Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to both a structure and the application of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This requires close cooperation of the contractor, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages. The Green Building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.
Here are ten of the world’s greenest buildings.
The Apple Park campus will house 13,000 Apple employees, the equivalent of 35 fully-filled Boeing 747s. In keeping with Apple’s environmental credentials, it will be an impressively green building, with a focus on sustainability. It also boasts a $75 million gym for employees, and a carefully engineered design intended to create serendipitous interactions between Apple employees.
The mixed-use skyscraper is one of the greenest commercial towers in the world today. 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 percent while one-third of its interior is public green space. The building is also powered by wind turbines and is built with a high percentage of recycled materials.
Council House 2 (CH2) was Australia’s first building to be awarded a six-star green star design rating. Since its completion in 2006, CH2 has changed the landscape of its local area and inspired developers and designers across Australia and the world.
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.
Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba Hydro Place makes use of “passive design and natural ventilation” to make it one of North America’s most energy-efficient office buildings. The building has a geothermal system to heat and cool the building, roof gardens and triple-glazed windows. Thanks to these features, over 60 percent of energy savings have been made.
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, totalling to 675 kW of wind power capacity. The wind turbines are expected to provide 11 percent to 15 percent of the towers’ total power consumption, the equivalent of providing the lighting for about 300 homes. They are expected to operate 50 percent of the time on an average day.
Bryant Park was the first high-rise building to be given LEED Platinum certification, with the Bank of America Tower, in Manhattan, being one of the world’s greenest skyscrapers. As well as having CO2 monitors, waterless urinals and LED lighting, the building also has its own generation plant that produces 4.6 megawatts of clean, sustainable energy.
The Centre was built according to US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold certification standards. This takes a holistic building approach to sustainability and covers design, construction and operations. The design of the building makes the maximum use of natural light through the intelligent design of its skylights. This, together with superior insulation, reduces energy use. QNCC is designed to be approximately 32 percent more efficient compared to a similarly designed building and is fitted with over 3,500m² of solar panels providing 12.5% of the Centre’s energy needs. In 2015, QNCC was honoured to win the Best Conserving Building Award 2015 in the Hospitality sector at the Qatar Tarsheed Awards.
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.
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 percent less electricity and 54 percent less potable water than traditional buildings in the UAE and is fitted with a metering system that constantly observes power consumption.