Bank of America Tower - New York City, USA
Opened in 2009, the Bank of America Tower was designed and built with environmental sustainability firmly in mind. This building is seen as a global benchmark when it comes to eco-friendly skyscraper architecture and design earning the LEED Platinum Award.
What are some of the main features that make this building so environmentally friendly? The base to roof insulting glass external structure optimizes both heat insulation and the use of natural light. Its greywater system collects and recycles rainwater for use within the building itself. And the skyscraper has extensive solar panels to produce energy for the building.
Clinton Presidential Library - Little Rock, USA
Another LEED Platinum building is the Clinton Presidential Library. This building has many characteristics that make it stand out as a marvel of design and engineering. One of its highlights is the rooftop garden which reduces rainwater runoff, absorbs carbon, and provides rainwater harvesting as well as temperature regulation.
Other notable features include the flooring throughout the library made of recycled rubber from used tires and the parking lot with charging stations for electric and hybrid vehicles.
BMW Welt Center - Munich, Germany
The German car giant has endured criticism for its uneconomic cars through the years. Yet today the BMW Welt is one of the greenest buildings on the planet. The building sports a 800 kilowatt solar generator, with much of the building’s roof covered in a distinct solar array. In addition, the external building materials facilitate solar heat gain to help combat the cold weather that can be typical in this area.
Council House 2 - Melbourne, Australia
Australia is one of the global leaders when it comes to promoting sustainable living and environmental trends. The CH2 building in Melbourne was opened in 2006, and was one of the first office buildings to achieved 6 Star Green Star by the Green Building Council of Australia. Nearly 25% of the total construction costs of the building were aimed at innovations to save energy, recycle water, and reduce waste.
Examples of the eco-friendly measures include the external solar paneling that provides 60% of the building’s hot water which covers 48 square meters of the exterior. Rooftop wind turbines are another innovative feature that is utilized by the building.
30 St Mary Axe - London, England
One of London’s first truly green skyscrapers, 30 St. Mary Axe brings together many aspects of environmental design. Solar control blinds within the window systems regulate the temperature, minimizing the need for additional heating or cooling within the building. The shape of the building reduces the building’s wind load. And the specialized glass allows it exposure to large amounts of natural light and ventilation, significantly reducing energy consumption throughout the building.