When it comes to green living and eco-friendliness, construction and infrastructure aren’t always things that come to mind. However, did you know that there are actually buildings that are green and environmentally-friendly? That’s right, folks from industries such as architecture, construction, and engineering are hard at work forming various green buildings that are great indicators that even in materials-intensive fields such as engineering, construction, and architecture, we can actually form output that are useful and at the same time safe for the environment. Here are some of those buildings.
First, however, let’s define what green buildings are. In the field of science and engineering, green buildings fall under the blanket of green infrastructure – or, as according to the European Environmental Agency, the principle of integrating territorial development and spatial planning into the enhancement and protection of natural processes and nature itself. Some countries are starting to adopt that it’s called a green infrastructure strategy, where various networks of semi-natural and natural areas in both urban and rural settings are outfitted and designed to deliver a wide array of ecosystem services to meet various societal needs. With this in mind, what are the most remarkable examples of green infrastructure and green buildings we can find?
- DuBiotech in Dubai is claimed by many as the world’s largest green building at 22-stories high. The building was designed in such a way that it can get minimum solar intake and maximum natural daylight whenever it’s daytime. It also has a network of renewable energy sources to keep the building running at night, especially since it’s an institution also geared towards biotech research and education.
- Cor Building in Miami is well-known for its unique polka-dot design. However, this unique “exoskeleton” is actually designed to insulate the building from the outside. The building itself contains a number of loggias, turbines, terrace enclosures, natural shading, solar hot water generation, wind turbines, and cooling that are all designed to make it sustainable in terms of energy.
- Council House 2 in Melbourne is the first Australian building to get six green star ratings. The massive tower is wood-brown with a collection of plant life hanging on the side, but the building has more than aesthetics to go by. The structure features photovoltaic powered louvres, sewage recycling, and wind turbine system that has reduced its carbon emissions by as much as 64-percent less than a five green star building.
- India Tower in Mumbai is like a scene straight out of a Jenga game, but it boasts a lot of sustainable features, too. Since its opening in 2010, India Tower was in fact India’s first foray into green buildings. The structure boards cross ventilation, natural lighting, and rainwater harvesting among a wide array of sustainable features. India Tower is also Mumbai’s tallest building.
- Clock Shadow Building is unique for its stark and gray appearance, but this simple building is packing a big sustainable punch. In fact thanks to natural lighting and sunshades, it has decreased its energy consumption by half in the past few years. Its rooftop is also capable of producing vegetables, and water from storms are used for plumbing.
- Bank of America in New York is considered one of the world’s greenest buildings, literally and figuratively. The tower gets its energy from sunlight and uses both rain water and waste water for its plumbing. The tower was designed in such a way to ensure maximum sunlight coverage is attained.
- More London Building in London is the city’s most eco-friendly structure. However, the building itself boasts more than its magnificent aesthetics. The building has its own “intelligent” information technology system that allows all its workers to control how temperatures and lighting work in every workstation. It houses a staff of 6,300, all of which are involved in various eco-friendly initiatives.
- Shanghai Tower in China is the tallest tower in the country. It uses 21-percent less energy and 40-percent less water compared to other buildings. Its top wind turbines is used to provide lighting to parking areas and other parts in its immediate exterior. The shape of the building also makes it practical for rainwater harvesting.
- Bahrain World Trade Center in Manama is the world’s first high-rise to have integrated wind turbines in its design. The two towers were linked by sky bridges that have wind turbines attached to them, which help contribute 11 to 15-percent of the building’s total power.
The Takeaway: Green Buildings For Society
If there’s anything we can take away from the green buildings above, it’s that not only are these buildings made from sustainable materials, they are actually extremely sustainable on their own. Mankind has made progress with construction, engineering, and even architecture to such an extent that we are now forming quite the impressive feats to create infrastructure that is very useful but safe for the environment.
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