WASHINGTON — The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) has selected 355 11th Street: The Matarozzi/Pelsinger Multi-Use Building in San Francisco as the inaugural recipient of the Top Ten Plus award. The Top Ten Plus award recognizes one past AIA/COTE Top Ten Projects Award recipient which has quantifiable metrics that demonstrate the true impact the sustainable design has achieved.

The building was originally recognized as a 2010 AIA/COTE Top Ten Project Award recipient. The project is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-NC Gold adaptive reuse of a historic and previously derelict turn-of-the-century industrial building which includes a LEED-CI Platinum restaurant on the ground floor. The building’s former parking lot has now been transformed into an outdoor dining courtyard and organic garden where herbs are grown for use in the restaurant. Since the restaurant has opened below, the heat generated from the kitchen, on the ground floor, has resulted in no additional heat being needed in the office space for all but a handful of cold days in the year.

Solar energy, a green roof, and natural ventilation make the largest quantitative impact on the building’s overall sustainability. In addition, a new exterior skin merges sustainability with architectural design. The building’s new metal skin is perforated with fields of small holes that allow light and air to pass through new operable windows hidden beyond. The perforated outer skin reduces solar heat gain while enabling cross-ventilation of the interior.

The nonirrigated green roof, planted with drought-resistant native/adapted plant species, serves to filter storm water, insulate the building, and decrease the urban heat-island effect which has resulted in 57 percent of precipitation managed on site. Pervious surfaces, including landscaping, pervious pavers and drivable grass pavers, account for over 85 percent of the non-building site area. As expected, the drought resistant native/adaptive plants no longer require irrigation. Excluding the restaurant process water use, the water usage within the building has remained consistent with design assumptions, with a use of 97,240 gallons per year in 2009, the first full year of occupation.

Daylighting and passive cooling of the building has resulted in less than expected energy use. For 2011, the office spaces utilized 25,440 kWh of electricity against the produced energy of 26,267 kWh for the two spaces, resulting in 103.3 percent of the energy being produced on site. This is greater than the expected/projected savings of 79 percent, even with a 40 percent increase in occupancy.

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Publication date: 5/6/2013