Green architecture is becoming increasingly popular as people become more aware of the importance of sustainability. Many architects are turning toward environmentally friendly building design, using materials that are recyclable and energy efficient.
The Movement toward Green Architecture
The green architecture movement began in the early 2000s, when people began to become more aware of the need to protect our environment. Since then, the number of green buildings has grown exponentially, and architects have begun to design some truly amazing structures that are both environmentally friendly and beautiful.
While there isn’t a specific designation for a green building, there are several criteria that a building can meet to be considered “green” by most people. These include:
- The use of recycled materials or renewable resources such as bamboo and timber instead of concrete, steel, or plastic-based products. Sustainable building materials have a lower carbon footprint on the environment but still provide a structurally sound building.
- The use of energy-efficient lighting and heating and cooling systems, as well as water conservation measures such as low-flow faucets and toilets.
- The use of environmentally friendly construction methods. This can include avoiding toxic paints and adhesives or installing green roofs that help to regulate the temperature of the building and reduce carbon emissions from air conditioning units.
Read on to look at four incredible examples of amazing green architecture from around the world.
1. Green Architecture in China
One of the most impressive examples of green architecture can be found in China. The Shanghai Tower, which is located in the city of Pudong and opened in 2015, stands over 600 meters tall with 128 stories. This incredible structure employs a variety of environmentally friendly design techniques. These include the building’s shape and its materials. Additionally, the tower has a “double skin façade,” which means that it has two layers of glass. This helps to regulate the internal temperature of the building and reduce energy consumption from air conditioning units.
2. The Greenest Building in the World
Perhaps the greenest building in the world is located in the Netherlands. Geelen Counterflow Headquarters is considered the greenest building in the world with a sustainability score of 99.94 by the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method, or BREEAM. The building was designed by PLP Architecture, which is known for its environmentally friendly designs and has won multiple awards over the years.
Geelen Counterflow Headquarters features a number of unique green design features, such as a natural garden that wraps around the building. Its careful solar energy design allows it to generate 60 percent more power than it uses. The building was constructed using recyclable materials, which minimized the carbon footprint, as well.
3. The Greenest Building in the United States
The greenest building in the United States is located in Seattle, Washington. The Bullitt Center is considered the “greenest commercial building in the world” and is a model for sustainable design. This six-story structure features a rainwater harvesting system that collects and stores rainwater in an underground tank; solar panels on the roof to generate electricity; high-efficiency windows that allow natural light to enter while keeping heat out during summer months; and much more. Most importantly, the building meets the metrics of the net-zero energy standard. This means that the building’s energy needs are all supplied directly on-site and not from an outside source.
4. A Green Oasis in the Desert
Perhaps one of the most amazing examples of green architecture can be found in Dubai, where architects have designed a massive green oasis in the desert. The project, which is dubbed “The Sustainable City” was established in 2015. The city is home to 2,700 residents in 500 villas grouped into five residential clusters. It even features a 10-meter-high (32.8 foot) “buffer zone” to protect inhabitants from outside pollutants. The buffer zone consists of 2,500 trees in multiple layers. A park runs through the city, including over 3,000 square meters (over 32,000 square feet) of urban farming.
Takeaways on Green Architecture around the World
These structures not only look great, but they also feature a variety of innovative technologies that allow them to operate more sustainably, thus helping to reduce their environmental impact. Perhaps most exciting is how quickly newer and greener techniques are being developed and shared across the world. So if you’re looking for some inspiration on how to go green with your next building project, be sure to check out some of these amazing examples.