qualities of an open meadow. All homes meet local Built Green three-star standards, and 150 trees are preserved on-site.
In respecting the site’s historic ecological significance, energy conservation exceeds code requirements by 30 to 50 percent. A natural drainage system cleans, cools, and filters storm water runoff to Longfellow Creek (location of the highest Coho salmon counts for all Seattle creeks), while four miles of grassy and vegetated swales enhance the watershed, preserving water and ecosystem quality. More than 90 percent of the old-growth cedar and fir from the original buildings were recovered for reuse.
Currently new homes are being created by a group of Northwest homebuilders, with Polygon Northwest and The Dwelling Company now presenting model homes.