As the year winds to a close, I’m full of excitement of what’s to come in 2011. It could be that my mind is still jazzed from all the sights and sounds of Greenbuild, which, according to USGBC accounts, was the largest yet with an estimated 28,000 attendees and 1,800 exhibit spaces. It certainly felt full of possibility, which was the exact word I chose for some friends at Accoya’s booth. As people stopped by the booth, they were asked to sign a placard on the booth wall. For each signature, the company would donate $10 to send an architect from Architecture for Humanity to Haiti. Then, they asked us to sum up Greenbuild in one word. Mine, as I mentioned, was possibility. Some other choices: refreshing, energetic, impressive, active, opportunity, invigorating, inspiring, frenetic, robust, cutting edge, and, yes, tiring.

My feet have recovered, but my excitement continues. I think I’m most encouraged and inspired by the continued evolution of green building and construction. Just think of all that has happened in the past 12 months. Sure, the economy still stinks, but we’ve seen progress along the way. Strict budgets are challenging, no doubt, but also a call for innovation. Recently USGBC launched several new versions of the LEED green building rating system and the Living Building Challenge issued its first official building certifications. As seen at Greenbuild and other shows throughout the year, product manufacturers are continuing to step up to the plate by offering products that not only address efficiency but also offer an increased array of style and functional options, as well as options that address durability and financial concerns. Given all that can transpire in 12 months, in this month’s newsletter we highlight a few new projects and take a look back at all of our cover stories from 2010. Take a look at what has inspired us this year; then, start thinking about how you can push your work even further into 2011.

Speaking of great green projects, the AIA Committee on the Environment is now accepting submissions for the Top Ten Green Projects of 2011. The program, which is in its 15th year, is accepting projects of all sizes and types, but they must have been built and completed after 2001. The deadline for submission is 8 p.m. EST on Jan. 24, 2011. Click here for more details.

Stay tuned: Heading into 2011, we have some exciting initiatives in the works. Also, in the spirit of naming a word that encapsulates your feeling about the sustainable movement going forward, tell us what word would you choose to describe your attitude toward sustainable design and construction going into 2011? Send us your word via Twitter at @ecostructure.