Efforts to make the world a greener place are something that should be included in both our private and professional lives. While many business owners, companies and state institutions try their best to introduce greener options within the workspace, several talented architects took it a step further by creating what is termed sustainable buildings, which helps their residents and companies with office spaces within to be eco-friendly inside and out! That being said, here is the list of 7 building that have caught our green eye:
The Edge – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Our first green building is a 15-story tall atrium which has the highest BREEAM rating to date – BREEAM standing for BRE Environmental Assessment method. What makes the Edge stand out? Apart from the stunning overall look of the building, the key of its charm and eco-popularity lies, firstly, in its solar panels located on the rooftop and which take up a staggering 4,100m2 of the rooftop surface. What’s more, the Edge offices have Ethernet-powered LED-connected lighting, which can be controlled via smartphones. Finally, the entire plant watering systems and water necessary for all of the restrooms is provided through a rainwater harvesting system, which makes the building almost completely self-sufficient.
Pixel – Melbourne, Australia
Though slightly smaller in size, this building is quite an eye-catcher. The purpose of the colorful facade, however, goes far beyond mere aesthetics — it consists of of fixed shading louvers, double-glazed curtain walls, and solar panel shades. Additionally, Pixel integrates various eco-friendly features which directly enhance its own functionality. The building has a remarkable green roof, which also serves as a rainwater harvest system, which, consequently, takes care of the necessary water supply for its residents. This building has achieved the perfect Green Star score of 100 and also bears a LEED platinum certificate.
Genzyme Center – Massachusetts, USA
Genzyme Centre is a stunning headquarters for various biotech companies. Its atrium stands at outstanding 12-stories and provides natural light to 75% of the building, all the while refreshing the indoor air using the stack effect. Proper daylight distribution is ensured by using numerous hanging mirror panels which reflect the light coming through the atrium. A concrete structure is used for the building because of its various applications and high thermal mass, while the building’s green roof collects rainwater for evaporative cooling towers. Genzyme center was awarded the LEED Platinum certificate for Building Design and Construction.
Pricewaterhousecoopers Building, London
London’s base for accountancy firm PwC is a little different to what you’d find in its financial district – it was designed to provide insulation and cool air in all of the right places, and features a fully automated building management system that regulates its solar panelling and garden roof.
Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver
The Vancouver Convention Centre prides itself on the largest garden roof in all of Canada and an impressive number of various plant types – over 4000 – which flourish at this very rooftop. However, the centre nurtures both flora and fauna: its roof is home to around 240,000 bees which are duly taken care of by a team of beekeepers. Additionally, the Convention Center is also notable due to its waterfront backdrop which points at the fact that the centre has a dedicated efficiency system and saves considerable amount of water, some estimates showing it to be the equivalent of 300,000 toilet flushes of water each year.
Powerhouse Kjørbo – Bærum, Norway
Despite their current modern look, these two office building were first built in the 80s and recently renovated by Snøhetta, an Oslo-based company. Through integration and adaptation of systems from 100 projects worldwide, this eco-friendly complex generates more energy than it consumes. They are equipped with solar panels which are capable of producing 41kWh/m2 each year, as well as with natural ventilation, insulation, and energy-efficient lighting. With significant renovation works, the energy used by both buildings was reduced by 90%., which is why they now have an “outstanding” rating by BREEAM-NOR.
Bosco Verticale, Milan
We saved the greenest for last! Though a residential building complex, the Bosco Verticale resembles a forest, being covered with more than 20 000 square feet of trees and shrubs. Some of the many benefits of its vegetation-cover are offsetting pollution through oxygen production, insulating the buildings to save energy and creating a biodiverse paradise in the middle of a major city.
Sustainability today pervades nearly all areas of life and various professions, including design. This selection of eco-friendly buildings serves as an example of a momentous shift in the way new buildings are constructed with sustainability in mind from the very beginning. This is why it is of crucial importance for future construction endeavours to pursue the mission of pushing technological boundaries in order to meet the needs of our natural environment.
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