BNIM’s Iowa Utilities Board Office Building Named a 2012 COTE Top Ten Green Project

Des Moines, Ia. – April 19, 2012 – BNIM announced today that The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the Iowa Utilities Board / Office of Consumer Advocate Office Building in Des Moines, Ia. (IUB/OCA) as one of the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment. The projects will be honored at the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition in Washington, D.C.

The COTE Top Ten Green Projects program, now in its 16th year, is the profession's best known recognition program for sustainable design excellence. The program celebrates projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. They make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality.

The Iowa Utilities Board / Office of Consumer Advocate Office Building is an infill development on the 6-acre site of a former landfill. The project captures and infiltrates 100% of the stormwater from the average annual rainfall event and diverts stormwater from 6-acres of adjacent streets for on-site treatment.

“This project is an example how sustainable design can play a role in the responsible stewardship of state resources,” says Rod Kruse FAIA, Principal, BNIM. “Our client set a goal to achieve a 60% energy savings beyond the energy code baseline (ASHRAE 90.1-2004). A year after opening, the project is performing at 68% energy savings beyond the energy code baseline.”

The building takes advantage of proper solar orientation and is provided with a high performance envelope. Thermal mass captures “free heating”, modulates temperatures and, thus, reduces loads. Additionally, a geothermal well field uses the earth’s constant temperature to offset heating and cooling loads. High performance glass is tuned to the characteristics of each elevation’s exposures. Over 95% of the regularly occupied spaces in the building have daylight. The IUB Office Building is registered to achieve a LEED® Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The 2012 COTE Top Ten Green Projects jury includes: Clark S. Brockman, AIA, SERA Architects, Inc.; Steve L. Dumez, FAIA, Eskew+Dumez+Ripple Architects; Scott Shell, FAIA, EHDD Architecture; Laura Lee, FAIA, Carnegie Mellon University; Paul Schwer, PAE Consulting Engineers and Sue Barnett, Sue Barnett Sustainable Design.

You can learn more about IUB and the other top ten green projects here:

About BNIM
With 41 years of experience, BNIM is one of the most important architectural firms working to redefine practice in the realm of green architecture today and they are the recipient of the 2011 AIA National Architecture Firm Award. As early pioneers in the arena of sustainable design, BNIM continues to shape the national and global agenda for responsible architecture and design excellence. Established in 1970, the firm has emerged nationally as a leading resource for established methodologies, innovative technologies and cutting-edge research in architecture, planning, landscape, education and workplace design. The firm has offices in Kansas City, Mo.; Des Moines, Iowa; Houston, Texas; San Diego, Calif.; and Los Angeles, Calif. For more information, call Maria Maffry at 816.783.1500 or visit

About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit