August 2007, Vol. 19, No.8


Water Treatment Plant Wins National Green Award

In April, the American Institute of Architects (AIA; Washington, D.C.) chose the Whitney Water Purification Facility (New Haven, Conn.) as a 2007 AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten award winner, according to, a Web site developed to serve as a resource for green building products and services for Connecticut’s commercial and residential building owner–managers, homeowners, and professionals.

The AIA/COTE Top Ten were chosen from 100 submissions from around the country and represent the best in class when it comes to “addressing significant environmental challenges with designs that thoughtfully weave architecture, technology, and natural systems,” according to 

The Whitney Water Purification Facility, designed by Steven Holl Architects (New York), has the water being purified below a 2800-m2 (30,000-ft2) green roof, creating a public park and wetland area for migrating birds. The facility has zero offsite stormwater discharge. The offices use the geothermal heat pump system of 88 geothermal wells for heating and cooling, saving 850,000 kWh annually, compared with conventional heaters and coolers. The open-ended cylindrical building, made in part of recycled concrete, gives 100% of the staff space natural light.

The facility and accompanying park were completed in 2005, according to a news release from Steven Holl Architects. For more information, see or