May 06, 2014

Top 10 sustainable buildings in the world

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The 10 best sustainable buildings range from Santa Monica, U.S., to Hyderabad, India, to Brisbane, Australia, and Budapest, Hungary, which shows that countries across the globe are embracing sustainability and the importance of becoming more energy efficient with new construction.

1.)    Robert Redford Building

The Robert Redford Building in Santa Monica, Calif., headquarters for the National Resources Defense Council, combines cutting-edge technologies and materials with elegant, energy-efficient architecture to create a showcase for green building design and to promote environmental activism. The building was named a LEED Version 2 Platinum green building rating – the highest possible level of sustainable design -- the first structure in the United States to achieve this status.

The building uses 60 percent less water than a standard building of its size by capturing and filtering rain, shower and sink water to irrigate landscaping and flush toilets. It reduces electricity consumption 60 to 75 percent by maximizing natural light and using efficient fixtures and appliances, task lighting, dimmable electronic ballasts, occupancy sensors and extra insulation. The building also meets 20 percent of its electricity needs through rooftop photovoltaic cells. The structure uses only recycled or recyclable materials, and 98 percent of the materials left over from dismantling the original building and constructing the new one were reused or recycled.

2.) Bank of America Tower

Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park in New York City earned the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Core & Shell Platinum certification. This certification recognizes the building as the world's most environmentally responsible high-rise office buildings. The building makes use of a 5.1 megawatt cogeneration system and conserves about 10.3 million gallons of water every year due to a combination of low flow plumbing fixtures and gray water storage system.

In 2010, the building received the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Best Tall Building Award for the Americas Region, as well as a New York State Environmental Excellence Award from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

3.) Council House 2

Council House 2 is an office building located in Melbourne, Australia, that is occupied by the City of Melbourne council. In 2005, it became the first purpose-built office building in Australia to achieve a maximum Six Green Star rating, certified by the Green Building Council of Australia.

The building uses a gas-fired micro-turbine located in the roof plant room to generate electricity, thus reducing reliance on the public electricity grid. The process produces waste heat, which is used to assist the building’s air-conditioning plant. The co-generation plant has much lower CO2 emissions than coal-fired electrical generation and provides 60kVA of electricity, meeting up to 30 per cent of the building’s needs. In CH2, the waste heat is also used for heating hot water for the building and also for cooling via an absorption chiller.

4.) Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies

Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies,on the campus of Oberlin College in Ohio, uses sustainable building practices to keep it energy-efficient and comfortable. The building uses geothermal wells for heating and cooling, a photovoltaic system on the roof generates energy, and a water treatment system treats and purifies the water so that it can be reused for toilets.

The building has received many awards, including:Most important green building constructed in the last 30 years (July 2010), Architect Magazine; one of the 30 Milestone Buildings of the 20th Century, U.S. Department of Energy, William McDonough & Partners; and one of the Top 10 Green Projects (2002), American Institute of Architects (AIA).

5.) Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre

CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre in Hyderabad, India,offers advisory services to the industry in the areas of green buildings, energy efficiency, water management, environmental management, renewable energy, Green business incubation and climate change activities.

The Centre is housed in a green building, which received the prestigious LEED Platinum Rating in 2003 and was named one of the most environmentally advanced buildings in the world. The building boasts a 50 percent savings in energy use, 35 percent reduction in water consumption, and usage of 80 percent recycled and recyclable material.

6.) Santos Place

Santos Place is a 6 Star Green Star office building in Brisbane, Australia, which opened in 2009. The property incorporates the latest technology in Environmentally Sustainable Design and energy efficient initiatives to achieve a 5.5 Star target NABERS energy rating.

Over $10 million has been spent upgrading the design and specification to: improve environmental and workplace conditions for occupants; maximize building services efficiency; reduce ongoing building operating costs; “future proof” the value of the building. The savings in greenhouse emissions that result from the significant investment in green design will ensure that the asset value of Santos Place will continue to strengthen with the Carbon Tax being introduced.

7.) Clinton Presidential Library

The William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark.,has been designated as one of the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly places to work in the United States by the U.S. Green Buildings Council under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Program.

The Library is the first federal building to receive a platinum rating, the highest in the LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) Green Building rating system. Waste reduction was accomplished by increased recycling and source reduction for paper, light bulbs, batteries, metal, cardboard, plastic, glass, etc. The Clinton Foundation implemented several initiatives for water savings and energy conservation in the Clinton Library park grounds.

8.) K&H Bank Headquarters

On the banks of the River Danube, the K&H Bank Headquarters in Budapest, Hungary, is the country’s first LEED-NC rated building. The energy-saving design and technologies have resulted in a building that consumes around 22 percent less than a comparable conventional building, while providing optimum occupant comfort. New technologies were also applied to curb potable water use, while a cistern captures and stores rainwater – relieving the public storm water system of more than 90 percent of rainfall, and irrigating roof top gardens and landscaped grounds.

 9.) Park Hotel in Hyderabad

The Park Hotel in Hyderabad, India, is a 270-room hotel distinguished by its impressive facade of perforated metal, which serves as a sun and rain screen that protects the building’s high-performance windows. Daylighting, orientation, solar gain and local climate were all taken into account during the design of the building to maximize light and minimize heat gain.

The team also collaborated on incorporating an on-site waste water treatment plant that processes both gray water for reuse and waste water before it is released back into the city’s sewer system. The hotel is the first in India to achieve LEED Gold certification and it has been awarded Best New Hospitality Project of 2010 from Cityscape India.

10.) Marco Polo Tower

Directly on the Elbe, commanding a prominent position in Hamburg, Germany, stands the Marco Polo Tower right beside the new Unilever headquarters. The 55 meter high tower brings together high-class living accommodation and a holistic ecological building concept. The recessed façades are protected from direct sun by the overhanging terraces above so that additional sunshades are not necessary. Vacuum collectors on the roof, using a heat exchanger, turn heat into a cooling system for the apartments. Innovative sound insulated air louvers in the sleeping areas make natural ventilation possible without increased noise pollution from outside.


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