Boldness and beauty is a major aspect of architectural design, but in today’s world, sustainability takes just as much precedence. With buildings getting taller and more reliant on digital technology, the threat of climate change is becoming more and more evident.
Here we look at 7 great examples of sustainable architecture from around the world. From the tiny Pop-Up House to the massive Reichstag, these buildings prove that environmentally friendly architectural design can be a staple fixture of any structure, regardless of size or age.
The Reichstag is Germany’s parliament building. It’s seek glass structure isn’t just stylish, but designed to absorb solar and geothermal energy, which is then transfers into heat and power. It also contains an innovative ventilation system that limits heat loss. The Reichstag generates 80 percent of its own electricity, which reduces CO2 emissions from 7,000 to under 1,000 tons per year.
Switzerland’s Science City aims to create a heating and cooling system on the Honggerberg university campus that will store heat from the summer air, appliances, computer servers, and even the people in order to provide heating during the winter. The project is due to be completed in 2020 and will supply more than 90 percent of the annual heating and cooling bills.
The Pop-Up House
Created by the French architecture firm, Multipod, the Pop-Up House costs less than £30,000 and can be built with nothing more than a screwdriver. The building requires no heating due to its thermal envelope and location in the South of France. Architects in other parts of Southern Europe have already taken notice and started to expend on the initial design.
The National Trust Headquarters
The National Trust Headquarters in Swindon is one of the greenest buildings in the United Kingdom. The solar panels provide 30 percent of electricity, it’s completely PVC and linoleum free, the carpets are made from sheep wool (herded on site) and the ventilation snouts are created using recycled beer cans.
The Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building
Currently set to become one of the lowest energy-use buildings in the United States, the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building (EGWW) is now one of the most eco-friendly buildings in the nation after its $133 million eco-overhaul in 2009. What’s unique about this structure is how the technology has been implemented into the original 1970s design, which many thought was impossible.
The John and Frances Angelos Law Center
The University of Baltimore have a long-standing ambition to prove to the world that climate neutrality is a reality. The John and Frances Angelos Law Center utilizes mechanical ventilation, artificial lighting and a structure that is mainly composed of sustainable materials.
The Crystal – located in London’s east end – is run entirely on electricity; however, almost all of it is generated using photovoltaic solar panels. The lighting technology is particularly innovative, utilizing a system that will brighten or dim the LED and florescent lights depending on the amount of available daylight. In addition, it has its own water collection and sewage treatment centre.