5 of The World’s Most Sustainable Buildings
When it comes to sustainable living, the focus is often on how we live, rather than where we live. But the places we call home or work, the places we go to shop, to study and to socialise, all have an environmental impact from the point of construction onwards.
Whilst historic buildings may not have been designed with sustainability in mind, developers of modern buildings now have the benefit of technology to aid in making buildings more eco-friendly. In fact, there are many buildings that exist today all over the world that have been built with innovation and sustainable features at their core. Let’s take a look at five of the best:
Suzlon One Earth, India
Suzlon Energy Limited’s corporate office is one of India’s largest green buildings. At three stories high and set over 10 acres in Pune, Suzlon One Earth is impressively powered by onsite and offsite wind turbines. It has also been designed to make the maximum use of daylight, resulting in a reduced need for artificial lighting and the benefit of natural light for employees inside.
Cleverly, thought has also been given to enabling water percolation (the movement of water through soil) from stormwater run-off and this contributes to an increased water table level. 100% of sewage grey water is recycled and 100% of rainwater is harvested. Even plants have been used to assist with aeration of the basement parking, where they are grown within glass chimneys which connect all floors inside the building.
What an amazing place to work!
The Bullitt Center, Seattle, USA
Image courtesy: archdaily
The Bullitt Center in Seattle is a six-story office building that is often referred to as the "greenest commercial building in the world."
The building features a range of sustainable features, including solar panels, a rainwater harvesting system, and a composting toilet system which manages to compost human waste odourlessly and efficiently.
Thanks to the rooftop solar panels, The Bullitt Center is able to produce around 230,000 kilowatt hours per year, a huge amount! It was also designed with beauty in mind and boasts high ceilings and 10 foot high windows which allow maximum daylight and wonderful views for those inside.
The Crystal, London, UK
Image courtesy: wilkinsoneyre
The Crystal in London is a sustainable building that was designed to be a showcase for sustainable design and technology.
Completely electric, the events venue located near London’s Royal Docks makes use of a range of sustainable features, including solar panels, rainwater harvesting, and a geothermal heating and cooling system.
The Crystal is also home to an interactive exhibition that showcases the latest sustainable technologies.
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore
Image courtesy: Vertical garden
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore is a state-of-the-art hospital that was designed to be one of the most sustainable healthcare facilities in the world. With patients in mind as well as the environment, the architect was asked to create a space that supported healing and lowered the blood pressure of visitors.
A rainwater harvesting system, a green roof, and energy-efficient lighting and ventilation systems all work to make Khoo Teck Hospital an eco-friendly building.
Plants are a big feature of the hospital, with the central courtyard full of trees. So many in fact, that the area actually has its own microclimate at two degrees cooler than the outside of the building. An on-site garden is also used to grow medicinal plants and herbs for patient use. The hospital’s variety of plant life has had an impact on the surrounding biodiversity and visitors are able to enjoy spotting the 83 different species of butterfly that reportedly inhabit the site.
Museum of Tomorrow, Brazil
Built in Rio de Janeiro, the Museum of Tomorrow is a science museum which displays incredible examples of sustainable engineering.
Solar panels on the building’s spines can be angled towards the sunlight throughout the day and staff report that 9% of its energy comes from the sun.
Natural daylight is used to full effect inside due to the large windows installed in the building and to help regulate the temperature inside, water from the nearby Guanabara Bay is used in the cooling system.
With the neighbouring environment in mind, the height of the building was purposely limited to 18 meters to ensure no obstruction of the view of the bay from Sao Bento monastery, a nearby UNESCO world heritage site.
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We think buildings like these serve as a testament to the fact that sustainable architecture is not only possible but can also be beautiful and functional. What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear from you!
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