The Hearst Tower is considered the first green skyscraper in New York City after earning the LEED Gold certification. Also the California Academy of Science achieved LEED platinum and has some of the most exciting green features including a huge green roof.
Kind of indirectly related, but some existing famous buildings are actually converting into “green” buildings.
A great example is the Empire State Building, replacing thousands of windows with insulating ones. This was done to attract more workers (apparently the building’s appeal as a place to work).
One really cool green building is the California Academy of Sciences, declared in 2008 to be certified LEED Platinum (the highest possible rating from the US Green Building Council) and thus the greenest museum in the world. The museum features heat recovery systems to re-circulate heat released by HVAC equipment, an eco-roof that insulates the building and helps offset carbon emissions, insulated glass and extensive use of natural lighting throughout, a solar canopy that provides almost 213,000 kilowatt hours of energy per year, a rainwater cachement system, recycled building materials, and a wealth of other features. The building was designed by the architectural group Renzo Piano Workshop in Genoa, Italy.
One development which has generated a lot of buzz recently is China’s planned Tianjin Eco City (pictured below).
The city is slated to house 350,000 residents in seven different ‘districts’, interconnected by a light-rail system. The city will utilize a variety of sustainable technology, including wind and solar power, as well as water desalination and rain-water harvesting. The city is scheduled for completion by 2020.
The Turning Torso Residential Tower in Malmo Sweden is a self-sufficient, energy-efficient residential apartment building. The Tower’s energy is 100 percent renewable energy obtained from locally provided solar, wind, bedrock and water power. In addition the residential building is a leader in composting as everything generated is compacted and sent out for decomposition and biogas production.
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