November 19, 2020 – Murray Associates Architects, P. C. was honored to win the only 2020 AIA Pennsylvania Architectural Excellence COTE Award celebrating High Performance Design. PA Housing Finance Agency’s expansion project is designed with two passive house systems: one for the historic retro-fit and the other for the new 8-story tower. Both structures are also designed to meet USGBC’s LEED Platinum standards. PHFA was recognized for meeting four of the ten measures which included Design for Resources, Design for Equitable Communities, Design for Energy and Design for Change Measures.
According to the Jury, “One of the most challenging and constricted sites but was still able to achieve some of the highest levels of sustainability with a thoughtful and well-integrated solution. The project provides a beautiful and timely example of how to re-use and rehabilitate existing buildings to maintain cultural and neighborhood character while increasing density through urban infill and preserving invaluable as-build resources.”
The inaugural American Institute of Architects (AIA) Pennsylvania COTE Award recipients demonstrated achievements in ten key areas that integrate holistic design with performance metrics. The awards celebrate design solutions that foster the health and wellness of the communities and the environments they serve. In step with the AIA Pennsylvania strategic plan and AIA National’s dedication to fighting climate change and inequities in the built environment, a joint Taskforce of the Committee on the Environment and Committee on Design established the COTE Awards program with two core objectives.
- One: Forge an optional and free path for members to submit their award-worthy projects to the program that would also introduce the AIA Framework for Design Excellence measures, formerly the COTE top 10, with a simplified assessment tool to encourage participation.
- Two: Emphasize to members, industry partners, civic leaders, clients, and the public-at-large, that the highest standards of design excellence surpass aesthetic appeal to encompass community connection, equity, economic value, resilience, and stewardship of the natural environment.