Green Architecture for the Greenest Day of the Year

Because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and you know we love green, we’ve decided to treat you with back-to-back posts. In honor of the greenest day of the year, architect Keith Hempel and mechanical engineer Erik Ring have put together their picks of the five greenest projects of all time. This short post is actually a very common metaphor for the work we do at LPA. Today, like every day, architects and engineers work together to come up with cost effective, energy efficient facilities that enrich the lives of those who use them. Collaboration is key, and we hope you enjoy its reflection in this list.

Greenest Buildings of All TimeTOP FIVE GREEN PROJECTS

1. The Omega Center for Sustainable Living, in Rhinebeck, NY

Why it’s on the list? Because it is the first project ever to receive both LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge Certification.

2. The Environmental Nature Center, in Newport Beach, CA

An LPA designed net zero energy building, this project includes only natural/passive conditioning and takes a careful approach to stormwater management.

3. The Rural Studio, University of Auburn, in Newbern, AL

Founded by Dennis K. Ruth and the late Samuel Mockbee in 1994, architecture students design affordable and green structures for the rural poor in Alabama – using very modest budgets, mainly from recovered and recycled materials. The work of the Rural Studio is an inspiring example of how good, green design can enrich others.

4. The Philip Merrill Environmental Center, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, in Annapolis, MD

This center makes the list because it is one of the first projects in the country (2001) to receive LEED Platinum Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) green building rating system.

5. The Brazen Head Pub, in Dublin, Ireland

An early example of adaptive reuse when converted from a coach house to a pub in 1198 the Brazen Head has been providing an essential social function for Dubliners for more than 800 years. It makes our list because this pub’s an urban green building that serves its purposes well and is warmly embraced by the community.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Keith Hempel is an Associate and Architect at California-based LPA Inc. He’s contributed to numerous award winning projects, and was the firm’s Employee of the Year in 2000. Hempel earned his Bachelor of Architecture from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona. He’s a LEED exam instructor for the U.S. Green Building Council, a LEED Accredited Professional and an active member of the American Institute of Architects.

Erik Ring is an Associate and Mechanical Engineer at California-based LPA Inc. Ring helps ensure that all LPA projects exceed California's Title 24 requirements by at least 15 percent. He's a LEED accredited professional, a LEED Faculty member for the U.S. Green Building Council, and he's consulted for and designed more than 30 LEED certified projects.

Photos courtesy of: Mother Nature Network, LPA Inc./Costea Photography, Rural Studio, Smith Group, and OweninIreland1.