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AIA's Ten Greenest Buildings -- Including the Ballard Library
Alex Steffen, 23 Apr 06

We've been covering the American Institute for Architectures efforts to promote green building for some time now, but their latest list of the top ten green buildings of 2006 is no disappointment. It even includes my favorite new public building here in Seattle, the Ballard library:

The Ballard Library and Neighborhood Service Center draws on this Seattle neighborhood's Scandinavian and maritime roots while focusing on the future of the community, composed of a young, diverse population.

The gently curving green roof absorbs water, reducing stormwater runoff. The periscope and observation deck invite visitors to engage in the roof's ecology above the street. Daylighting studies allowed the team to maximize the use of varying intensities of natural light, and metered, photovoltaic glass panels shade the Neighborhood Service Center lobby, demonstrating the effectiveness of photovoltaic technology in the Pacific Northwest. The design team hoped to create a facility that would be a dynamic teaching tool for green design and environmental awareness. The project illustrates that green building is feasible within a modest budget and presents an ideal example of some of the benefits that can be realized when green design combines with extraordinary architecture.

The summary doesn't go into all the library's green features, which are detailed here. It really is an extraordinary building, one which points the way to bright green architecture and fits wonderfully into the neighborhood. (Sarah tells more about the other award winners over here on Inhabitat.)

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