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Climate change is the biggest crisis of modern times. The effects of climate change are visible all over the world, in the form of heatwaves, rising sea levels and melting ice capsules – so sustainability has become a priority. With today’s emphasis on the “green” credentials of a building, there’s been a growing need for renewable energy sources in buildings and structures. It’s now more important than ever to consider the environment in planning and construction. However, there are plenty of buildings across the globe leading the way in sustainability. Below, we take a look at five of the world’s most sustainable buildings.
Standing at 2,000 feet tall, the Shanghai Tower is one of the tallest buildings in the world. The tower has been built with a range of different sustainability technologies, including renewable energy sources and wind turbines, and as a skyscraper, it has been built with locally sourced materials. The building also features smart controls that monitor ventilation, lighting and heating. It’s also been designed to capture rainwater and to recycle the water internally through toilets and the tower’s green spaces. Shanghai Tower is now a major part of the city’s skyline.
One Embankment Place, situated above Charing Cross in London, was originally built in the 1990s but redeveloped years later to become one of the most sustainable buildings in the world. During construction, most of the materials were responsibly sourced with low impact on the environment and the building has been highly recognised for its sustainable features and improvements. This includes a 50% reduction in carbon emissions, roof gardens and green walls and natural light through its open spaces. The building re-opened in 2014 and has been a massive success, achieving an outstanding rating by BREEAM, the world’s sustainability assessment method.
The Edge has long been recognised as one of the world’s most sustainable office buildings. It was designed for the global financial firm, Deloitte and it uses pioneering sustainability technologies to create intelligent workspaces. For example, The Edge has been fitted with an advanced lighting system known as ‘Power-over-ethernet’, which saves around 80 per cent in lighting. The south side of the building is also completely covered in solar panels, making it incredibly energy efficient. These LED panels save power by sharing the cables with internet data and the electric charging points are auto-generated, all of which has a positive impact on the environment.
Seattle’s Bullitt Centre is a six-story, mix-use building that has a range of sustainable features, including toxic-free materials. The office building is net positive for energy, water and carbon – and certified timber has been used for the walls and ceilings. There are over five hundred PV panels on the roof, giving the building natural sunlight and the office generates its electricity and harvests rainwater. As a result, it’s one of the most sustainable and energy-efficient office buildings in the US.
Located in Sydney, One Central Park is a dual high-rise building with a façade that features different native species of Australian flowers and plants. The structure was designed to be in harmony with the natural environment. The building uses a recycled water network, onsite renewable energy, and a low-carbon tri-generation power plant. One Central Park was also awarded a five-star green rating by the Green Building Council Australia. It remains one of the most sustainable buildings in Australia.
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