Green buildings are designed around a philosophy of preserving and improving the natural environment. Integrated design is implemented to construct, operate, re-use and finally deconstruct a building in such a way that it uses energy, water, and the environment in a sustainable manner.
Green Buildings use materials which put the least load on non-renewable resources, use alternative energy sources like daylight and solar energy to heat and cool the building, protect the health of the occupants, and divert much of the waste materials and water for recycling.
What are the Benefits of Green Buildings?
In return, Green Buildings produce better productivity, more efficient energy and water use, savings on power and utility costs, a better indoor environment, enhance the green cover around the building, and an overall improvement in the functioning of the community around them at little cost to the environment. Programs such as LEED provide ratings for green buildings, which encourage market interest in developing this field.
Some Outstanding Examples of Green Buildings Include:
DPR Construction’s Phoenix Regional Center, Arizona
This building received a zero energy certification, and a Platinum LEED score. Its unique green features include 87 windows used to achieve the desired humidity and insulation levels indoors; a solar chimney that helps expel hot air and draw in cool air; solatubes; and smart switches to shut down the lights when the building is unoccupied.
Bullitt Center, USA
This Seattle building supplies 60% of its power with solar panels, collects 56 000 gallons of rainwater which is used for its needs, and recycles its sewage as well. It used sustainable wood in construction. All these have earned it the Living Building Certification.
Bank of America Tower, USA
This is among the greenest office building in the US, using harvested rainwater and recycled materials, as well as insulation achieved by full-wall windows. It is a LEED Platinum structure, the first American skyscraper to hold this honor.
One Bryant Park, USA
This extremely eco-friendly skyscraper relies on LED lights, CO2 monitors, no-water urinals, and self-sufficient power, making it sustainable and clean.
Phipps CSL, USA
This building, called the Phipps’ Center for Sustainable Landscapes, uses solar, wind and geothermal energy, recycles its wastewater and harvests rainwater to be self-sufficient, and has a green roof.
Vancouver Convention Center, Canada
This beautiful design exploits seawater for heating and cooling, green roofs, and a water treatment plant, as well as recycling 180 000 kg of waste every year, making it both cool and green.
Manitoba Hydro Place, Canada
This durable example of a green building not only self-adjusts its internal environment for temperature and humidity but also uses water power for its needs.
The Crystal, UK
This wonderful Siemens structure collects 90% of its water, harvests solar energy and uses natural light throughout the day. It utilizes smart lighting, comprising both fluorescent and LED lights switched off and on depending on the ambient daylight. It cools itself with thermal roof panels and insulation glazing, attaining top LEED Platinum and BREEAM Outstanding Sustainability ratings. It recycles blackwater and collects roof rainwater.
One Angle Square, UK
This also achieved the highest BREEAM score, with efficient harvesting and recycling of water and solar energy use throughout the building.
CIS Tower, UK
This is a marvelous example of renovation for energy efficiency, with a solar façade generating more than 180 000 kWh of power, along with the installation of 24 wind turbines that save more power and bring in another 10% of the electricity required by the building.
Council House 2, Melbourne
This house, the first to achieve Six Green Stars, did so by reducing carbon emissions using gas plants to co-generate electricity; solar panels which brought down energy use by 85%; and new energy-efficient lighting technology.
The Pixel Building, Melbourne
Though it looks funky, this building is Australia’s pioneer in carbon-neutral building, generating its own water and electricity. it got 105 on the Green Star system. Its green roofs, energy efficient construction, waste reduction, solar panels and wind turbines, with double glazing and insulation, help its occupants sail through hot dry summers as well as freezing winters seamlessly.
The Change Initiative, Dubai
Dubai broke sustainable green building records with this commercial structure that scored 107/110 LEED points, to be the new standard of green building.
Shanghai Tower, China
This Shell Platinum building is the second tallest in the world, and used local materials, including recycled ones. It is curved to avoid excessive loading due to the wind, and the insulation is reinforced by a façade with a double skin. It also treats its blackwater for recycling, and uses wind turbines as well as rainwater harvesting.
Sun-Moon Mansion, China
This holds the title of being the largest structure running on solar power, saving 6.6 million kWh in power use, 2.5 tons in coal use, and reducing toxic emissions immensely. The fan-like solar roof structure covers 5000 square meters.
The Edge, Netherlands
This historic building made history by achieving a record-breaking 94% score in the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) at the time of its construction. Wth 65,000 square feet of solar panels, rainwater harvesting and aquifer monitoring, smart LEDs and occupancy monitoring, it earned a name as the best in its time.