The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced the 2011 COTE Top Ten Green Projects, naming the top 10 examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment. The COTE Top Ten Green Projects program celebrates projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology. They make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants, and reduce environmental impact through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality.

The 2011 Top Ten Green Projects, in alphabetical order are:

• Cherokee Studios, a mixed-use development in Los Angeles, by Brooks + Scarpa Architects

• First Unitarian Society Meeting House in Madison, Wis., by the Kubala Washatko Architects

• Greensburg Schools/Kiowa County Schools in Greensburg, Kan., by BNIM Architects

• High Tech High Chula Vista in Chula Vista, Calif., by Studio E Architects

• Livestrong Foundation offices in Austin, Texas, by Lake|Flato Architects

• LOTT Clean Water Alliance in Olympia, Wash., by The Miller Hull Partnership

• Research Support Facility at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., by RNL Design

• OS House, a single family residence in Racine, Wis., by Johnsen Schmaling Architects

• Step Up on 5th, a mixed-use project in Santa Monica, Calif., by Brooks + Scarpa Architects

• Vancouver Convention Centre West in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, by LMN Architects

This year's winners were chosen by the 2011 jury: Joshua Aidlin, AIA, Aidlin Darling Design; Mary Guzowski, the University of Minnesota School of Architecture; Kevin Kampschroer, the U.S. General Services Administration, Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings; Mary Ann Lazarus, AIA, HOK; Jennifer Sanguinetti, Smart Buildings & Energy Management, BC Housing; and Lauren Yarmuth, YRG.

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.