Thursday, 16 Jun, 2011 Environment
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Top 6 World's Most Eco-friendly Skyscrapers

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Commerzbank Tower, Frankfurt, Germany


As the tallest building in Europe, the Commerzbank Tower, located in Frankfurt, rises at 259 meters (850 feet) over the city.

The skyscraper was planned at the beginning of the 1990s. The idea to make the building eco-friendly came to Frankfurt's Green Party, which at that time governed the city along with the socialist party.

The Commerzbank Tower thus became the world's first eco-friendly skyscraper boasting "sky-gardens" and a number of green technologies meant to reduce power consumption needed to heat and cool the structure.

The design of the building allows a lot of natural light to enter the interiors, thus reducing the need to use artificial light.

Seoul Light Digital Media City Tower, Seoul, South Korea


The Digital Media City Tower, located in the capital of South Korea, represents a fusion of technology and sustainability strategies that make up the core of this tall building's design.

There's a huge central atrium that expands vertically through different areas of the building, including the hotel, residential area and the observation deck.

Wind towers installed at the structure's crown are powered by the air that rises through the atrium. The gardens growing inside the tower play the role of lungs, providing air circulation and filtration.

The CIS Tower, Manchester, England, UK


This 118-meter (387 feet) long tower located in England is covered in glass and represents the main building of the Co-operative Insurance Society Co. Ltd.

It was constructed in the period between 1959 and 1962 and recently experienced a significant improvement, being equipped with a large number of photovoltaic panels.

Currently the CIS Tower is the biggest solar-powered project in the United Kingdom, able to produce 180,000 kWh each year.

The Bahrain World Trade Center, Manama, Bahrain



The Bahrain World Trade Center represents a 240-meter (787 feet) high twin tower complex built in Manama, Bahrain. The twin tower structure was erected by the multi-national architectural firm Atkins 3 years ago.

It would be interesting to note that the BWTC is the world's first skyscraper that can boast three large wind turbines integrated into its design, with each turbine having a diameter of 29 meters.

The turbines are used to generate clean energy for the building. They are expected to offer from 10 to 15 percent of the power for both towers, which is around 3.5 percent of the total cost of the project.

Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou, China


This eco-friendly 309-meter high skyscraper is located at the intersection of Jinsui Road and Zhujiang Avenue West, Tianhe District, Guangzhou, China. The construction began on September 8, 2006.

Some of its main green features include wind turbines and photovoltaic cells for solar energy. In addition the designer thought of including raised floors ventilation along with heating and cooling ceilings.

So far the building is in the construction process but after it is finished, the Pearl River Tower will be the world's biggest radiant-cooled office building and the most energy efficient skyscraper in the world.

It is worth mentioning that the tower is one of China's steps to cut the intensity of CO2 emissions per unit of GDP. The country's goal is to register a 40 to 45 percent reduction of this figure by 2020 compared to the year 2005.

The Bank of America Tower, Manhattan, New York City, United States


The Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park represents a 366-meter long (1,200 feet) structure located in the Midtown district of Manhattan, NYC, US.

Designed by specialists from the Cook+Fox Architects, the $1 billion building is one of the greenest structures in the world, making use of floor-to-ceiling insulating glass that maintains heat and ensures maximum light, and an automatic daylight dimming system.

In addition, the building has a greywater system used to gather rainwater and filter it for later reuse. The Bank of America Tower was made using recycled and recyclable materials. The concrete used in the construction was manufactured with slag, which represents a by product of blast furnaces. The slag cement reduces the amount of cement required for the building, thus cutting the amount of greenhouse gas.

Designers also thought of a special cooling system that generates and gathers ice in off-peak hours and then uses the melted ice to cool the interiors in peak load.

It would be interesting to note that the skyscraper, built in 2009, is the second tallest structure in the Big Apple after the Empire State Building, and the 4th tallest in the US. Inside guests have the possibility to use waterless urinals that can save up to 8 million gallons of water each year.

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