EHDD Wins Sixth AIA COTE Top Ten Award

April 22, 2016

EHDD is honored to announce that is has received an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Green Projects Award for its design of the Exploratorium at Pier 15. The Exploratorium which in 2013 moved to its new home on the San Francisco waterfront, is an interactive museum of art, science and human perception that also demonstrates innovation and sustainability in its design and construction. 

EHDD counts the Exploratorium as its sixth COTE Top Ten Award, placing EHDD among the top five winningest firms in the nation. 

EHDD’s design transformed an existing historic pier shed into the new Exploratorium, while retaining the familiar and beloved informality of its former space located at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. The firm capitalized on opportunities unique to the new site, such as location on the water in downtown San Francisco, outdoor exhibit space, and proximity to public transportation. Architecturally integrated daylight and occupancy lighting controls provide the museum with ultimate flexibility while optimizing efficiency. The interior building takes advantage of the historic pier shed’s existing clerestory windows for natural lighting, as well as added openings that allow for additional light and views. The 800’ long roof provided room for a 1.3 megawatt photovoltaic array, while water from San Francisco Bay is used for cooling and heating. Materials, such as 316 Stainless Steel, Tnemec paint, and other non-ferrous materials, were used that are both sustainable and durable enough to withstand a harsh maritime climate.

The Exploratorium is certified LEED® Platinum and is close to reaching its goal of being the country’s largest net zero energy (NZE) museum, and is an industry model for what is possible in contemporary museums.

Marc L’Italien, Design Principal at EHDD, said, “We are so honored to receive our sixth AIA COTE Top Ten award. Sustainability has been at the core of our firm’s values long before it was an industry standard. Projects such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium set the bar high early on in the firm’s history, paving the way for our later forward-thinking, high-performance projects we’ve designed, including the Exploratorium. We’ve been fortunate to have had such a long relationship with the Exploratorium and together, we’re making great strides in reaching NZE.”

The COTE Top Ten Green Projects program, now in its 19th year, is the profession's best known recognition program for sustainable design excellence. The program celebrates projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. These projects must also make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building  occupants and reduce environmental impacts 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. 

EHDD’s six AIA COTE Top Ten Awards are as follows: The Exploratorium, San Francisco CA (2015); The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Los Altos, CA (2014); Marin Country Day School Learning Resource Center and Courtyard, Corte Madera, CA (2013); Chartwell School, Seaside, CA (2009); Global Ecology Research Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (2007); and the F10 House, Chicago, IL (2004). In the recently released 2016 AIA COTE report, Lessons from the Leading Edge, The David and Lucille Packard Foundation was the only COTE Top Ten winner out of 189 winners to be chosen by a majority (58%) of the committee as the best example of good design and good sustainable performance.

About The Exploratorium:

About AIA Committee of the Environment (COTE):

About the 2016 COTE Top Ten Winners:




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