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  • The Winners of the 2017 COTE Awards are:
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One John Street

Alloy Development

Photo: © Laurian Ghinitoiu

This project was recognized for its beautiful, well-detailed design that incorporates both high performance elements for energy and water reduction with thoughtful interventions for resilience. The jury found the design to be almost Swiss in its execution and appreciated the move away from a fully glazed curtain wall. Storm protection includes an elevated ground floor, a co-gen system that ties into each apartment, and abundant native plantings coordinated with the adjacent park. It is especially impressive that this building was built on city-owned land, demonstrating what a strong public-private partnership can achieve.

Submittal PDF

Northeastern University Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex


Photo: © Warren Jagger Photography

Meeting the complicated programming requirements for this kind of building, the designers integrated many efficient elements into an iconic design, including the bris-soleil, which adds architectural interest and reduced cooling loads – a didactic element that does what it says it is supposed to do. The jurors commend the design team for EUI and significant water reductions, achieved via rainwater collection, low-flow fixtures, landscaped bio-swales, native plantings and a cooling tower. They also achieved 82% construction waste diversion, 62% solar reduction and 78% peak solar heat gain reduction.

Submittal PDF

Vassar College Bridge for Laboratory Sciences Integrated Science Commons


Photo: © Richard Barnes

The jury commended this building for its strong connection to its site, adjacent to a wetland corridor, including its sensitive scale of design and massing, and visual linkages. They also noted that the team integrated bird safety into the façade design, important in the context of the location. The building demonstrates excellent water reduction initiatives: rainwater harvesting leads to an 84% reduction in water use for outdoor irrigation, and the design includes 100% storm water management.

Submittal PDF

George Washington Milken Institute of Public Health

Payette in association with Ayers Saint Gross

Photo Credit: ©Robert Benson Photography

“A great example of how to design facades that are tuned to their solar orientation yet are part of a cohesive whole. The project team should be commended for the post-occupancy analysis that accounts for the difference in projected and actual energy use.”

This LEED Platinum-certified School of Public Health is located on iconic Washington Circle Park in the heart of the nation’s capital. The project’s most sustainable solutions are deeply embedded into its architecture, keenly demonstrating the symbiotic relationship between sustainability and public health. The building’s sky-lit atrium, where classrooms and study areas overlook the city through an open latticework of floor openings, invites exploration and discovery. From the outset, planning for this building involved the active participation of students, faculty, and administrators.

Submittal PDF

The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Photo © James Ewing | OTTO

“This energy-sipping building, with a projected net EUI of just under 5 kbtu/sf/yr should have far-reaching influence on schools in New York City and nationwide.”

The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground is designed to be the first net-zero-energy school in New York City and one of the first of its kind worldwide. Designed to harvest as much energy from renewable on-site sources as it uses annually, this education facility raises the bar for sustainable design in New York City and sets an example for the design of future schools. Located in Staten Island, the 68,000-square-foot school serves 444 students, from prekindergarten through fifth grade. The New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) commissioned the design of the Kathleen Grimm School to serve as its first “sustainability lab,” where a range of green design strategies could be utilized with the ultimate goal of improving the energy efficiency of schools throughout the city.

Submittal PDF

New York Police Academy

Perkins+Will with Michael Fieldman Consulting Architects

Courtesy Perkins+Will

“With such a complex and unique program and site, we applaud the project’s cohesive and overall sustainability goals.”

As its first new home in 50 years, and its first-ever consolidated campus, the New York Police Academy provides the 50,000-plus-member NYPD with the most advanced law enforcement training facility in the world – one designed to flexibly respond to the NYPD’s ever-evolving training needs. The design approach merges the recapture of an underutilized, environmentally-challenged brownfield site with an inspiring civic program to create a highly sustainable and resilient new facility. It is the largest public building in New York to achieve LEED Gold certification.

Submittal PDF

Washington Square Park House

BKSK Architects

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Totaro

“This ‘deceptively modest’ building has been exquisitely conceived and built at all levels of sustainability. Although small in scale, it demonstrates not only the principles of Net Zero Energy thinking but it does so as part of a holistic design that responds to its environment, client, program, and site in an admirable way”.

The new, 3,100-square-foot Washington Square Park House houses public restrooms, offices, storage, and unique mechanical spaces, most notably the pumps that operate the park’s historic display fountain. This single-story structure is articulated with a colonnade made of New York Champlain Valley granite. Designed to have a small footprint, its systems include a solar panel array and ground source heat pumps. Combined with passive design strategies, such as a high-performance building envelope and expansive daylighting, the park house achieves LEED Platinum certification.

Submittal PDF

Weeksville Heritage Center

Caples Jefferson Architects

AIANY COTE 2015 Institutional Building Award

“The enormous community involvement here is impressive and to be able to do that and maintain an ambitious design is impressive. The process here was excellent.” – Daniel H. Nall, PE, FAIA, FASHRAE, LEED Fellow, BEMP, HBDP

“The project shows an admirable and genuine attempt at social equity.” – Hillary Brown, FAIA, LEED AP

“This project extends the idea of sustainability to social mission and engages the community beautifully.” – Sydney Mainster

“I like the use of wood in this project, which appears to extend to the structural members.” – Robert Matthew Noblett, AIA

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Submittal PDF

Via Verde - The Green Way

Grimshaw Architects and Dattner Architects

AIANY COTE 2015 Mutlifamily Building Award

“This project ‘breaks the box’ in a lot of ways. For an affordable housing project to get so much exterior space is remarkable. They really maximized the envelope for the solar exposures.  The setbacks enliven the plan and  are very impressive. The very narrow floor plate gives lots of natural light and cross-ventilation. I am hoping to see many future projects take lessons from this one, especially in its ability to mix affordable and market rate housing. . We hope to see its progeny in both its social and its design goals. This one breaks new ground.” – Hillary Brown, FAIA, LEED AP

“The possibility that this could create a great model as a mixed income prototype throughout New York is commendable.” – Daniel H. Nall, PE, FAIA, FASHRAE, LEED Fellow, BEMP, HBDP

“Perhaps more than the others, this reveals what an ambitious and comprehensive sustainable design-driven project actually looks like.” – Robert Matthew Noblett, AIA

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  • Via Verde, Location: Bronx NY, Architect: Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects

  • Via Verde, Location: Bronx NY, Architect: Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects

  • 2015 Honor Award Winner for Multifamily: Via Verde - The Green Way (Bronx, NY), Grimshaw Architects and Dattner Architects

  • Via Verde, Location: Bronx NY, Architect: Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects

  • Via Verde, Location: Bronx NY, Architect: Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects

  • Via Verde, Location: Bronx NY, Architect: Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects

  • Via Verde, Location: Bronx NY, Architect: Dattner Architects and Grimshaw Architects

Submittal PDF

NYC Passive House + Net Zero Rowhouse Prototype

Paul A. Castrucci, Architect

AIANY COTE 2015 Townhouse Award

“The rigor, the section with the double height space and porches is to be commended. The community engagement embodied by the sharing of details (and subsequent adaptation to affordable housing) and the involvement of the Parsons students is wonderful. This award recognizes the importance of this project as a replicable prototype and the willingness of the design team to share details, test results, post-occupancy findings, and EUI data to others for on-going sustainability and improved building performance in NYC beyond the life of a single project.” – Sydney Mainster

“It was exceedingly ambitious and touched on many issues.” – Daniel H. Nall, PE, FAIA, FASHRAE, LEED Fellow, BEMP, HBDP

“Long life loose fit was very convincing here for its flexibility.” – Hillary Brown, FAIA, LEED AP

“All three units get outdoor space, which is a very important addition to urban living.” – Gina Bocra, RA, LEED AP BD+C/ID+C

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  • 2015 Honor Award Winner for Townhouse: NYC Passive House + Net Zero Rowhouse Prototype (Brooklyn, NY), Paul A. Castrucci, Architect

Submittal PDF

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center Renovation


“The Jacob Javits Convention Center project was of particular interest to the committee, because it touched on a number of issues of particular relevance to the COTE awards:  As a profession, how do we deal in an environmentally responsible way with buildings designed in an era in which there was not as much value placed on technical performance?  In particular if that building is widely considered to have iconic value, to what extent can the appearance of the building be modified in pursuit of better performance goals?  To what extent does the scale and program of a project influence one’s approach to improving it?  What value do we place on the rigor with which any sustainable intervention is monitored post-construction and its merits verified?

“We applaud the re-cladding of the Javits Center with an envelope system that, while not necessarily dealing with the underlying issue of such large expanses of unshaded glass, replaces the original single-glazed uninsulated system with a far-better performing one, that additionally creates a safer environment for birds.  We further applaud the considerable investment in what must be one of the largest green roof installations on the east coast, and the leveraging of that installation for further research and monitoring that presumably will yield meaningful data for future such installations.” – Sydney Mainster and Daniel H. Nall, PE, FAIA, FASHRAE, LEED Fellow, BEMP, HBDP

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  • Jacob K Javits Convention Center, Green Roof, Location: New York NY, Architect: Richard Rogers and James Ingo Freed
Submittal PDF

Tighthouse Project

Fete Nature Architecture, PLLC

“The Tighthouse Project deserves recognition for achieving Passive House certification for the retrofit of an existing but derelict 1899 brownstone.  Achieving this high standard,  while preserving the traditional appearance of the street façade, is a remarkable achievement.  Passive House standards, including the mandatory maximum energy consumption per square foot, mean that this house  operates at 75% less primary energy than a typical home.” – Daniel H. Nall, PE, FAIA, FASHRAE, LEED Fellow, BEMP, HBDP

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  • 2015 Honorable Mention: Tighthouse (Brooklyn, NY), Fete Nature Architecture
Submittal PDF

Creston Avenue Residence

Magnusson Architecture and Planning, PC

“This sensitively massed and cleanly detailed multi-unit development adroitly incorporates a mix of affordable units and supportive housing program spaces. A platinum-certified LEED for Homes project, it enriches its very tight urban site with a landscaped courtyard, green roofs, community spaces and on-site energy production. Unusually generous windows for daylight and views distinguish the units themselves.” – Gina Bocra, RA, LEED AP BD+C/ID+C

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Submittal PDF

LearningSpring School

PBDW Architects

“The design team and the school’s community should be congratulated for what they have achieved at the Learning Spring School.  This LEED Gold school includes passive strategies on a site with limited options and a complex program, while respectfully addressing context without adopting a style borrowed from the past.  Thoughtful detail is found throughout the project, from the high-performance exterior, to the tightly organized plan, followed by the clean interior with natural, healthy, and recycled-content materials.  Rather than a singular focus, the project addresses a wide range of sustainability challenges-  optimizing the energy performance, committing to high levels of indoor-air-quality, reducing potable water use, and carving out little bits of outdoor spaces that could have easily been lost opportunities.

The most delightful element of the project is the way that the designers introduce natural light and a strong connection to the outdoors, while managing it beautifully in a way that supports the unique pedagogic challenges of the children.  Simply inviting in the outside through bold openings could wreck the protected feel of these spaces for the occupants.  Instead, controlled and veiled apertures are utilized throughout to anchor the building in its urban setting without sacrificing the inward focus and calm.   All children should be so lucky to attend school in such a warm, sheltered, and inviting place.” – Gina Bocra, RA, LEED AP BD+C/ID+C

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  • 2015 Honorable Mention: LearningSpring School (New York, NY), PBDW Architects
Submittal PDF

Kohler Environmental Center

RAMSA (Robert A.M. Stern Architects), Wallingford, CT

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Whole Foods, Brooklyn, NY

BL Companies

Bushwick Inlet Park, Brooklyn NY

Kiss + Cathcarts, Architects