Posted in design and architecture, Solar and Alternative Energy

Best Nests

The American Institute of Architects recently picked their favorite building projects that combine form and fucntion for both human and environmental needs.

The AIA has been giving out these awards for 12 years, but only recently have people really started to get interested.

Building green can be difficult. And, as Scientific American wrote about last week, they haven’t often been considerate to the humans inside them. “Surveys of occupants generally find that buildings meeting the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, the benchmarks for greenness, score higher on all measures except one: acoustics.”

Fortunately, AIA’s award also takes noisiness into account, and “created a list of green buildings that also meet the aesthetic and functional needs of the people and communities that encounter and inhabit them. From a low-income apartment building situated by a light rail line to a new town center that reused materials from its old municipal buildings for construction, these projects are putting Earth and its residents on equal footing.” AND, they’re not all in the U.S.

Enjoy the natural man-made wonders.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.