Increased social awareness on environmental issues along with more governmental pressure have been some of the leading factors in establishing the green building movement now being seen all over the world from North America to China, to the Middle East and Australia.
Green building certification Programmes such as LEED have been specifically instrumental in encouraging developers and contractors to build green, emphasising the many benefits of environmental consciousness such as saving money and resources, the positive impact on the health of occupants and the promotion of renewable, clean energy.
Developers are now focused on building some of the most environmentally friendly and energy efficient structures in the world. This 10 groundbreaking sustainable buildings from around the world :
1. Council House 2, Melbourne, Australia: The first office building in Australia to achieve a maximum Six Green Star rating, Council House 2 has plenty of green features including 85 per cent reduced electricity consumption, Gas-fired cogeneration plant to reduce carbon emotions, T5 light fittings which consume less energy and 48m2 of solar panels.
2. Bahrain World Trade Centre, Bahrain: A 240-metre-high, 50-floor, twin tower complex, Bahrain’s World Trade Centre’s most prominent green feature are the three skybridges which each hold a 225kW wind turbine, totaling to 675 kW of wind power capacity. The wind turbines are expected to provide 11 per cent to 15 per cent of the towers’ total power consumption, the equivalent to providing the lighting for about 300 homes. They are expected to operate 50 per cent of the time on an average day.
3. Bank of America Tower, New York, USA: The design of the 366 m, 55-storey skyscraper located in the Midtown area of Manhattan in New York City is what makes it one of the most environmentally friendly office buildings in the US. Green features include insulated floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light, reusable rainwater-capturing system and is constructed from recyclable materials. It is also the first skyscraper designed to attain a Platinum LEED Certification.
4. The Change initiative Building, Dubai, UAE: The Change initiative building is a 4,000-square-metre shop that provides sustainable solutions in Dubai. The building has 26 technologies including solar panels and heat-reflective paint on its roof that provides 40 per cent of the building’s energy requirements. TCI’s outer structure has insulation three times more than that of a normal building while most of the materials used for the building’s interiors are recycled.
5. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia: Located at Thuwal, near Jeddah, developers for the university used 38 per cent locally-sourced and 20 per cent recycled materials. The building also uses a chilled beam HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) system which uses cold water to remove heat from a room, requiring significantly less energy than conventional air-conditioning and wind towers to create ventilation.
6. Shanghai Tower, China: The mixed-use skyscraper will be the greenest commercial tower once completed in 2015. The design of the tower’s glass facade, which completes a 120° twist as it rises, is intended to reduce wind loads on the building by 24 per cent while one third of its interior is public green space. The building is also powered with wind turbines and is built with a high percentage of recycled materials.
7. One Angel Square, Manchester, UK: An office building located in Manchester, One Angel Square achieved the highest recorded BREEAM score for a large building, making it one of the most sustainable large buildings in the world. The building has a used water recycling system and rainwater harvesting as well as passive solar building design. One Angel Square’s sustainable cogeneration heat and power plant also uses bio-fuel and waste cooking oil.
8. Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi, UAE: Located at Masdar City, the institute has been behind the engineering plans of the City and is at the centre of research and development activities. The institute’s building, developed in cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, uses 51 per cent less electricity and 54 per cent less potable water than traditional buildings in the UAE and is fitted with a metering system that constantly observes power consumption.
9. Vancouver Convention Centre West, Canada: The living roof, seawater heating and cooling, on-site water treatment and fish habitat built into the foundation of the West Building make it one of the greenest convention centres in the world. The Centre recycles an average of 180,000 kilograms of materials annually, nearly half of the total volume of waste generated. It avoids canned goods, disposable utensils and dishes, and donates leftover food to local charities.
10. Qatar National Conference Centre, Doha, Qatar: QNCC was the first of its kind to be LEED Gold certified in Qatar. Designed by Arata Isozaki in partnership with RHWL Architects, the building is designed to operate efficiently with innovations such as water conservation and energy-efficient fixtures, and it is approximately 32 per cent more efficient compared with other buildings.
Source: The Big 5 Hub
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