There are so many amazing reasons why it’s important to go green; we could do several videos listing them! To put going green into perspective, if we recycle one aluminium can, we would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours! Now, imagine if entire buildings were built with recycled materials and the buildings are designed to reduce, reuse, recycle wherever possible… stop imagining, today we look at some of these impressive buildings!
Catch some rays
This is the Micro Emission Sun-Moon Mansion located in Dezhou, China. This mind-blowing building resembles a sun-dial and is one of the largest solar powered structures in the world. Inside you’ll find offices, a huge conference center and a hotel, all of which are powered by solar energy. It boasts 50,000 square feet of solar paneling, along with energy saving glass and a solar powered hot water supply, this impressive building ticks all the right boxes in terms of self-sufficient buildings.
School is cool
Literally, but it’s because of a natural disaster that saw some significant changes in Greensburg, Kansas. In 2007, a tornado ripped through Greensburg, flattening around 95% of the city. When the city was being rebuilt, it was decided to make it as green as possible, and it now has the nickname “Green Town.” This K-12 school is a great example of what they achieved. The design means that day lighting and natural ventilation are used. There’s a 50kw wind turbine assisting with the energy needs with more coming from a wind farm located close to the school.
And in this case, we see 5.5 million square-feet of energy-saving genius. The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia is the largest LEED Platinum project in the world. Its 27 buildings all use 100% wastewater, and saves around 30% of energy every year. Plus, it’s pretty beautiful to look at too; coming to Varsity every day will definitely not be a chore here.
Don’t be mean, Go Green!
This is the CIS Tower in Manchester, which was originally built in 1962. It’s one of the tallest buildings in the UK, and around $8.5 million was spent to make it more eco-friendly. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers has noted that the CSI Tower has, “the largest commercial solar façade in Europe.” There are 7,000 photovoltaic cells that cover the tower, which generate 180-megawatt hours of clean energy every year and on the roof you’ll find 24 wind turbines.
Give Green a chance
Considered groundbreaking, the Clock Shadow Building was built for occupants that shared the vision of the developer, who is 100% committed to saving energy and utilizing natural resources. Situated in Milwaukee, this building has slashed its energy consumption by half through the effective usage of sunshades and natural lighting. Vegetables are grown on the roof and rainwater used to flush the toilets. Water consumption has reduced by 60% and the building has won numerous awards for it’s incredible work towards going green!
This is the solar-powered Kurilpa Bridge in Brisbane, and granted it’s not a building, but it’s so unusual it’s worth a mention. Designed by Cox Architects, the entire bridge features an LED lighting system that is powered by solar panels. The bonus feature is that because it’s connected to a grid, the bridge can get power when it needs it and can give it back when there’s surplus.
Not a reality yet
But hopefully soon! This is the design of US-based solus4, who entered an international design competition where the requirements were to build a marine center that would float in the ocean, collecting data about tsunamis, provide an opportunity for researchers to study the ocean and its animals, and afford people a chance to learn as well. The team that won, created this impressive floating building that features labs, bedrooms, a seawater pool, and an underwater auditorium.
If the go ahead is granted, it would officially be the Marine Research Center in Indonesia. It would be entirely net zero, and power would be produced by tidal generators and photovoltaics planted in the building and glass. Rainwater would be used for domestic use, and climate control would be possible by an underwater heat pump.
A little unexpected…
When you think of buildings that are self-sustaining, you wouldn’t instantly think of the Empire State Building, would you? $550 million was invested into the building to make it more eco-friendly. With their improvements, they’ve managed to save around $4.4 million every year, and they’re hoping that within the next decade, they will reduce their carbon footprint by an enormous 105,00.