As people become more eco-conscious, the world of architecture is using more green building techniques to craft structures that are both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly. Throughout 2015 architects created some breathtaking structures while keeping nature in mind. Here’s a look back at some of the year’s most impressive projects.
The Bullitt Center, Seattle, Washington
According to the American Institute of Architects, the Bullitt Center isn’t your typical city office building. This structure, which was built by The Miller Huller Partnership, is the world’s largest certified “Living Building.” This means that the office space has undergone a thorough inspection and has been deemed sustainable in multiple categories by the International Living Future Institute. The building features floor-to-ceiling windows and timber framing which are both environmentally-friendly and stunning. Builders kept performance metrics in mind when crafting every inch of the structure which resulted in an unparalleled Energy Use Intensity score of 10kbtu/sf/yr.
Tassafaronga Village, Oakland, California
This green structure was built on a plot of land that was once home to a forgotten factory and a public housing building in poor condition. After some hard work and creative thinking from David Baker Architects, however, it’s now an affordable housing complex that meets today’s highest LEED standards. Fast Company explained that development features solar-powered energy fixtures, pedestrian walkways and bioswales that clean and recycle storm water. Tassafaronga will likely be touted as an example of affordable, sustainable housing, since it’s both environmentally friendly and houses residents who make an average of $15,000 per year.
University Center at The New School, New York City
A shining example of how colleges and universities can hop on the green building bandwagon, The New School’s University Center includes both classrooms and dorms and maintains a LEED Gold standard of sustainability. The American Institute of Architects explained that this structure has a green roof, which stands at 13,500 square feet and has the ability to store up to 40 percent of the year’s rainfall. The building also has a thermal energy storage system that makes and keeps ice at night, which significantly cuts down on daytime power usage. A back water treatment operation and low-flow plumbing reduced the structure’s water consumption by over 75 percent.