In recognition of Earth Day, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) selected its annual Top Ten “Green” Projects, 10 examples of architectural design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.Washington, D.C. – April 30, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] This year’s winners included projects designed for the federal government, large and small businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals-proving the environmental, social, and economic benefits of sustainable design for clients of any size. The program, begun in 1998, recognizes projects that address significant environmental challenges with designs that integrate architecture, technology, and natural systems. Projects are evaluated for their contributions to their site’s and existing ecosystems, connections to the surrounding community, use of high-performance technologies, energy use and sensitive use of materials and resources. Sustainable design is increasingly acknowledged-by architects, their consultants, their clients and the public-as an important characteristic of quality architecture. In the four years since the Top Ten Green Projects awards program was started, numerous projects have been realized as American firms ascended a learning curve. Winning projects in this year’s groups come from firms that are well known for their leadership in sustainable design, as well as several that are just beginning to utilize sustainable principles in their approach to projects.