Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A few of the Greenest Buildings of 2011...

Swarovski Headquarters - Lake Zurich, Switzerland
Located on the eastern shore of the Lake Zurich in Switzerland, the transparent building houses some 500 staff of crystal manufacturer Swarovski. The low-energy, horseshoe-shaped structure uses water from the nearby lake for heating and cooling.

Casa Locarno - Locarno, Switzerland
Overlooking Lago Maggiore in Switzerland, Casa Locarno was designed by Designyougo and insulated to low energy standards. Instead of using conventional heating, solar collectors on the roof provide energy for the low temperature under-floor heating, as well as for hot water during most months of the year.

Velodrome - London, United Kingdom
Sitting at the north of London's Olympic Park, the Velodrome will open its doors this summer to welcome thousands of track cycling fans during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Designed by Hopkins Architects and built to be lightweight and efficient to reflect the design of a bicycle, it is is one of the most sustainable Olympic Park venues. Strategically positioned roof lights allow the use of abundant daylight, while openings in the venue's external timber cladding help to achieve natural ventilation.

House in Shimogamo - Kyoto, Japan
"To be able to see green from every room." This was the request made to designers, Edward Suzuki Associates, of this two-storied building, in the northern part of Kyoto, Japan. The modernhouse features a circular screen of frosted glass, behind of which there is a green zone that strikes a pleasant contrast to the industrialized material.

Livestrong Foundation - Austin, Texas, United States
This 1950s-era warehouse, which previously had no windows, was "adaptively reused" by Lake|Flato Architects and transformed into a LEED Gold-certified building. Nearly 90% of the materials from the demolition of the old building were recycled and used in the new structure. As part of the changes, the workers put windows in the roof that harvest Texas' ample daylight for the main workspace.

Park Hotel Hyderabad - Hyderabad, India
This five-star luxury boutique hotel in Hyderabad, India, achieved the first LEED Gold certification for a hotel in India in 2010 and was designed by SOM. The project is distinctive for its implementation of sustainable design strategies, with special focus on daylighting: Perforated and embossed metal screens over a high-performance glazing system allow ample diffused daylight to enter the interior spaces.