Greenest Buildings in the World
We’re not talking hunter green, sea-foam green or Wint-o-Green Lifesavers, just to be perfectly clear. This green is gray, black, charcoal, red and any other color found in the rainbow. It’s all about sustainability, LEED certification, environmental honors, structures under construction and a little dreaming for the future. And though the title of “Greenest Building of the World,” is based somewhat on a subjective notion, there is much to be said about the following group of buildings. Some for living, some for working and all for taking care of our planet, in one way or another.
Robert Redford Building: NRDC SoCal Headquarters — Santa Monica, CA
The National Resources Defense Council led the charge towards greener living and working in 2003, when they went green in their SoCal headquarters. Named in honor of the man who has offered generous support to the organization for over two decades, Mr. Redford was on hand nearly 5 years ago to cut the ribbon, and welcome another green building into the 21st century.
Taking an existing building in downtown Santa Monica, the NRDC could easily see the potential of greening this location due to all that the environment already offered.
Sun, fresh ocean breezes and recycled water helped to make this location simplistic, energy and environmentally efficient.
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Bank of America Tower — New York City
It’s phenomenal how fast they build these buildings, and to know that it was done with renewable materials in an effort to score as many LEED points as possible… it makes me want to reconsider those mean things I’ve said about Bank of America hiking their interest rates.
You can’t win them all, I suppose, but the Bank of America tower presently stands as the only completed, sky-scraping structure that has scored a Platinum U.S. LEED rating.
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Clinton Presidential Library — Little Rock, Arkansas
Just down the avenue bearing the name of former President Bill Clinton, kudos to team Clinton for making drastic renovations to a building that was only recently constructed, dedicated and opened in 2004.
By creating a roof-top garden to help absorb carbon and implementing the use of recyclables, the building has received the U.S. LEED Platinum rating.
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Confederation of Indian Industry’s Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre — Hyderabad, India
Of course your building is going to be a paradigm for green commercial structures when you’re in the business of creating green structures. Earning a prestigious award from the United States Green Building Council, the Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre was named the most “environmentally advanced building in the world.” Being the “center of excellence” for energy efficiency, renewable resources, water consumption, recycling and all things “green” in India, it is potentially one of the most important buildings in operation in the Eastern world. Completed in 2004, they’ve employed the Venturi effect in cooling the structure, helping to drastically lower the amounts of energy needed to create a comfortable work environment.
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Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center — Flushing, NY
Who would have thought that a building in Queens would have become the greenest building in the city? Mayor Bloomberg asked the same question as they cut the ribbon and dedicated the new visitors and information center. Receiving a platinum rating from the EPA, there couldn’t be a more perfect structure to serve as the foundation of this 39 acres of natural beauty, just east of Manhattan. Implementing photo-voltaic panels, the new visitors center is able to produce 20 percent of its own electrical needs.
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Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability — Vancouver, British Columbia
Nearing completion, it is anticipated that the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) will be the most “innovative and high performance” green building in North America. Taking the successes of recent architectural designs, CIRS will be capable of 100 percent rain capture and the ability to harvest daylight through exterior transformation. Construction is scheduled to be completed this year.
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La Maison du Developpement Durable — Montreal, Quebec
There’s a wall of mystery that is still surrounding this building with its hopeful completion date some time off in 2010. The French name translating to “sustainable development house,” the architects have laid claim to this structure being the greenest building in Canada upon completion. Using both geothermal and thermal accumulators for heating and cooling, recyclables in construction materials, a wall garden for oxygen and air filtration… yeah, there’s a good chance it could become Canada’s most self-sustaining structure.
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Alberici Corporate Headquarters — Overland, Missouri
Give it up for the Show Me State! Having been incorporated for nearly 100 years, the Alberici Corporation constructed their new green headquarters in the early 21st century, seeing completion in 2004.
They were the 9th newly constructed building to receive a platinum rating from the United States Green Building Council.
Not only did Alberici choose to go green, but they formed Vertegy in the same year, a new company branch focusing on the consultation of building and renovating to green standards.
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The Greenest Buildings of the Not-Too-Distant Future
Now for a look into what we all thought the 21st century would consist of — concepts that are not just under consideration, but are actually in the number crunching phase of development. Not only would buildings like the following help to generate more attention for the green movement, but they would simultaneously up the world’s architectural ante.
Residence Antilla — Mumbai, India
I saw a few rooftop gardens during my days in NYC, and that was just as the green surface was beginning to be scratched.
Not only was it great to see for the sake of the environment, but it was just awesome to admire with regard to aesthetics. The Residence Antilla, sustainable design in India, will take the whole concept of urban farming and gardening to the next level!
This residence will actually serve as a home for Indian property mogul Mukesh Ambani. Could we see “the Donald” follow in these footsteps?
This will definitely be a building that will create a big green stir upon completion.
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Crystal Island — Moscow, Russia
Will this idea and concept ever come to fruition? Who knows. Bottom line, it looks like something from “The Never-Ending Story,” and the type of building you cartoon-draw as a child, only to be told that such a thing could never be built. Bent on housing a million Moscow residents, this “city within a city” will be built to incredibly high green technology standards.
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