The AIA has announced their selections for the top ten green building projects this year.
"Colorado Court, Pugh Scarpa Kodama, Santa Monica, Calif.
"The 44-unit five-story building is the first affordable housing project in the United States to be 100 percent energy neutral. This project is a model of sustainable development in an urban environment and promotes diversity through strategically placed affordable housing.
"Innovative sustainable-energy technologies include a natural gas-powered turbine/heat recovery system that generates the base electrical load and services the buildings hot water needs. A solar electric panel system integrated into the facade and roof supplies most of the peak-load energy demand. This unique co-generation system converts utility natural gas to electricity for the buildings power needs. This system also captures and uses waste heat to produce hot water and space heating for the residents. The unused energy from these passive solar panels is returned to the grid during daytime hours. Annual savings in electricity and natural gas exceed $6,000. The building also collects rainwater runoff from the entire city block and funnels it into a series of underground chambers."