2020 Architectural Excellence COTE Awards Recipient Gallery
In step with the AIA Pennsylvania strategic plan and AIA National’s dedication to fighting climate change and inequities in the built environment, a joint Taskforce of the Committee on the Environment and Committee on Design established the COTE Awards program with two core objectives.
One: Forge an optional and free path for members to submit their award-worthy projects to the program that would also introduce the AIA Framework for Design Excellence measures, formerly the COTE top 10, with a simplified assessment tool to encourage participation.
Two: Emphasize to members, industry partners, civic leaders, clients, and the public-at-large, that the highest standards of design excellence surpass aesthetic appeal to encompass community connection, equity, economic value, resilience, and stewardship of the natural environment.
The inaugural COTE Awards jury was made up of a panel of AIA Seattle COTE members independent of the design awards jury. Brad Benke, Shannon Bunsen, and Zachary Stevens gathered virtually to review 34 submissions to the inaugural Architectural Excellence COTE Awards. They reviewed the projects through the lens of the following AIA Framework for Design Excellence measures indicating how buildings perform for the health and wellness of the occupants, communities, and the environments they serve.
AIA Pennsylvania is proud to debut the inaugural Architectural Excellence COTE Awards. The 2020 COTE awards and made possible by Atlantic Engineering Services: A structural engineering firm with net-zero experience and 450+ LEED projects.
High Performance Urban Office Addition and Historical Retrofit
Architecture Firm: Murray Associates Architects, P. C.
Project Location: Harrisburg, PA
Photography credit: Don Pearse Photographers, Inc. and Bobb Polett Photography
Local Chapter: AIA Central PA
Project Team: Architect - Murray Associates Architects, P. C.; Interior Designer - Murray Associates Architects, P. C.; Site/Civil & Structural Engineer - Whitney Bailey Cox & Magnani, LLC; MEP Engineer - Bruce E. Brooks and Associates; Passive House Consultant - Passive Science; PHIUS+ Verifier, LEED Rater Consultant - Steve Winter Associates; Construction Manager - SitelogIQ (Formerly Reynolds)
Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) needed to expand their urban headquarters but were landlocked by deteriorating historic buildings and a small parking lot. The dilapidated historic (C.1904) Hickok House, adjacent to PHFA was purchased, its rear non-historical addition was razed, and its exterior was restored. The interiors were retrofitted for a training center and conference rooms.
The new eight-story glass, pre-cast concrete and brick tower blends old and new within the neighborhood’s context. Its footprint overlays a small parking lot and the former 1970’s non-historical Hickok House addition. For more usable space, the top four floors cantilever over the historical building.
Office functions utilize massive amounts of energy. To meet USGBC and PHIUS criteria, an electrochromic curtain wall system, VRF mechanical systems, 77 solar panels, and a living roof were integrated. Since its completion in January, the building uses 49% less energy than similar code compliant office buildings.
Architecture Firm: CICADA Architecture | Planning
Project Location: Philadelphia, PA
Client: HACE CDC
Photography credit: Kendon Photography
Category: Impact Design
Local Chapter: AIA Philadelphia
Project Team: Structural Engineer - Larsen and Landis; MPEFP Engineer - Holstein and White Inc.; Civil Engineers - Cornerstone Consulting Engineers & Architectural, Inc.; Energy Consultant - ReVireo; General Contractor - Domus Construction
Casa Indiana rises from the site of a former yarn mill in the Fairhill neighborhood of Philadelphia. Standing among old Philadelphia rowhomes and a new art walk, the 50 senior apartments in Casa Indiana provides much needed affordable housing for the aging Puerto Rican community. It is the continuation of decades of work by the Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises (HACE) to build an equitable future for Fairhill and uplift the cultural identity of the neighborhood.
Sited along the busy thorough fare of N 2nd Street, Casa Indiana peels back at the corner to reveal a plaza and a sculpture by a local artist. In the back, the building embraces a Secret Garden that provides areas for senior activities of all kinds; a paved plaza for larger gatherings, a lawn for smaller gatherings and recreation and raised planters for ease of access for the seniors.
Forest Hills Municipal Building
Architecture Firm: Pfaffmann + Associates
Project Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Photography credit: Ed Massery
Local Chapter: AIA Pittsburgh
Project Team: Structural - Schneider Engineering Engineering (now part of Gateway Engineering); MEP-FP Engineering - Iams Consulting; Civil Engineering and Landscape - Common Ground
The new zero energy Forest Hills Municipal Building began as many as many projects due when faced with obsolete facilities and high energy bills. The resulting community driven design features SIPS roof and walls, 175Kw solar array, geothermal well system, onsite stormwater management, timber structure and rain screen siding. The Parti or organizing principle of the design is a linear hall that connects the primary program elements: Police, Borough Offices, Council Chambers, Community Room, and Library. Each can be operated independently while maintaining security. The engineered timber frame provides a rich framework for the design and is expressed on the exterior at the main entrance portico and extended roof for solar control. The residents of Forest Hills passion for their forested landscape is expressed both in timber detailing and the recognition of their commitment to global sustainability in an efficient and long lived model civic home.
Lang St. Marie Net Zero Residence
Architecture Firm: Richard Pedranti Architect
Project Location: Spring Lake Heights, NJ
Photography credit: Jeff Totaro
Category: Single Family Residential
Local Chapter: AIA Northeastern Pennsylvania
Project Team: Building Performance Specialist - Nu-Tech
The Lang/St. Marie Residence is a prefabricated, Net Zero home in the New Jersey shore town of Spring Lake Heights.
The front of the modern residence blends into its well-established beach neighborhood. The rear features a stunning 16-foot cantilever creating a large covered outdoor space. A retractable glass wall allows the indoor, covered and backyard garden spaces to flow together enabling the desired indoor/outdoor beach lifestyle.
Passive House design principles resulted in low energy consumption for heating and cooling and a cozy, healthy indoor environment. The addition of a roof mounted PV solar system achieved Net-Zero Building (NZB).
The architect’s BIM software was translated into machine language which off-site robotic manufacturing machines used to create panelized wall assemblies. These were transported to New Jersey where the home was assembled in two weeks.
The design aesthetic, application of building science and off-site fabrication make this residence the epitome of modern design.
LG North American Headquarters
Architecture Firm: HOK
Project Location: Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Photography credit: Chris Payne
Local Chapter: AIA Philadelphia
Project Team: Civil Engineering - PS&S; Structural Engineering - Gilsanz Murray Steficek LLP; Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Sprinkler & Fire Alarm Engineering - Cosentini Associates Inc; Parking Garage - Tim Haahs; Food Service - Jacobs Doland Beer; Lighting - Atelier Ten; Telecom and Security - TM Technology Partners; Acoustic and Audio Visual - Cerami
The new $300 million North American headquarters enables LG to consolidate up to 1,200 people from six divisions across New Jersey into one location. The LEED-Platinum certified development is the newest state-of-the-art office facility in the tristate area, and the campus has become a post-COVID-19 model for companies looking for flexible office space outside of major urban centers.
Rejecting the deep floor plates common to suburban office buildings, the competition-winning design offered slimmer proportions, with two narrow ‘wings’ linked by a public atrium, and a landscape inclusive of outdoor amenities and significant areas of ecological restoration. The design preserved the site’s natural woodlands and wetlands while restoring much of the land to its natural habitat. None of the structures rise above the surrounding tree canopy in order to protect sensitive viewsheds along the serene Hudson River.
Tree Pittsburgh Headquarters
Architecture Firm: GBBN
Project Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Photography credit: Brad Feinknopf Photography
Local Chapter: AIA Pittsburgh
Project Team: Civil - Civil and Environmental Consultants; Structural - Gateway Engineers; Mechanical & Electrical - Iams Consulting; Sustainability Consultant - E2 / Jendoco Construction; Landscape Architect - Pashek + MTR
Dedicated to growing the urban forest, Tree Pittsburgh wanted a sustainable headquarters that gives employees and volunteers easy access to the 100,000 trees they nurture and plant each year.
Sited on a former steel mill above the Allegheny River, the simple, open building is comprised of nine double height modules. Using prefabricated modules reduces on-site construction waste and creates a tight thermal seal for the building. The modules sit lightly on the land, anchored by foundation piles that compress, rather than displace existing soil.
Strategically placed doors and windows capture views and bring in light. A long, linear porch serves as an outdoor space for staff to relax and for guests to gather at an event. Photovoltaic solar panels on the south-facing roof help Tree Pittsburgh achieve net zero energy. A 3,000-gallon temperature-controlled water tank provides the campus with its potable water; sensors alert staff when supply is low.