If you are one of the environment fans or a member of "Lovers of Trees " Association, the Egyptian Association for Community Service and Environment Protection, “Friends of Historical and Public Gardens Society (FHPGS)”, or something like these, here, you are in a right place, because I want to tell you that architecture knowledge has an especial design style for you. This name is "green architecture."
But what is green architecture? Green architecture is an approach to design and construct harmless buildings that minimizes harmful effects on human health and the environment. The idea behind green architecture also known as "sustainable architecture" or "green building architecture," is to build in a way that reduces the damaging impact on the environment.
Environment falls under many urban pressures, due to the demolishing non-renewable resources and materials and creating pollution. Architects play an essential role in materializing these potentials, through their role and practices, which serve as the cornerstone of the development process.
Let’s cut to the chase; I want to talk about the importance of green architecture. some examples can help you to understand it better. So, Here I've put together some of the best examples of green and eco-friendly projects, let's find them out.
1. Qatar National Conference Center, Qatar
Arata Isozaki designed this building with the concept of an Islamic holy tree that is believed to symbolize the end of the seventh heaven or highest paradise. QNCC is designed to operate efficiently with innovations such as water conservation and energy-efficient fixtures. It achieved 32% more energy savings than similar buildings in the capital city with a focus on sustainability.
There is a pair of sprawling steel columns in this design creating the illusion of two trees in front of the glass facade, and they support a roof canopy. This building includes a 4000-seat conference hall, a 2300-seat theatre, the exhibition halls, and about 50 meeting rooms ranging from tiny to huge auditoriums that can be used for various activities and events.
2. Phipps’ Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL), Pittsburgh, USA
“CSL” is one of the greenest building in the world, a famous building with green architecture concept and is a 24,350-square-foot education, research and administration facility within a 2.9-acre landscape that is part of a non-profit, public garden.
Phipps Garden’s mission is to inspire all with the beauty and impressiveness of plants, advance sustainability, and human and environmental wellbeing through action and research, and to celebrate its historic glass houses. The goal of CSL’s design was to create a building that operated as a net-zero energy facility.
3. Pearl River Tower, China
This tower is a 71-story, 309.6 m, clean technology neo-futuristic skyscraper at the junction of Jinsui Road/Zhujiang Avenue West, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, China.
It uses low energy lighting, wind turbines, and solar panels. These facilities make this tower self-sustainable.
Tower's architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill with Adrian D. Smith and Gordon Gill as architects.
4. Vanke Center, China
Another well-known green architecture sample is vanke center. "vanke" is a horizontal tower that is both a building and a landscape, an intertwining of sophisticated engineering and the natural environment.
A landscaped garden supports it. The design of "vanke center" makes maximum use of natural air. Located in Shanghai and have several plants enhancing the 'green' quotient of the building. It designed by Steven Holl Architects and completed in 2009.
5. Micro Emission Sun-Moon Mansion, China
Currently, the largest solar structure in the world, It provided the main conference hall for the Fourth International Solar Cities Conference in 2010 and covers an area of 750,000m² and covered with about 5.000 m2 solar panels. The sun-moon mansion was designed to meeting rooms, bundle hotel, exhibition centers, research facilities, and convention spaces. Also, reported saving about 3 tons standard coal, 6 million kWh of electricity and more than 8 tons in toxic emissions.
6. Vancouver Convention Center West, Canada
"Vancouver Convention Center" is one of Canada's largest convention centers. With the opening of the new West Building in 2009, it now has 43,340 square meters (466,500 sq.ft) of meeting space. It is owned by the British Columbia Pavilion Corporation, a crown corporation owned by the government of British Columbia.
The building's heating and cooling system feed through the deep water of the harbor, using it as a constant temperature base to reduce the amount of energy used for heating and cooling.
Seawater heating/cooling, green roofing, fish habitat, and even on-site water treatment facility makes it one of the best green building designs in the globe. Further, the facility recycles about 170,000 kg of waste annually.
7. Bullitt Center, Washington
This is a commercial office building located in Washington. It was opened on Earth Day, April 22, 2013, and was designed to be the greenest commercial building in the world and was the first of its kind to receive Living Building Certification from the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge.
It is one of the most significant "net positive" energy buildings in the globe and the famous one in green architecture style. In 2016, this building produced nearly 28.5 percent more energy than it needed by the solar panels (on its roof).
Other interesting features of this green building include an onsite rainwater-to-potable water system, which will filter collected rainwater for all purposes once regulators approve it.
8. The Crystal, UK
This project is for the regeneration of East London. Located in London, in the heart of the Royal Docks. It is one of the green buildings. A key requirement, in brief, was to ensure the building would operate exclusively on electricity.
The 18,000 sq.m complex is 90% water self-sufficient, solar and thermal roof panels and a high performance ‘insulation glazing’. It tops the LEEDs Platinum and the BREAM Outstanding Sustainability scores. It was also intended to work as a hybrid corporate HQ that is open to the public as an education space and exhibition space.
9. Infosys Limited, Mysore, India
Another LEED Platinum certified building with 5 stories and 780,000 sq.ft area structure incorporates energy efficiency, water savings, and sustainable site development, uses recycled materials for construction and conserves the environment quality. Located in India and It consumes 43% less energy than similar buildings with water management techniques.
It comprises of an efficient building envelope, that includes insulated walls and roof, and double coated windows which are properly shaded. The workspaces inside the building harvest natural light and almost 100% of the building’s energy consumption are met with green power. Even the building materials are manufactured locally to reduce pollution due to transport.
10. Suzlon One Earth, Pune
The Green architecture concept is not new to India as well. There are several examples of this style in India; Suzlon is one of them. It is an office complex and one of LEED Platinum certified building incorporating “office garden” throughout the premises.
The buildings power requirement comes from wind turbines, 18 of which are located on-site. Use of maximum daylighting and rainwater harvesting add to the building’s green features. The building materials in this project are manufactured locally to reduce pollution due to transport.
No matter when sustainable architecture (or green architecture) began, today this architectural style can reduce the damaging impact on the environment. The government can pay attention to it with building codes regarding energy efficiency and carbon footprints becoming increasingly stringent.
It means everyone involved in construction has to be a little more creative and thoughtful. Especially the architects and building designers, who kick-start the process and the older samples could help them. There are other samples of this style around the world and I’m sure there are other ideas out there, too. What is the limitation of this style? Leave a comment and let me know your idea.