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S2: The Top Ten Green Skyscrapers (EcoGeek)

Greenscrapers

Every Sunday, Jetson Green features a different green skyscraper, and flat out, I’m amazed at the innovation architects and engineers are putting into these towering eco-phallics.  So, in the spirit of looking at what we can do with modern technology, I thought it would be fun to highlight an article called "Uber-Eco-Towers: The Top Ten Green Skyscrapers," by Jon Schroeder for EcoGeek.  Building on the hype from the recent sustainable skyscraper design conference (link), Jon has a list of what he’s determined to be the top ten green towers.  Here they are from top to bottom:

  1. The Bahrain World Trade Center Towers
  2. The Pearl River Tower
  3. Bank of America Tower – One Bryant Park
  4. The Lighthouse Tower
  5. The CIS Tower
  6. The Hearst Tower
  7. The Burj al-Taqa – Energy Tower
  8. Waugh Thistleton Residential Tower
  9. 340 on the Park
  10. The Urban Cactus

Looks like 7 of the 10 that made Jon’s cut have been featured previously on Jetson Green.  I’ll make sure to write an article on the other 3 buildings detailing their accomplishments.  Nice list EcoGeek…

::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::

S2: Hypergreen by Jacques Ferrier (+ Podcast)

Skyline

Grid_skin

Recently, Paris-based architect Jacques Ferrier unleashed his "Hypergreen" mixed-use skyscraper concept, which was submitted for a project competition in Paris.  Hypergreen incorporates a curving lattice facade made of ultra-high-performance concrete that acts as the building’s primary structural system.  It has the look of steel, almost resembling some of Foster’s designs such as Hearst Tower or 30 St Mary Axe.  Measuring 246 meters in height, Hypergreen has the following green features:  geothermal heat pumps, photovoltaic panels, integrated wind turbines, earth cooling tubes, vegetated sky lobbies, a roof garden, rainwater recovery system, and flexible and adaptable floor plates.  The exoskeleton reduces the number of columns that make for odd floor plates. 

Good Links:
++Jacques Ferrier Architecture [Official Website]
++Green Skyscraper Will Have ‘Steel-like’ Concrete Skin [BD+C - PODCAST]

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S2: Zero Emissions, Zero Energy Office Tower – Burj al-Taqa

Burj al-Taqa Energy Tower I’m a little late getting to this because I’ve reserved it for the Skyscraper Sunday column, but news of this building pretty much swamped the blogosphere a couple weeks ago.  This is the Burj al-Taqa, or Energy Tower, a project conceived by a handful of architects and Eckhard Gerber.  If Gerber’s computer models prove correct, this tower will be completely energy independent, producing all its own energy via sunlight, wind, and water.  Also, coming in with a price tag of $406 million for the giant 68-story eco-tower, the Burj al-Taqa will occupy #22 on the list of world’s tallest buildings. 

This office tower is not short on innovation, so here are a few of the concepts Gerber has planned:  the cylindrical shape is designed to expose as little surface area to the sun as possible, thereby reducing heat gain; a solar shield reaches from ground to the roof, protecting the building from the sun’s glaring rays; the tower’s facade is built from a new generation of vacuum glazing, to be mass-marketed in 2008, that will transmit two-thirds less heat than current generation products; negative pressure created by winds breaking along the tower will suck spent air from rooms out of the building through air slits in the facade; sea water will be used to pre-cool air; to generate electricity, the tower will have a 197-foot wind turbine and two photovoltaic arrays totally 15,000 square meters; and additional electricity will be generated by an island of solar panels (literally floating in the sea within viewing distance of the building) totally 17,000 square meters.  Any excess electricity will be used to generate hydrogen (from the seawater via electrolysis), which be stored in special tanks.  Night power will then be supplied by fuel cell technology.  Also, Gerber plans to use mirrors to create a cone of light that will send natural light through the center of the building.  Pretty impressive concepts all around.  Via.

Good Links:
+New Tower Creates All Its Own Energy [Spiegel]
+Skyscraper Creates All Its Own Energy [Metaefficient]
+Dubai Burj al-Taqa Skyscraper to Generate All Its Own Energy [Engadget]
+The Burj al-Taqa ['Energy Tower'] [architecture.mnp]

::"S2" is short for "Skyscraper Sunday," a weekly article on green skyscrapers posted every Sunday::

Rowhaus Condominiums, Modern + Green Living by Blue Conservancy

Rowhaus

I’m in the middle of trying to find a nice little home in Salt Lake City and don’t think I’ve ever seen the words ‘bungalow’ or ‘rambler’ so much in my life.  Many (not all) of the places here are run down, beat up, smelly, oozing with latent mold and lead issues, and very expensive.  There’s not much in the way of modern or contemporary offerings either, but there’s a small community of developers starting to turn that around.  For example, if we were in the position to buy, we’d go after this place being developed by Blue Conservancy called Rowhaus

Located at 1130 South West Temple, Rowhaus is a community of 24, 3-story, townhouse-style condominiums.  With prices starting at $299,000, Rowhaus is one of the nascent green offerings in the urban housing market here in Salt Lake City.  Some of the green features include the following: quiet, insulated concrete partition walls; large, thermally broken operable windows in all rooms; Energy Star appliances; and two minute walk to rail transportation.  Each unit is about 2,000 sf, with separate 2-car garages and a private yard.  Also, from what I understand, Blue Conservancy is a Salt Lake City Green certified business.  Nice. 

Atkins' Al Sharq Office Complex in Kuwait City (S2)

Al Sharq Tower Recently, an Atkins office complex concept received big-time coverage by being awarded the 2007 MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Award in the Office category.  I’m blogging about it because I like some of the sustainable elements.  The 180 meter Al Sharq tower includes an executive gym, health club, spa, and swimming pool at the top.  The building also features planted sky gardens in strategic locations where people can step outside, take a break, soak in the view, and think.  Commenting on the building’s unique green attributes, Nicholas Bailey of Atkins in Bahrain said:

This is a green building – literally – because of its foliage camouflage.  Vertical fins to the street elevation, formed in colored glass, are fitted with integrated solar panels that contribute to the building’s energy needs.  The project showcases a new way of building the working environment.  It is no longer a cage to confine workers, but a creative living environment to encourage productivity.  The groundbreaking concept of the project is the provision of different scenarios where business can take place.  More images below. 

Good Links:
+Atkins Office Concept Wins International Award [atkins global]
+Kuwait Office Development Short listed for MIPIM Award [WAN]

Read more »

Green Corporate America, British Eco-Towns, Wal-Mart's Solar Play, + A Green Gas Station (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. McGraw-Hill Construction released the Greening of Corporate America SmartMarket report detailing corporate America’s opinions on green building and sustainability. 
  2. Future British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has announced a plan to build 5 affordable "eco-towns," which will include wind and photovoltaic energy sources. 
  3. Wal-mart announced a major initiative to outfit 22 stores with solar power, an amount that could be up to 20 million kWh per year. 
  4. A $3 million BP gas station in South Baltimore becomes latest green building with an amazing living roof, among other things. 


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