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Top 10 Sustainable Buildings

From China to the US to Bahrain, the UK and more, CSO Magazine counts off 10 of the most sustainable buildings in the world.

10 | Micro Emission Sun-Moon Mansion, Dezhou, China

Micro Emission Sun-Moon Mansion, Dezhou, China

The brainchild of architect Huang Ming, known as the ‘Sun King’ and the ‘Solar Energy Mad Man’, this building was completed in 2010 for approximately US$740mn. Constructed to function as a hotel, exhibition centre, research facility and more, the Sun-Moon Mansion was made to resemble a sundial to track the arc of the sun effectively, no matter what the time of year. 

This is accomplished via an impressive array of photovoltaic panels covering an area of 50,000 sq ft.

9 | The Crystal, London, UK

 The Crystal, London, UK

One of the most sustainable buildings in the world is The Crystal, Siemens’ project is a hub for the ongoing discussion surrounding the best ways of integrating sustainability into everyday life. Utilising a large number of state-of-the-art technologies from Siemen’s suite of products, the Crystal is an energy-efficient and low-carbon structure.

8 | Vanke Centre, Shenzhen, China

Vanke Centre, Shenzhen, China

Construction on the Vanke Centre began in 2007 and finished in 2009, yielding a building with a total area of 1.3mn sq ft. Honoured with a Green Good Design Award and BCI Green Design Award amongst others, the building has thousands of solar panels integrated into the rooftop, a water recycling system and uses sustainable materials for interior essentials.

7 | One Angel Square, Manchester, UK

One Angel Square, Manchester, UK

Featuring a heat recovery system that can capture and repurpose expended heat from the IT systems, energy-efficient LED lighting and grey/rainwater recycling systems, One Angel Square is one of the most eco-friendly buildings in the city. 

Designed to create natural heat, cooling and lighting, the structure also has a distinct open atrium and two-fly façade.

6 | Manitoba Hydro Place, Winnipeg, Canada

Manitoba Hydro Place, Winnipeg, Canada

Owing to its design, which was Platinum certified by the Canada Green Building Council for its adherence to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, Manitoba Hydro Place uses 70% less energy than most buildings approaching its 115m height. 

The building cost an estimated CA$283mn and features solar panels, geothermal heat pumps and rooms structured to amplify lighting efficiencies.

5 | CIS Tower, Manchester, UK

CIS Tower, Manchester, UK

Constructed to host the Manchester operations of UK insurance company CIS, the tower is three-quarters covered in photovoltaic cells (PCs) capable of generating 390kW of energy per annum. 

The solar transformation of the façade was a project completed by Solarcentury for £5.5mn. The 7,244 (of which slightly more than half are active) PCs makes it one of the largest-scale solar panel installations in Europe and is capable of mitigating 100 tonnes of CO2 each year.

4 | Bahrain World Trade Centre, Manama, Bahrain

Bahrain World Trade Centre, Manama, Bahrain

Winner of several awards for its sustainable design, including the 2006 LEAF Award for best use of technology, 50-floor construction cost approximately US$150mn to build. 

Containing in-built wind turbines (provided by Norwin A/S) and solar glass which reduce the building’s indoor temperature, the Bahrain WTC also possess a cost-effective air conditioning system which uses cooled seawater from the nearby Persian Gulf.

3 | Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou, China

Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou, China

The 309m Pearl River Tower was constructed with a combination of engineering and meteorological knowledge. Built to track the sun’s arc through the sky, the tower is able to utilise integrated photovoltaic panels to generate electricity.

In addition, the tower’s architecture is capable of capturing wind, which is, in turn, used to spin turbines that generate auxiliary power.

2 | Bank of America Tower, New York City, U.S.

Bank of America Tower, New York City, U.S.

Designed to be the more eco-friendly skyscraper in the US, the Bank of America Tower is a feat encompassing energy efficiency, sustainable materials and environmentally responsible construction techniques.

Among the building’s features are the ability to capture New York’s bountiful rainfall and repurpose it as the building’s water utility, an energy-efficient natural gas power plant and a giant air filtration system.

1 | Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China

Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China

Called ‘the most beautiful skyscraper in the world’ in 2015, the tower’s energy-efficient infrastructure is driven by its use of engineering company Danfoss’ technology. 

The structure incorporates 43 different sustainability-inspired features, such as integrated renewable energy sources and a design which actively facilitates cooling. The Shanghai Tower is capable of mitigating 37,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per annum.

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10 | Micro Emission Sun-Moon Mansion, Dezhou, China

Micro Emission Sun-Moon Mansion, Dezhou, China

The brainchild of architect Huang Ming, known as the ‘Sun King’ and the ‘Solar Energy Mad Man’, this building was completed in 2010 for approximately US$740mn. Constructed to function as a hotel, exhibition centre, research facility and more, the Sun-Moon Mansion was made to resemble a sundial to track the arc of the sun effectively, no matter what the time of year. 

This is accomplished via an impressive array of photovoltaic panels covering an area of 50,000 sq ft.

9 | The Crystal, London, UK

 The Crystal, London, UK

One of the most sustainable buildings in the world is The Crystal, Siemens’ project is a hub for the ongoing discussion surrounding the best ways of integrating sustainability into everyday life. Utilising a large number of state-of-the-art technologies from Siemen’s suite of products, the Crystal is an energy-efficient and low-carbon structure.

8 | Vanke Centre, Shenzhen, China

Vanke Centre, Shenzhen, China

Construction on the Vanke Centre began in 2007 and finished in 2009, yielding a building with a total area of 1.3mn sq ft. Honoured with a Green Good Design Award and BCI Green Design Award amongst others, the building has thousands of solar panels integrated into the rooftop, a water recycling system and uses sustainable materials for interior essentials.

7 | One Angel Square, Manchester, UK

One Angel Square, Manchester, UK

Featuring a heat recovery system that can capture and repurpose expended heat from the IT systems, energy-efficient LED lighting and grey/rainwater recycling systems, One Angel Square is one of the most eco-friendly buildings in the city. 

Designed to create natural heat, cooling and lighting, the structure also has a distinct open atrium and two-fly façade.

6 | Manitoba Hydro Place, Winnipeg, Canada

Manitoba Hydro Place, Winnipeg, Canada

Owing to its design, which was Platinum certified by the Canada Green Building Council for its adherence to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, Manitoba Hydro Place uses 70% less energy than most buildings approaching its 115m height. 

The building cost an estimated CA$283mn and features solar panels, geothermal heat pumps and rooms structured to amplify lighting efficiencies.

5 | CIS Tower, Manchester, UK

CIS Tower, Manchester, UK

Constructed to host the Manchester operations of UK insurance company CIS, the tower is three-quarters covered in photovoltaic cells (PCs) capable of generating 390kW of energy per annum. 

The solar transformation of the façade was a project completed by Solarcentury for £5.5mn. The 7,244 (of which slightly more than half are active) PCs makes it one of the largest-scale solar panel installations in Europe and is capable of mitigating 100 tonnes of CO2 each year.

4 | Bahrain World Trade Centre, Manama, Bahrain

Bahrain World Trade Centre, Manama, Bahrain

Winner of several awards for its sustainable design, including the 2006 LEAF Award for best use of technology, 50-floor construction cost approximately US$150mn to build. 

Containing in-built wind turbines (provided by Norwin A/S) and solar glass which reduce the building’s indoor temperature, the Bahrain WTC also possess a cost-effective air conditioning system which uses cooled seawater from the nearby Persian Gulf.

3 | Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou, China

Pearl River Tower, Guangzhou, China

The 309m Pearl River Tower was constructed with a combination of engineering and meteorological knowledge. Built to track the sun’s arc through the sky, the tower is able to utilise integrated photovoltaic panels to generate electricity.

In addition, the tower’s architecture is capable of capturing wind, which is, in turn, used to spin turbines that generate auxiliary power.

2 | Bank of America Tower, New York City, U.S.

Bank of America Tower, New York City, U.S.

Designed to be the more eco-friendly skyscraper in the US, the Bank of America Tower is a feat encompassing energy efficiency, sustainable materials and environmentally responsible construction techniques.

Among the building’s features are the ability to capture New York’s bountiful rainfall and repurpose it as the building’s water utility, an energy-efficient natural gas power plant and a giant air filtration system.

1 | Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China

Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China

Called ‘the most beautiful skyscraper in the world’ in 2015, the tower’s energy-efficient infrastructure is driven by its use of engineering company Danfoss’ technology. 

The structure incorporates 43 different sustainability-inspired features, such as integrated renewable energy sources and a design which actively facilitates cooling. The Shanghai Tower is capable of mitigating 37,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per annum.

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