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Zero-carbon practices | those classic green building cases

With the global warming, it is more and more recognized that the carbon dioxide produced by the energy used in buildings is the main source of climate warming. Energy-saving building has become the inevitable trend of building development, and green building has emerged as the times require. Let's take a look at some of the classic zero-carbon buildings!


Siemens Crystal Building, London, UK

At the Royal Victoria Docks in London's Newham District, one of the world's most unique buildings has emerged, with Siemens incorporating its urban and infrastructural wisdom in the shape of a“Crystal.” The many facets of the city of the future will shine through here. It is a convention centre, an exhibition hall and a window for the public to showcase advanced ideas for the future of the city and its infrastructure.

In addition to its stunning structural design, the crystal is one of the most eco-friendly buildings ever built. The crystal itself is a model for future cities-it covers more than 6,300 square metres and is a model of energy efficiency. Compared with similar office buildings, it can save 50% of electricity, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 65% , heating and cooling demand all from renewable energy.

The building uses natural light, which is fully utilized during the day. The roof of the building acts as a collector for rainwater, which is treated with sewage and then recycled, purified and converted into drinking water.


Melbourne, Australia

Dockwise Pixel building

Dockwise Pixel is the first carbon-neutral office building in Australia, located in a key part of Melbourne and meeting 105 environmental requirements.

The building is self-sufficient in water supply, and its colorful exterior is impressive. It is a fixed sunshade system with double-glazing windows at the back. The building is equipped with solar panels, which are harmoniously combined on the exterior to give the building a sense of vitality and uniqueness.

The building was constructed for the first time to achieve a perfect green star rating, while achieving the 102 requirements of the US LEED standard, which is by far the highest global LEED score.


World Trade Center, Manama, Bahrain

Bahrain, an island country near the west coast of the Persian Gulf, has a tropical desert climate. The World Trade Center in Bahrain, which cost Ba $35 million (more than US $90 million) , is the world's first skyscraper to harness wind power as a source of electricity.

The tower is a combination of two traditional Arabic “Wind towers”, with a wide top and a wide bottom, like a pair of wings on a sea sail, which unfurls against the wind. The tower is strong and powerful, and stands proudly in the Azure Persian Gulf.

The Bahrain World Trade Center is a 240m-high structure of twin towers. The main plane is oval, with three 29-meter-diameter wind turbines horizontally supported between the two buildings. The sail-like building forms the sea breeze convection before the two buildings and speeds up the wind speed. Wind turbines are expected to support between 11% and 15% of the building's electricity needs.

Walking along the central business district in the kingdom's capital, Manama, one only has to look up to see three horizontal-axis wind turbines soaring between the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

The three wind turbines, which cost 1 million Barre to install, provide about 1,300 megawatt-hours (1.3 million kilowatt-hours) of electricity a year, equivalent to 2 million tons of coal or 6 million barrels of oil, for 300 ordinary families for one year.

The wind turbines rotate day and night without causing any environmental pollution, it's a reminder to all the oil-hungry consumers in the Middle East that there are greener, more sustainable ways of getting energy on the planet that need to be developed.

With the global non-renewable resources continue to consume, the energy crisis suddenly sounded the alarm of human survival, the World Trade Center in Bahrain has undoubtedly played a good role model. The success of the World Trade Center in Bahrain, a wind-powered skyscraper, is a powerful confidence booster, helping to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and protect the planet on which humanity depends.


Seattle Bullitt Center, USA

According to Randy Woods, a seattle-based media Randy Woods, the Bullitt Center uses a number of cutting-edge sustainable technologies, such as an underground water storage system that collects and filters household wastewater, green roofs filter rainwater.

It also has toilets that decompose waste through aerobic devices, rooftop solar arrays that provide a year's worth of electricity for the entire building, and large windows that provide plenty of natural lighting and ventilation.

In addition, the concrete floor of the Bullitt Center is equipped with a solar-powered hot water circulation radiant heating system, and a series of 400-foot-deep heat exchange wells are built underground to help regulate office temperatures.

Sensors are built into the Bullitt building to detect light intensity, carbon dioxide concentration, indoor and outdoor temperatures and weather conditions.

Greenery and highly permeable pavement on the street outside the building will allow water to permeate the land, reducing the flow of water into the Puget Sound and Lake Washington.

To encourage people to walk around the building and use public transportation, the Bullitt Center has spacious, comfortable staircases and no garage.


Eco-housing in Toyooka, Japan

The eco-house is located in Toyooka, Japan -- the core city north of Hyogo Prefecture. The natural landscape of Toyooka is rich and distinctive, especially around the round mountains and rivers.

In such a context, the house has become a local eco-friendly housing model. It is one of 20 eco-housing projects of the Japanese Ministry of Environment.

Toyooka is cold and snowy in winter, hot in summer and humid all year round. Thus, there is a traditional house, with a large cavity inside, called Taka. In such a space, hot air and moisture can be diffused through the skylight, making it seem like a air conditioning.

The exterior walls are stucco-coated with strong fire resistance. The interior walls capture moisture and heat, draw heat from the Sun in the winter, and cool the interior in the summer with cool outdoor air at night.

The house has introduced a solar power generation system that directly utilizes the sun's heat. The circulation fan controls the flow of hot air, making the indoor environment more comfortable. As a heating system, small ball furnace is introduced into residential buildings, it uses biomass energy for heating, and does not emit carbon dioxide.

A ground heating system is installed in the void space. These systems create a comfortable indoor environment with their high operational efficiency. The house also features a rainwater collection and reuse system and LED lights.


Center for Sustainable Landscapes, Phipps, Pittsburgh, USA

The William Phips Center for Sustainable Landscapes in Pittsburgh has received LEED Platinum certification. The building systematically showcases superb techniques in landscape design, water and energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and the protection and use of materials.

The US Green Building Council gave the project a score of 63 out of a possible 69, and so far only one other building project has achieved such a high score.

The William Phips Centre for sustainable landscape was rebuilt in a brownfield area of the city, where all waste and stormwater can be effectively disposed of within the site itself through green infrastructure. The design uses 150 native species of vegetation to achieve zero energy and water consumption.

In the design and construction process, how to achieve 100% renewable energy use is the most difficult problem. When designing the appearance and structure of the center, the designers decided to use natural light as much as possible to reduce electricity consumption, and through carefully designed geothermal system (temperature control at about 10 degrees Celsius) to regulate the winter and summer indoor temperature, to minimize the winter heating and summer cooling caused by energy consumption. As an adjunct, designers are also using wind power to make better use of renewable energy.

In order to meet the water demand of the centre, the designer has designed a water treatment system using the lake and wetland in the botanical garden. In addition to meeting the irrigation needs of the entire botanical garden, the rainwater collected has been stored and purified, then it is diverted to the center to supply different needs.

The centre uses a natural ventilation system. The optimal position of doors and windows is determined by the results of fluid mechanics studies. The opening of doors and windows is automatically controlled by the indoor carbon dioxide sensors according to the actual situation.


Poland's rain-collecting skyscrapers

The average urban population in the United States uses five times as much water as people in the developing world, an increase that has implications for improving living standards, while Danes collect rainwater for washing clothes and watering plants.

In the past 10 years, their average water consumption has dropped by 40% , so much so that they are called eco-villages. The project, called“Rainwater harvesting”, was designed by Polish architecture students Ryszard Rychlicki and Agnieszka Nowak.

The roof and shell of the“Rainwater harvesting” skyscraper are equipped with systematic drainage facilities, the aim is to“Capture” as much rain as possible to meet the building's daily water needs, which average about 150 litres per person per day, with 85 litres likely to be replaced by rain.

With this in mind, they decided to design a building that would collect and process as much rainwater as possible, and supply the collected water to the building's users. For thousands of years, plants have been masters of rainwater harvesting and treatment systems that help them solve their own water shortages and residual problems.

Similarly, Rychlicki and Nowak tried to refer to the structural principles of plants for rainwater collection and treatment.

From the beginning of the design, the building has been concerned with the shape and shape of the top in order to collect enough rainwater first. In the center of the building is a huge funnel-shaped reservoir and reed treatment area, where the collected water is treated into usable water, which is then transported to various areas through a network of transmission water. The building collects rainwater from the outside surface through a drainage system that runs down the sides of the building. This rainwater is transported to pipes under the floor and stored. The building's treated rainwater can be used in bathrooms, washing machines, watering plants, cleaning floors and other household equipment.


Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Yishun, Singapore

In Singapore, the promotion of“Green buildings” is so important that by 2030, the inter-ministerial Council for Sustainable Development has set a target for the built environment industry of at least 80 per cent of all buildings to be green.

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Yishun, the newest public hospital in Singapore, was designed by British architects RMJM and is completely green and energy efficient. It has achieved zero energy in photovoltaic systems, heating and ventilation systems, daily lighting systems and other aspects, and expanded the area covered by green plants to achieve 70% of the natural air circulation, buildings are 50% more energy efficient than the average hospital.

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital makes the most of every space to create a green medical environment. Every floor is covered with green, which makes people relax and cheer up. In particular, the terraced gardens on the roof terraces of the self-financed ward buildings and the public-funded ward buildings, where patients and visitors can roam, will find pleasant private meditation spaces. Another unique function of these gardens is to provide circulating cold air for the operating room or a source of fresh air for the lower levels, thus creating a lush and cool environment.

The landscape walls of the building's exterior façade are covered with aerial plants that use a dropper filtration system to form a private screen for the outdoor bathroom. The outdoor shallow water plants provide the main water circulation filtration system for the Ecological Pond.


Taiwan Public Library of China

Taipei Public Library North Branch is an environmental building. Building materials or steel, or wood, reducing the use of concrete, is to reduce the environmental damage and burden.

The design of the whole museum uses buoyancy ventilation generated by high and low windows with high mezzanine layers, together with a gas exchange, to reduce the indoor temperature by about 4 ° C. by doing so, not only can we save on electricity bills, but also can bring in fresh air from the outdoors, reduce drowsiness.

In addition, the lightweight eco-roof with solar photovoltaic panels can generate 16 kilowatts of electricity, which is equivalent to supplying 20% of the museum's electricity at noon in the summer. The design of sloped roofs and grassy slopes can conserve water and reduce direct exposure to the sun, while rainwater collected from sloped roofs can be used for irrigation and clean water, thereby achieving water reuse.

The walls of the middle staircase on the first and second floors are made of waste materials from the Yingge ceramic factory. After cutting, they are cleverly made into layered ceramic facades. In the afternoon, when the sunlight comes in, there are even layers of colored brilliance, it is also an example of reuse of environmental building materials.

Finally, the library also captures rainfall to save water, and the roof is designed to capture rainwater and store it for use in the library's toilets.

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