There are many buildings with eco-friendly designs around the world. Some of these are so dedicated to green values that they have won awards and have become tourist attractions in their own right. Anyone interested in seeing how a building might be constructed to stay in line with eco-friendly values may be interested in seeing these interesting homes, offices and other sites. Many of the greenest buildings are easily viewed by the general public, so it makes sense to try and see them while they are still fully used and working.
1) Bank of America Tower
Perhaps one of the most unusual green buildings, this structure in New York cost $1 billion to construct. The tower has been designed to reuse both waste and rain water, to take heat from the sun and use it in the building, and also to ensure that office spaces get the most of natural daylight. It was also made from majority recycled or renewable materials.
2) Burj Al Taqa, Dubai
This is the energy tower for Dubai, currently paused as the financial crisis has halted a lot of major projects in the country. It is intended to include a large number of solar panels, plus a wind turbine which is 200ft wide.
3) Masdar, Abu-Dabi
This is another construction which is currently a work-in-progress, but will be a city entirely operated through solar and other renewable energy, as well as being car-free and self-sustaining.
4) Residence Antilla
The home of one family, this residence in Mumbai is intended to act as a carbon filter for the city, with gardens. When it is fully operational, it may inspire other eco-friendly buildings to adopt wind-turbines and garden features on their roofs.
5) India Tower
Another structure in Mumbai, this tower is already being constructed to feature rainwater harvesting, solar protection and heating, and green structural materials, making it one of the most eco-friendly buildings in the country.
6) Cor, USA
This tower in Miami is designed for mixed-use purposes, and has a range of ‘bubbles’ on the outside which include garden terraces and wind turbines, as well as insulation and natural cooling, and photovoltaic panels.
7) Clinton Presidential Library, Little Rock
This building was redesigned in 2007, and had a number of important features added. This includes a rooftop garden, additional recycling features, and ‘green cleaning’, the use of green detergents and additional recycling for paper waste. There are also carbon-offsetting features for all of the non-renewable energy used.
8) Northern Arizona University
The university has one of the greenest buildings in the world, with 20% solar power, venting windows, and shade control. It has already been given a platinum rating from the US’s energy rating board.
9) US Federal Centre Buildings, USA
This federal building is perhaps unique, being able to use geothermal heating and cooling, almost a first for most state-owned constructions. It also has cooling ‘sails’, as well as open offices to ensure that there is less carbon wastage.
10) Bullitt Centre, USA
Built in Seattle, this is a commercial property which is also one of the greenest constructions in the world. It uses solar energy and rainwater to reduce utility waste, and is designed to stand for more than 250 years. Being able to self-power, and using water, it is able to stand alone from state utility services.
Gabriella Johnson is the Marketing Executive at Innasol, a leading European renewable heating company. She and the team are able to provide homeowners and businesses with more information on air-source heat pumps and biomass boilers in order to create a eco-friendly business or home.