This is necessarily a subjective answer. Limiting the list to LEED Platinum certification, which is the highest and “greenest” form of certification, there are a number of projects both large and small that are quite remarkable. I like the “Eco Dorm” at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina, where 36 environmentally friendly students live in a building that looks like one of the old National Park lodges, uses waterless toilets, solar panels and has a system that monitors each resident’s energy usage. The Hawaii Gateway Energy Center in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii is a striking architectural design incorporating solar panels that generate all the building’s power, and in fact the facility produces zero emissions. The William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas emphasizes alternative transportation by providing extensive facilities for biking and light rail connection, and also generates most of its own electricity on-site. Worldwide, notable examples include the Citi Data Center in Frankfurt, Germany and the Eldorado Business Tower in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
I personally think that the Hearst Tower in NYC is pretty cool. It has a gold LEED rating so not the highest, but it is still very cool in a lot of ways.
Here are some of its green qualities:
“90% of the Tower’s structural steel contains recycled materials
26% less energy is used than in a building constructed to standard building code
The annual carbon dioxide reduction associated with the decreased energy usage is 869 tons, equating to 174 cars being taken off the road
The roof collects rainwater, reducing the amount of water dumped into the City’s sewer system during rainfall by 25%” (hearst.com)
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