Green building means that during the design and construction process, full consideration is given to the harmony between the building and its surrounding environment, and the use of light, wind and other natural energy sources is used to minimize energy consumption and environmental pollution. As the global climate warms, people are increasingly aware that the CO2 produced by energy use in buildings is the main source of climate warming. Energy-efficient buildings have become an inevitable trend in the development of buildings, and green buildings have emerged. Today, let’s share with you some typical green building examples around the world.
Siemens “Crystal Tower”, London, UK
It’s a conference center, an exhibition hall, and a window on the future of cities and infrastructure. In the Royal Victoria Dock in Newham, London, a unique building has risen, in which Siemens’ expertise in cities and infrastructure has been incorporated, and which, like its shape, the Crystal, will radiate the many facets of the city of the future.
In addition to its stunning structural design, the crystal is one of the most environmentally friendly buildings ever built. “The Crystal itself is a model for the city of the future – covering over 6,300 square meters, it is a model of energy efficiency. Compared to similar office buildings, it saves 50% of electricity and reduces CO2 emissions by 65%, with all of its heating and cooling needs coming from renewable energy sources. The building uses natural light, with complete use of natural daylight. It also makes use of intelligent lighting technology, in which electricity is mainly generated by photovoltaic solar panels in the building being switched on and off by an integrated LED and fluorescent light switch under most of the day.
Another interesting feature of the crystals is the so-called rainwater harvesting and black water recycling. The building’s roof acts as a collector for rainwater, sewage treatment, and then reclaimed water is purified and converted into drinking water.
Melbourne, Australia: Pixel Architecture
Once again, Australians are proving that they herald a move towards a sustainable world.
The Pixel Building is a dazzling project in a key location in Melbourne. Meeting 105 environmental requirements, it is Australia’s first carbon neutral office building. The building is self-sufficient in water and energy supply, and its colourful exterior skin is memorable for its fixed system of sunshade louvers, backed by double-glazed windows. Inside, the building is also equipped with solar panels, which combine harmoniously on the exterior skin to give the building a dynamic and unique feel.
The pixel architecture is simply a showcase of what Melbourne, Australia is capable of. First constructed to achieve a perfect Green Star rating, it paves the way for the rise of sustainable infrastructure throughout Australia. At the same time, the building achieved 102 requirements under the US LEED standard, the highest LEED score in the world to date. In the future, the building will also be far ahead of the curve.
Manama, Bahrain: Bahrain World Trade Center
Bahrain, an island nation on the western shore of the Persian Gulf, has a tropical desert climate. The Bahrain World Trade Center, a 35 million Bahraini dollar (more than 90 million US dollars) project, is the world’s first skyscraper to use wind energy as a source of electricity. The building is a combination of two traditional Arabian-style “wind towers”, spiked at the top and wide at the bottom, like a pair of winged sea sails, spreading out in the wind, strong and powerful, ashore in the azure Arabian Gulf.
The twin towers of the World Trade Center in Bahrain are 240 meters high. The main building has an elliptical shape with three wind turbines with a diameter of 29 meters supported horizontally between the two towers. The wind-sail-like building forms a convection of the sea breeze in front of the two towers, which accelerates the wind speed. The wind turbines are expected to support 11-15% of the building’s electricity requirements.
Walking through the central business district of Manama, the capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain, one only has to look up a little to see the three horizontal axis power generation windmills flying between the twin towers of the Bahrain World Trade Center. The three wind turbines, which cost BHD 1 million to install, will generate approximately 1,300 MWh (1.3 million kWh) of electricity per year, the equivalent of 2 million tons of coal or 6 million barrels of oil, to power 300 average households for a year. The wind turbine spins day and night without polluting the environment, seemingly reminding all oil-consumers who look to the Middle East that there are greener and more viable sources of energy on the planet that need to be developed.
As the world continues to consume non-renewable resources, the energy crisis is sounding the alarm for the survival of mankind, and the World Trade Center in Bahrain has undoubtedly played a very good role as a model. With the success of the World Trade Center in Bahrain, wind energy, a renewable, non-polluting and huge energy source, can inspire people all over the world to develop and exploit their talents to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide, and to protect the planet on which we all depend for our survival.
Seattle, USA: Bullitt Center
According to local Seattle media personality Randy Woods, the Bullitt Center utilizes many cutting-edge sustainable technologies, such as its underground cistern with a system for collecting and filtering household wastewater and a green roof that filters rainwater. In addition, it has toilets that break down excrement through aerobic devices, a rooftop solar array that can power the entire building for a year, and large windows that provide ample natural lighting and ventilation. In addition, the Bullitt Center’s concrete slab houses a solar hot water recirculating radiant heating system, as well as multiple 400-foot-deep heat exchange wells underground to help regulate office temperatures.
The Bullitt Center has sensors built into the building that detect light intensity, carbon dioxide levels, indoor and outdoor temperatures, and weather conditions. Greenery and highly permeable pavement materials on the street outside the building allow water to soak into the land, reducing water flow into Puget Sound and Lake Washington. To encourage people to walk more in the building and use public transportation, the Bullitt Center has a spacious and comfortable staircase and no designed garage.
Toyooka, Japan: Eco-housing
This eco-home is located in Toyooka City, Japan, the heart of the northern city of Hyogo Prefecture. Toyooka City has a rich and distinctive natural landscape, especially in the vicinity of the Maruyama River. Against this backdrop, the house is a model for eco-friendly housing in the region. It is one of the 20 eco-housing projects of the Japanese Ministry of the Environment.
Toyooka is cold and snowy in winter and hot and humid all year round in summer. The result is a traditional house with a large cavity, called a taka, in which hot air and humidity can be diffused through a skylight, turning it into an air conditioning system. The exterior walls are coated with stucco for strong fire protection.
The interior walls trap moisture and heat, drawing heat from the sun in the winter and cooling the interior in the summer with the cooler outdoor air at night.
The home introduces a solar power system that harnesses heat directly from the sun. Circulating fans control the flow of hot air, making the indoor environment more comfortable. Small pellet stoves are introduced into the house as a heating system that utilizes biomass energy to provide heat without emitting carbon dioxide. Wendover underfloor heating systems are installed in the void spaces. These systems create a comfortable indoor environment with their high operational efficiency. The house also features a rainwater harvesting and reuse system and LED lighting.
Pittsburgh, USA: Phipps’ Center for Sustainable Landscapes
The Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes in Pittsburgh, USA, has received LEED Platinum certification. This building systematically demonstrates superior technology in landscape design, water and energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and the conservation and use of materials. The U.S. Green Building Council scored this project 63 out of a possible 69 points, and to date, only one other building project has achieved such a high score.
The Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes was reconstructed in an urban brownfield site, and through green infrastructure, all waste and stormwater on the site can be effectively handled within the site itself. The design incorporates 150 species of native vegetation, while achieving zero energy and water consumption.
During the design and construction process, the trickiest issue was how to achieve 100% renewable energy use. When designing the exterior and structure, the designers decided to use as much natural light as possible to reduce power consumption, and a carefully designed geothermal system (temperature controlled at around 10 degrees Celsius) regulates the indoor temperature in both winter and summer to minimise energy consumption for heating in winter and cooling in summer. As a complement, the designers also made better use of renewable energy through wind power.
To meet the center’s water needs, the designers designed a complete water treatment system using the lagoons and wetlands of the botanical gardens. In addition to meeting the irrigation needs of the entire botanical gardens, the rainwater collected is stored and purified, and then diverted to the center to supply different needs. A natural ventilation system is used, with the designers taking into account the results of hydrodynamic calculations to determine the optimal position of the windows and doors, the opening of which is automatically controlled by carbon dioxide sensors in the room according to the actual conditions.
Poland: Collecting Rain Skyscraper
The average urban population in the United States uses five times as much water as the average population in developing countries, and this growth is related to improving people’s standard of living, yet the Danes are in the habit of collecting rainwater for washing clothes and watering plants. In the past 10 years, their average water consumption has dropped by 40 percent, to the point where they have become known as an eco-village. The scheme, called the “Rainwater Harvesting” eco-skyscraper, was designed by architecture students Ryszard Rychlicki and Agnieszka Nowak from Poland.
The “rainwater harvesting” skyscraper has a systematic drainage system on the roof and shell, which aims to “capture” as much rain as possible to meet the building’s own daily water needs. On average, the building uses about 150 litres of water per person per day, of which 85 litres will likely be replaced by rainwater. With this in mind, they decided to design a building that would capture and treat as much rainwater as possible, and supply the users of the building with the collected water. For thousands of years plants have been masters of a rainwater harvesting and treatment system that helps them solve their own water shortages and surplus problems.
Similarly, Rychlicki and Nowak sought to reference the structural principles of plants for rainwater harvesting and treatment. Initially, the design of the building has been concerned with shaping the building in shape and at the top to capture enough rainwater in the first place. At the center of the building is a large funnel-shaped reservoir and a reed treatment area, where the collected water is processed into usable water and then transported to various areas through a network of conveyance water. The building collects rainwater that flows through the side of the building through a drainage system on the exterior surface. This building-treated rainwater can be used for toilets, washing machines, watering plants, cleaning floors and other household equipment.
Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai: the beginning of change
Dubai is conquering the world. It is the home of world records such as the tallest skyscraper in the world, the largest fireworks display and much more.In 2013, Dubai unveiled the beginning of change – a commercial building that received 107 of 110 points, making it the most sustainable building in the world, breaking the record pixels.
Singapore: Yishun Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
Singapore takes the promotion of “green building” very seriously and the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Sustainable Development (IMCSD) has set a target for the built environment industry to achieve at least 80% of all buildings to be green by 2030.
The Yishun Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore’s newest public hospital, was designed by RMJM Architects in the UK and is fully compliant with green and energy-efficient practices. With zero energy consumption in the photovoltaic system, heating and ventilation system, daily lighting system, etc., and extended greenery coverage to achieve 70% natural air circulation, the building is 50% more energy efficient than the average hospital.
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital makes full use of every available space to create a green medical environment. Every floor of the hospital is covered with greenery, which is relaxing and invigorating. In particular, the terraced gardens on the roof terraces of the private and public ward buildings provide a pleasant and private meditation space for patients and visitors as they stroll through the gardens. Another unique function of these gardens is to provide circulating cool air for the operating rooms or a source of fresh air for the lower floors, thereby creating a lush, cool environment.
The landscaped walls of the building’s façade are covered with aerial plants using a drip-tube filtration system, forming a private screen for the outdoor bathrooms. Outdoor shallow water plants provide the primary water circulation and filtration system for the ecological pond.
Taipei, Taiwan: Public Library
The Taipei Public Library North Branch is an environmentally friendly building. The building is made of steel or wood, and the use of concrete is reduced in order to reduce the harm and burden on the environment. The whole building is designed with buoyant ventilation generated by the high mezzanine windows, which, together with the gas exchanger, can lower the indoor temperature by about 4°C. This not only saves on electricity bills, but also brings in fresh outdoor air to reduce the feeling of drowsiness.
In addition, the lightweight eco-roof with solar photovoltaic panels can generate 16 kilowatts of electricity, which is equivalent to 20% of the total electricity consumption of the museum at midday in summer. As for the sloping roof and grass slope design, the green roof can retain water and reduce direct exposure to the sun, while the rainwater collected from the sloping roof can be used for watering plants and cleaning water, thus achieving water reuse. Rainwater collected from the sloping roof is used for watering plants and cleaning water, which is an example of reusing environmentally friendly building materials. The walls of the staircase on the first and second floors are made of waste materials from the Yingge ceramic magnet factory, which have been cut into layered ceramic facades.
Finally, the library also captures rainfall to save water, with the roof designed to capture rainwater and store it for the library’s toilets.