There was a time when energy-efficient buildings would mean individual users saving on utilities and cost of operations. In recent times, sustainable building design has taken on an entirely different meaning. Today, the real estate developers and architects are focusing more on employing environment-friendly methods.
In order to make this happen, the buildings are constructed with eco-friendly materials to begin with. Secondly, the design and daily operations of the building are inclined towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Today’s green buildings incorporate amazing combinations of beauty, efficient function, and sustainability. Now, let’s take a look at some of the world’s best energy efficient buildings:
1. Powerhouse Kjorbo (Norway)
Located in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, this building received the Norwegian Technology Award in 2014. Powerhouse Kjorbo comprises two buildings that underwent renovation and reconstruction using recycled materials. The aim was to make the building sustainable. As a result, the overall energy consumption in the newly-constructed building was reduced by an astonishing 90%.
This was an indication of the massive success that this project achieved. Ground wells of this building are used to heat the radiators. They also serve as a source of water supply. The unique exterior of this building is made of charred wood. It makes the building eco-friendly and easier to maintain.
2. The Edge (Netherlands)
This building has received the highest score ever recorded in the BREEAM certification system. It is also the world’s first building to use LED lights that are powered by Philips Ethernet. Located in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, this building is energy-neutral.
It uses a vast array of solar panels placed on its rooftop. Workers in the building can regulate the lighting and climate in their individual workspaces. This is done by using an app, which is installed on their smartphones.
3. Empire State Building (USA)
Sustainability wouldn’t even occur in your mind when you look at this building. This world-famous skyscraper located in New York City in the United States earned the LEED Gold Certification in 2011. It was the result of $550 million, which was poured in for renovating the building and making it greener.
The revamped structure reduced the cost of energy consumption of this building by over $4 million every year. Within the next few years, the building is expected to reduce its carbon footprint by a minimum of 105,000 tons. Among the most daunting tasks in making this skyscraper more energy-efficient was replacing its 6,514 glass windows.
4. One Angel Square (United Kingdom)
It was rated as outstanding by the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). This building is located in the city of Manchester in the United Kingdom. It has 15 stories and is the headquarters of The Co-operative Group. The building has a heat recovery system, which helps in increasing its energy efficiency.
The greywater and rainwater recycling systems serve the same purpose. It has set up IT systems and low-energy LED lights besides a combined heat and power plant. These set-ups inside the building provide practical cost-saving benefits.
5. Manitoba Hydro Place (Canada)
Having received the Platinum Certification from LEED, this is one of the world’s most energy efficient buildings. It is located in the Canadian province of Manitoba. This office tower saves more than 70% additional energy than the other commercial buildings.
Much of this can be attributed to its incredible design. A solar chimney, which has a height of 115 meters, provides the building with passive ventilation. Its double-skin facade has motorized vents controlled by computers, which makes regulating temperatures a breeze.