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The world’s most eco – friendly buildings are not only measured by their design or structure, but today, sustainability too plays an important role in the longevity of a building space. In fact, the sustainability trend is here to stay.
From the entry point where energy consumption and carbon footprint are minimised to waste management, water recycling and light fittings, buildings are now built with five- and six-star sustainability design factors in mind. But what buildings come out on top in contributing to keeping the planet green? Let’s take a moment to appreciate the following top 5 (in our opinion) sustainable global structures.
Housing over 3,000 employees, this space is home to the Co-Operative Groups headquarters and is one of the most eco – friendly buildings in Europe. But what brings this iconic into our top 5? Well, a few of its sustainability features include LED lighting, grey water recycling, waste heat recycling and rainwater harvesting.
The second tallest building in the world, the Shanghai Tower is also Shell Platinum and is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Core Certified. The construction of the tower was done from locally sourced materials, some of which included recycled materials. The design of the building is 1200 curved to optimise wind load. The double skin façade further allows additional insulation. This fantastic building is also topped with a sky garden, vertical wind turbines, rainwater harvesting, black water treatment and much more.
The first in USA to achieve the LEED Platinum Certification, One Bryant Park is possibly the greenest skyscraper today. This has been achieved by waterless urinals, CO2 monitors, LED lighting and a power generation plant contributing 4.6 MW of sustainable and clean energy.
The Edge in Amsterdam is not only home to Deloitte’s corporate HQ, but it is one of the most sustainable buildings in the Netherlands. The building’s south façade is covered with solar panels on all surfaces that are not windows. The heating and cooling of the building is catered for in part by orienting it to benefit passively from the path of the sun and by using an aquifer thermal energy storage system. Moreover, rainwater is collected for flushing the building’s toilets and watering its green areas. In terms of convenience for workers, there is good access to public transport links and the local cycle route network, with 500 bicycle parking spaces on-site.
Obviously, we had to include the world’s largest technology company, Apple, into the top 5. Campus 2, situated in Cupertino, California covers 2.8 million square feet, accommodates 12,000 employees and cost approximately $5 billion to build, wow. The facility features a fitness centre, an energy plant and acres of apricot orchards. The ring-shaped building has been compared to a spaceship and the Pentagon. Every detail has been carefully scrutinised, creating an end product that Apple hopes will foster even greater innovation.
In a press release, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “The workspaces and parklands are designed to inspire our team as well as benefit the environment. We’ve achieved one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world and the campus will run entirely on renewable energy.” Other outstanding features from this tech giant includes natural ventilation, 6,000 trees and company buses which run on biofuel.
Our choice of five sustainable giants are all working with commercial-scale clean energy use coupled with the best of engineering innovation; the inspiring, and often energy positive, buildings of the future. Plus, green technology doesn’t just provide efficient, energy-saving buildings. Residents and employees, all benefit from these much healthier and more comfortable working environments.