The American Institute of Architects New York Committee on the Environment (COTE) Announces Winners of the 2016 AIANY COTE Awards

October 24, 2016

NEW YORK, New York, October 24, 2016 – The AIA New York (AIANY) Committee on the Environment (COTE) is thrilled to announce the winners of the third annual AIANY COTE Awards. Four submissions were selected from projects located within a 200-mile radius of Central Park:

Honor Award: George Washington Milken Institute of Public Health (Washington, DC), Payette
Honor Award: The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground (Staten Island, NY), Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Merit Award: New York Police Academy (Queens, NY), Perkins+Will
Merit Award: Washington Square Park House (New York, NY), BKSK Architects

An awards ceremony will take place at the Center for Architecture on Tuesday, November 1, 6-8 pm. This event will include presentations by the winning teams and a discussion between organizers, jurors, and winners to encourage the profession to raise the bar with regards to better integration of beauty and performance

Modeled on the COTE National Awards, the AIANY COTE Awards celebrate exemplars of sustainable design specific to the unique climatic and urban density challenges faced in the North Eastern metropolitan corridor. They aim to make transparent lessons learned and reveal processes behind innovation in an urban context, promoting a greater understanding of design strategies that reveal and inspire new materials, technologies, and design solutions.

James Barnes, Partner, Foster + Partners
Fiona Cousins, Principal, New York Office, Arup
Joann Gonchar, Senior Editor, Architectural Record
John H. Lee, Deputy Director, NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
Timothy McDonald, RA, LEED AP, CPHC, Principal, Onion Flats

George Washington Milken Institute of Public Health (Washington, DC)

“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.” – Joann Gonchar, Senior Editor, Architectural Record

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.

The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability at Sandy Ground (Staten Island, NY)
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

“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.” – Joann Gonchar, Senior Editor, Architectural Record

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.

New York Police Academy (Queens, NY)

“With such a complex and unique program and site, we applaud the project’s cohesive and overall sustainability goals.” – Timothy McDonald, RA, LEED AP, CPHC, Principal, Onion Flats

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.

Washington Square Park House (New York, NY),
BKSK Architects

“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.” – Timothy McDonald, RA, LEED AP, CPHC, Principal, Onion Flats

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.

The AIANY Committee on the Environment wishes to thank Con Edison’s Everything Matters Team and Architectural Record for their generous support of this program.

AIA New York is the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, with over 5,500 architects, allied professionals, students, and public members. AIANY is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach and professional development, and towards these aims, AIANY runs the Center for Architecture, a storefront exhibition space in Greenwich Village, sponsors public programs, publishes a magazine, and works with its charitable affiliate, the Center for Architecture Foundation, to provide scholarship and educational opportunities. For more information on AIANY, please visit

The AIA New York Committee on the Environment aims to lead, inspire, and educate its members towards the dual objectives of design and sustainability. COTE organizes engaging activities and events focusing on leading architects, outstanding green buildings, current technologies and product research, and sustainable design practices. The committee’s efforts are based on the belief that sustainability should be an essential part of the design process and fully integrated with all aspects of a building, including form, function, site, structure, systems, and construction. AIANY COTE works in partnership with the National AIA COTE and supports the AIA 2030 Commitment by providing educational opportunities to further the role of architects in creating a sustainable future.


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