Even architecture is going environmentally friendly these days, with buildings competing in being greener, and more sustainable.
"Green Buildings" are different than other buildings. The difference branches from the structure itself and how it is built- from the siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and even demolition. All those processes are held to the highest eco-friendly, sustainable and resource efficient standards with minimization of waste and negative externalities to the environment.
Here are some examples of eco-friendly green buildings from around the world:
Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, in New York City: Considered to be one of the greenest buildings in the world when it comes to it's architecture in particular, the Bank of America Tower is constructed mostly of raw materials from renewable and recycled resources within New York City. Designed by Cook+Fox, this towers is so efficient that it can reuse waste and rain water,and absorb/maximize on the heat of the sun in the winter. It doesn't get any greener that this.
Burj al-Taqa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Scheduled and planned to be built in Dubai, Burj al-Taqa which can be roughly translated to "energy tower" in Arabic is going to be a totally self-sufficient tower with zero emissions. Using wind, solar and water energy, Burj al-Taqa will be air conditioned using an old traditional system that draws air hot-air inside then cools it with pre-cooled sea water before being distributed round the the tower. Electricity/power will be generated through solar panels on the rooftop. If it is built and proves successful, the Burj al-Taqa will usher in a new generation of super-green buildings.
CH2 in Melbourne, Australia: Located in the center of Melbourne, the CH2 building is a United Nations Award Winning Council House that got accredited because of it's sustainable design and energy efficiency. The first purpose built office building in Australia to achieve the six Green Star certified ratings, the CH2 has everything a green building should have such as thermal mass cooling, wind turbines, sewage recycling, and an amazing tapestry of photovoltaic-powered recycled wooden louvers that track the sun and promote a healthier internal environment. This CH2 Building has not only proven beneficial for the environment, it also attracted a lot of positive buzz and prestige from around the world to the City of Melbourne. A win-win situation if you ask us.
BMW Welt in Munich, Germany: German Engineering at it's best, the BMW Welt is a stand out feature in Germany. This 785,000 square foot structure, with a 157 foot wide Double Cone-which provides stunning support for the roof- not only aesthetically pleasing, it's also eco-friendly. For starters, on the roof of the building there is a large photovoltaic array which produces a minimum of 824kWp of energy. The designers also installed a network of steel panels on the roof that helps to heat the building via solar gain. Solar gain is also encouraged through the materials on the external facade of the structure. Like their intricate and durable Car designs, the BMW Welt structure does not fail to impress, on the contrary it takes one's breath away.
India Tower, India: Looking like a stack of misaligned boxes, this intelligent building is prominent initiative is a symbol of environmental awareness in the world's second most populous country. 74 storeys tall with rotating blocks, this tower will have multiple uses. Every block will be different, some residential, others office, and quite a few retail as well as recreation-aimed. The eco-friendly factor of this tower is that the design incorporates solar shading from the sun, natural ventilation, daylighting, rain water harvesting and efficient green interiors made out of reused and recyclable materials. It has already achieved the US Leed Gold rating on design, and proves to be one of the top-ranked green buildings in the world.
It's great to see that firms are taking the effort to build a greener future through the design of the buildings and the sustainable efforts being done on the part of the firms and the consumers themselves. We just hope we see more of those green buildings popping up in our desert-countries of the GCC; an effort on our part to give back to Planet Earth and the Environment that has provided us with so many blessings.