Home Uncategorized 8 Amazingly Sustainable Structures

8 Amazingly Sustainable Structures

by Lola

Sustainable structures are the future, there are no two ways about it, we already have a blueprint, so how can we learn from these for future projects?

So, architecture has been around since people have needed shelter, in one shape or form, some of it dynamic, and some are subjectively out of fashion. Whatever your thoughts, architecture and buildings are vital, and more and more structures are being looked at through green-tinted glass. This really should be celebrated.

So, as you can probably guess green architecture, is about building sustainable structures. But that’s easy to say but let’s get an exact definition to see how green these buildings are really meant to be.

But what exactly is sustainable architecture?

philosophy of architecture that advocates sustainable energy sources, the conservation of energy, the reuse and safety of building materials”


So, let’s take a look at some architecture that moves the needle in innovation.

shanghai, skyscrapers, china-3675762.jpg


1.  Shanghai tower- China. Asia’s awesome answer to sustainability. 

So not only is it one of the world’s tallest buildings, but it’s also one of the most sustainable. But why? I hear you say. With wind turbines located at the top of the building to power the lighting on the structure and on the ground, intelligent controls keep an eye on energy usage throughout the building.

This is an awe-inspiring feat of engineering. It is predicted that these measures save almost 35,000 tons of carbon each year. So, what do you think, does this qualify as a sustainable structure? Or could they do better?

2.  The Pixel building- Melbourne Australia- Small but a game-changer. 

Next up we are, going down under with a building that got it right before sustainability was as admired as it is now. Opened in 2010, the Pixel building generates its own power and water supply within the structure.

The shape of the building is designed to maximise rainwater collection, and aid wind production for the buildings vertically mounted wind turbines. This is a pretty impressive feat. Do you think more governments should mandate building practices like these?

3.  Oasia hotel- SingaporeUrban gardeners delight. 

Let’s jump over to Singapore. Singapore more and more seems to be a hub for green technology, renewables and innovative green practices. With this hotel, it’s pretty easy to see how it’s renewable with over 33 species of plants all over the building and just over 20 species of creeper plants. 

To keep all these plants watered, an intelligent irrigation system that reduces water usage as much as possible is in use. The building has been designed to keep shade on occupied areas, and in doing so, minimise ventilation usage.

The building ventilation system constantly monitors usage and uses chilled water to cool the main places of the building interior. Interesting system in use, but does it need to be self-sufficient with its power usage?

4. The Apple Headquarters- United States. Beautiful and green.

Apple being the company that revolutionised phone technology, as you can imagine, their building probably won’t look like a standard rectangular block—based in Cupertino in the United States. The building is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy from a multitude of sources. Including solar panels all over the structure and Biogas. All of the energy is stored using batteries. Best of all, during low periods, they can even sell electricity back to the grid. 

Also, Apple further shows its green credentials by incorporating solar and other sustainable sources to power Apple buildings in Singapore, Japan, and China. Interestingly, since 2018 Apple’s store’s, offices and data centres have all run on renewable energy.

Apple seems to see Solar power as the future of electricity production. Do you agree? Do you see Apple as a key player in sustainability in every area? Is Apple the leader in sustainable structures as well as sustainable products?

5.  Asia Square- Singapore: Singapore really is leading the way. 

We are back in Singapore for the next one. Asia Square is an interestingly designed piece of architecture, the building includes office buildings and the Westin hotel.

Ok, that’s great, but let talk sustainability. Well, firstly, the building uses the kinetic energy from the lifts to help power the building, which seems like it should be used in every construction. Again, its design is to reduce direct sunlight and reduce the warming up of the structure.

Next up, it has 270,000 watts kilowatt-hours of solar on the roof to power the building. Solar is used to power energy heavy ventilation systems. Condensation within the building will be reused for internal water vegetation. To aid hygiene, the building uses UV emitters to sanitise and reduce airborne microorganisms. 

Overall, a considerable achievement in sustainability, and the building shows what can be achieved using low tech and high technology.

The sustainable structure will change over the next decade quicker than ever before thanks to climate change and the potential energy savings that come with it. What would you add to the list?

Enjoying reading about these amazingly innovative buildings, but would you like to learn more about sustainability within your own household click here? If you are more of a DIYer check out our how-to guide on kombucha


6. SVART hotel-Norway – Developers really need to take inspiration from this.

Scandinavians are famous for being big supporters of green architecture, so it was only right we mentioned their efforts, what will be the first-ever energy-positive hotel. The hotel will be based in Norway, which could be the start of what a sustainable future looks like.

Overall, the hotel, when compared with a conventual new hotel, uses 85 per cent less energy. So how is it powered, well surprisingly, solar panels and, less surprisingly, architects expect hydropower will be used.

The design is based on glaciers, Norwegian styled fishing apparatus and Scandinavian house design. So, what do you think, is this the future of architecture and green buildings?

7.  Transbay Tower- San Francisco-USA

The Co2 absorbing building:

India has a vast population and vast amounts of resources, but how are they working towards 100 per cent sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint. Well, a small taste of India’s progress could come in the form of the future sustainable city of Amaravati. The city is being proposed by a design company and would include 60 per cent of land area being green vegetation.

All transport from public transport to personal vehicles will be electric, and the city will even provide water taxis. The city will use roof solar to power induvial buildings. An irrigation system will be used to aid the use of recycled water. The project, which is projected to cost around six and a half-billion dollars, will even include shaded streets to encourage walking.

The goal is to house 3.5 million residents from various income levels over the next 35 years. This sounds like an exciting project; when will every city be like this?     

So what is the most on of the most sustainable buildings on the list?

8.  The Edge in Amsterdam: The Worlds Greens building?

So, we have saved arguably the best for last. Claimed to be the greenest building on planet earth and not only that but also the smartest. So clever, you say, but how so? Well, the structure can identify your car and designate you with a parking space. Ok, tell me more? Also, the building will help you find a desk within the building using an App.

Amazingly, the structure has every type of work desk you can think of. Ok, that cool, is that it? Well, no, If you move to another part of the building will adjust the conditions around you, like light and even temperature, to replicate your last desk conditions. Wow, let’s talk green. Well, the building won an official energy award with a score of almost 98 per cent. Which is the highest sustainability grade given to any building. 

How does it work?

The building uses Solar panels to produce more energy than the building actually needs. The building is constantly monitoring conditions and has 28,000 sensors.

Electric devices within the building all have the lowest energy requirement available. Being a workspace, it has an open plan interior which is seen as unconventional for such a large building, with around 1,000 desks.

Using intelligent technology, energy from when machines are being used or not in use are monitored, and sections of the building can even be shut down to save energy. One last thing, the building uses heat during the summer months to warm the building in winter, by harnessing the suns rays and pushing the heat underground, to be used when things get cold. So what do you think, are you impressed?

Enjoyed reading about an amazing architect that is not just all show, would you like to learn more about sustainability or entrepreneurship or maybe both? Why not check out our LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram for more information

You may also like