SEM II Receives "Green" Project Award

April 22, 2005

Evergreen's SEM II Building Named One of 2005's Top Ten "Green" Projects by American Institute of Architects

OLYMPIA, WA -- The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) today named The Evergreen State College's Seminar II building as one of the 2005 Top Ten "Green" Projects. The annual awards were developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and are presented to honor architectural design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.

The 153,000-square-foot academic facility, known as "SEM II," reflects Evergreen's interdisciplinary teaching philosophy and commitment to environmental advocacy and practice. The building was opened and dedicated last spring by then Governor Gary Locke and has been submitted to the U.S. Green Building Council to be considered for the distinguished Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification. Mahlum Architects of Seattle designed the building.

The Evergreen community played a substantial role in the design of the structure with faculty, staff and students serving on the design committee that advised the architects. "We wanted SEM II to be a living, working example of sustainability-one of Evergreen's core values," said Evergreen President, Les Purce. "Here, sustainability is simultaneously meeting environmental, economic and community needs."

Evergreen's award demonstrates its leadership role in the progressive move toward green building and represents the growing market transformation under way in the country and around the world. Earlier this month, Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire signed legislation making Washington the first state in the country to require public buildings to be constructed with standards encouraging energy conservation and recycling.

The AIA's Top Ten "Green" Projects program recognizes projects that address significant environmental challenges with designs that integrate architecture, technology and natural systems. Projects are evaluated for their contributions to their sites and existing ecosystems, connection to the surrounding community, use of high-performance technologies, energy use and sensitive use of materials and resources. Evergreen's building includes many sustainable attributes and practices including use of natural light and ventilation, external hallways to minimize energy consumption required for heating and cooling, water-saving features like waterless urinals and rainwater-holding gardens that reduce runoff.

The SEM II building will be featured at the AIA National Convention in Las Vegas in May and at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

For more information on SEM II's award, visit the AIA Web site:

Also visit the Web site for Architectural Record magazine: