World Architecture Day: Five Climate-Forward Structures
The theme for World Architecture Day 2017 is "Climate, Change, Action!" To celebrate green building worldwide, we've selected five structures that are leading climate-forward architecture: adapting to weather extremes, reducing energy costs and in some cases, fighting climate change while they're at it.
Pérez Art Museum - Miami, FL
Photo by Perez Art Museum Miami
Due to South Florida’s tropical climate and severe heat, sustainable temperature control was a major consideration in the museum’s design. Pérez Art Museum is cooled by a state-of-the-art Plenum system that recirculates air through ducts in the building’s floors, rather than ceilings, saving energy and improving efficiency. Even as tides rise, the PAMM is built up above sea level to prevent nuisance flooding. The entire museum received a LEED Gold rating, which means it's green from the bottom up. Architects found practically every way to make the building more sustainable: reducing concrete, using recycled steel, collecting and recycling rainwater, and other energy efficiency strategies ensure the building maintains a small carbon footprint.
Alila Anji Resort - Anji, China
Photo by Alila Hotels
With respect for the environment and local communities, Alila Anji is a luxury resort committed to the integration of conservation, community and commerce. Anji is known as the first National Ecological County in China, and Alila resorts are fuelling a growing trend in sustainable luxury travel. Alila Anji is built using wood, stone and bamboo indigenous to the area, and is designed in the likeness of a traditional Chinese village. Impact on the environment is perhaps best minimised by Alila’s newest waste policy which mandates to reach a “zero-to-landfill status” by implementing a composting system and starting a permaculture organic garden, from which chefs source ingredients.
The Bullitt Center - Seattle, Washington
Photo by Brad Kahn
Urban ecology nonprofit The Bullitt Foundation set out to accelerate the pace of change in the building industry by building the "greenest commercial building in the world." The Bullit Center's features include net zero energy, net zero water, net zero carbon, composting toilets, toxic-free materials, and over 80% daylight using high-performance windows. The building utilizes an impressive 575 solar panels, proving that it is possible to go net zero energy via solar - even in Seattle!
Italy Pavilion - Milan, Italy
Built for the 2015 Expo Milano, the Italy Pavilion is breathtaking—and it can help you breathe easier! That's because the forest-like structure around the building is made from a material that absorbs smog. This special cement is photocatalytic—it can transform unhealthy particulate matter in the air into inert salts using the power of sunlight. Plus, the roof contains photovoltaic glass, generating solar energy for the building.
Ng Teng Fong General Hospital - Jurong East, Singapore
Photo by Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
Like other buildings in Singapore, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital incorporates parks, green roofs, and vertical plantings throughout its campus. This hospital marks a dramatic change, optimizing fresh air, light, and outdoor views for patients. About 70 percent of the facility is naturally ventilated and cooled by fans, cross-ventilation, and exterior shading, saving on precious water resources. The building uses 38 percent less energy than a typical hospital in the area.