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Articles - sustainable

Design a Better Future

According to the World Commission on the Environment and Development, sustainability is “a form of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

USACE LEEDs military 'green' building across Europe

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District is celebrating sustainable building achievements across the U.S. military footprint in Europe. Located about 1,600 miles apart, in Turkey and Germany, two projects executed by the district earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification this spring.

World’s smartest cities will look like this

Vertical greenery will be the defining feature of future metropolises, according to urban policy experts, as governments across the globe invest millions in making their cities 'smart."Vertical green architecture is definitely a need for smart cities," said Matthew Clifford, head of energy and sustainability services, greater China at real estate services firm JLL. "You can have a great interconnected city but if you don't have an energy efficiency strategy in place, is it really a smart city?"The idea of integrating greenery into a building's façade offers a practical spatial solution to environmental issues like carbon dioxide emissions, a by-product of urbanization. Green walls, roofs and gardens offer protection from ultraviolet rays, reduces ambient temperatures and keeps building interiors cool, which in turn decreases demand for air-conditioning and curtails a building's carbon footprint, explained Ng San Son, associate director at DP Architects."While information technology may be the main infrastructure and driver of a 'smart' city, green architecture plays a key role by creating a better quality of life. If people take pleasure in their surroundings, this contributes to higher productivity and a reduction in energy consumption in a smart city," he added.Major playersSingapore, often referred to as the Garden City, is globally recognized for its investment in the sector as it aims to become the world's first smart nation by 2020. A 24-story residential condominium by City Developments Limited (CDL) set the Guinness World Record last year for the largest vertical garden, while the government offers commercial and residential customers 50 percent subsidies for installing vertical greenery solutions.Greenery is a mandate in Singapore's new construction projects, explained JLL's Clifford. "It's an energy tool, not just an aesthetic. The city is an importer of energy and realizes it has finite resources so development is heavily skewed towards energy efficiency."Elsewhere in Asia, Seoul and Bangkok are also spearheading the vertical green movement with projects like the Seoul New City Hall and Siam Paragon buildings. While the trend is undoubtedly growing, it's more common in developed regions like Europe and North America. The city of Paris recently commissioned architect Vincent Callebaut to help the city achieve its goal of reducing 75 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The result was eight high-rise towers featuring green walls that recycle their own energies, solar energy generators that churn out biofuel and wind turbines that produce electricity, according to the project's outline.Developing nations still aren't prioritizing sustainable design as a long-term solution since governments remain preoccupied with architecture that fulfils basic needs and address socio-economic disparities, DP Architects noted.From gardens to farmsIn addition to green walls, farming is also a key element of vertical design. By growing crops indoors stacked in racks to the ceiling, harvests remain safe from bad weather and infestations, providing an innovative solution to rising food demand in urban populations. The United Nations estimates that urban agricultural solutions like vertical farming is practiced by 800 million people worldwide and constitutes 15 percent of global food resources.Darren Neo, the director of a Singaporean landscaping firm specializing in vertical gardens, opened an office in China two years ago where he sees massive potential for vertical farming."China's food scandals are so high, and vertical farming can be a great solution to that despite a lack of outdoor space" he said. "Installing green walls in your house, say in the living room, means you don't get any pests, resulting in pesticide-free herbs."

UAE opens doors to 'most sustainable office building'

The UAE’s most sustainable office building opened its doors in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City. The building, which houses the new headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), was inaugurated by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs. High-level representatives from around the world and the UAE government attended the inaugural event in Masdar City. The event highlighted the outstanding sustainability characteristics of the Irena building, the first commercial building in the UAE to receive a four-pearl rating for design and construction from the Urban Planning Council through Estidama, the Abu Dhabi certification system for measuring energy, water and carbon efficiency. Irena is one of the newest and fastest-growing intergovernmental organisations in the world, and the first to be headquartered in the Middle East. Located at Masdar City, a sustainable city in the heart of a global hub for energy – Abu Dhabi – Irena is strategically positioned to collaborate with governments worldwide to help them meet their renewable energy goals. The building offers a total floor area of 32,000 sq m and has 1,000 sq m of rooftop solar photovoltaic panels supplying electricity to the building. Its passive design and smart energy management systems enables it to use 42 per cent less energy than global energy-efficiency standards. The new facility is also expected to use 50 per cent less water and 64 per cent less energy than similar commercial buildings in Abu Dhabi. Over the past decade, renewable power generating capacity has increased by 85 per cent, according to Irena, and renewable energy remains the fastest growing energy segment.

“Only sustainable architecture will secure the long-term value of the building” - Jürgen C.B. Willen - Architect

“Only sustainable architecture will secure the long-term value of the building” said Mr, Jürgen C.B. Willen, German architect and Founder of the architectural practice Willen Associates Architecten present in several European cities like Barcelona, Ankara or Moscow. Greenbuildinginfo has the pleasure to discover you the interview.

Megacity metabolism: What cities are the worst energy hogs?

New York is an energy hog, London and Paris use relatively fewer resources and Tokyo conserves water like a pro. These are just a few of the findings from a new study on "megacity metabolism"--the world's first comprehensive survey of resources used and removed in each of the world's 27 largest metropolitan areas.

Imagining a sustainable New York

As the population of the earth increases, more and more people are flocking to cities. The US has 10 cities with more than a million inhabitants; China has 140 with more on the way.

Green ‘Monster’ Tips: Ethical And Eco-friendly Cost-Saving Ideas For Business

It’s The Environment Stupid! A No Brainer Guide to staying on the Green and Narrow. No longer the domain of sandal wearing crusties; green, ethical and eco-friendly business practices are a sure route to sustainable business, cost-savings, improving profitability, lowering carbon taxes, raising productivity and meeting eco-targets. The biggest benefit of all? It’s good for everyone. Underneath you can find the most easy cost savers, which are also good for the company bill!
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