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Amazing Green Buildings

by Jorge Chapa
Not wanting to be left behind by Saudi Arabia and Dubai, the country of Bahrain has been approving some interesting and eye-popping developments in the realm of green architecture. Especially interesting is the new Bahrain World Trade Center located in the city of Manama. The 50-story complex contains two identical towers that rise over 240 meters in height. The sail-shaped buildings offer a visually striking silhouette, appropriately referencing the maritime environment of this small Middle Eastern island.

The design firm of Atkins did not believe that the look of the project was enough, and felt that it was important to incorporate sustainability features into this design. They first attempted to bring in solar panels into the project, but found that the extreme heat conditions of Bahrain made it an unfeasible proposition. So they turned to a second option, and came up with an even more striking image, that of the three 29 meter wind turbines, each supported by a 30-meter bridge spanning between the two towers. The floorplan was key in making this feature work. The wing-like towers help to funnel and accelerate the wind velocity between them. Furthermore, the difference in the vertical shape of the towers should help reduce the pressure differences between the bridges, which, when combined with
an increased wind speed at the higher levels, should provide an equal velocity amongst the turbines. All this will provide for an even greater efficiency in the powering of the generators.When I heard about this project, I honestly thought that this feature would eventually be dropped. We've all seen it happen, a cool looking tower ends up changing dramatically due to cost-cutting, changes in the marketplace conditions, or a change in scope or brief.But, luckily, it turns out that I was wrong. The Bahrain World Trade Center has just recently completed the installation of the three wind turbines, officially making it the first building in the world to incorporate this sort of technology at this scale. The turbines will be tested throughout the rest of 2007 and if all goes well, they ought to start normal operation next year.

World's greenest skyscraper

ZEBs use solar, wind, and geothermal systems to produce at least as much energy as they tap from the grid. In some cases, a building's owner can sell the excess electricity generated by the structure back to its utility, reducing overall demand for power generated by coal and other greenhouse-gas-emitting plants.

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Green Role Model: Boston's Macallen Building

This condominium complex puts a new slant on urban development.

Green construction is not just in the purview of new homes and trendy skyscrapers. Smart design of average condominiums, offices and other common buildings can significantly lessen their urban footprint, too.

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ACROS Fukuoka (Asian Crossroads over the Sea)

You must have heard about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and if you haven’t then I suggest a little peak in to the ancient wonders of the world. While building a structure like that might have been an extraordinary architectural achievement in those times, it probably is a lot les difficult today. With the world’s leading architects planning the future agriculture on spectaculargreen skyscrapers, hanging fields might soon be a common sight (Although not that soon). Here is another example of making sure that green goodness spreads and how it can spread not just horizontally but also vertically!
This amazing building in Fukuoka City, Japan. It got our attention because it preserves the green space as much as possible, thanks to its stunning design. On one side it has glass walls and looks just like a conventional office building that looks onto the most important financial street of Fukuoka, while the other side is an enormous green roof (a garden roof) with some 35,000 plants that step down floor-by-floor, in a stratification of low, landscaped terraces into a park. Reaching up to 60 meters above the ground, the green roof is responsible to keeping the whole building at lower and constant temperature levels, which will obviously lead to less power consumption. Argentinean architects Emilio Ambasz & Associates are those with the vision, the looks and actually the
whole idea. The structure offers a great place to relax and gives you an unparallel view of the bay area. I think I remember how even New York now has one similar structure and that is not a bad idea for other major cities to take up!


What do you do when your 40 old building tower is in need of a facelift? This was the dilemma that the owners of the CIS tower in Manchester faced after the original facade of the building became in serious need of repair. Their solution? To cover it in solar panels to provide electrical power to the building.

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Green roof of Noshina Hotel on
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The Hunderwasser building The Waldspirale (or “forest spiral”) features over 100 apartments and wraps around a shared landscaped courtyard space with an actual flowing stream.
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