Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) building
UBC, Vancouver, BC, Canada
(Lighting, Heating/Cooling, Energy Generation/Harvesting, Energy Conservation, Water Saving Measures, Storm/Rainwater Management, Waste Management)
The CIRS building has been called “North America’s most sustainable, innovative, and high performance building.” The structure encompasses several unique green building strategies including: wood that was sourced from trees that were killed by pine beetles to reduce the impact of logging, wood components that store more Carbon than what was generated in the construction and maintenance of the building, a rainwater collection system that captures all of the water for the building, on-site sewage treatment, solar energy, natural lighting, natural ventilation, and an advanced heating system that uses waste heat from the EOSC building to heat up and maintain thermal comfort in the CIRS building while also returning some of the waste heat to warm up the EOSC building, mitigating the need for the EOSC building to use an energy-intensive HVAC system.
Santa Clara, California, United States
(Lighting, Energy Generation/Harvesting)
Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, became LEED Gold for New Construction in 2014 and is one of the largest buildings registered with the United States Green Building Council. Green building features of the state of the art structure include a green roof, highly reflective paving and roofing materials, solar photovoltaic system, access to public transportation, lighting control systems, thermal control systems, HVAC monitoring systems, low flow fixtures, and recycled water for toilets, urinals, and irrigation. Furthermore, the facility diverted a large majority of the construction waste that was generated and eliminated CFC refrigerants from the site.
Empire State Building
New York City, NY, USA
(Lighting, Heating/Cooling, Energy Conservation)
Opening in 1931, the Empire State Building was the world’s tallest building for nearly four decades. Long after gaining it’s notorious fame, the Empire State Building attained LEED Gold status in 2011 in part thanks to a commitment to reduce building-wide energy use by 40%. To accomplish this goal, retrofits that improved the sustainability of the building were performed. Double pane windows were replaced with film-coated double windows that let visible light through while blocking heat from entering. Additionally, light sensors automatically adjust the lights in the building according to how much light the building is receiving from the sun.
Cupertino, Bay Area, USA
(Heating/Cooling, Energy Generation/Harvesting, Gardening/Landscaping)
Apple Park, the newly revealed Apple campus, attained LEED Platinum certification in 2017. The facility is “one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world” with plans to power the entire complex with renewable energy. Some green building features of Apple Park include: a solar photovoltaic system that provides 75% of the energy of the complex during peak hours, passive heating, natural ventilation, landscaping that mimics the biodiverse ecosystems around California including grasslands using native, drought-resistant plants and 309 indigenous tree species that cover 80% of the land area of the facility, mostly permeable surfaces to allow water to percolate into the ground, an herb garden, and fruit trees that provide locally-sourced food.
University of California – Santa Barbara, Goleta, California, USA
(Lighting, Heating/Cooling, Energy Generation/Harvesting, Energy Conservation, Water Saving Measures, Waste Management, Gardening/Landscaping)
Bren Hall, a laboratory building at the University of California at Santa Barbara, has attained its 3rd LEED Platinum status since it’s inception in 2002, earning it’s nickname as the “greenest laboratory facility in the United States.” The building has received LEED Platinum standing at different points in it’s life cycle according to two LEED rating systems: New Construction and Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (twice). In the process, becoming the first building in the US to receive multiple LEED Platinum certifications. Some green building features that are used in Bren Hall include: natural lighting, energy efficient lighting fixtures, water efficient low flow sinks and toilets, waterless urinals, water efficient drip irrigation system, energy harvesting rooftop solar photovoltaic system, waste management system to divert items from going to the landfill, Energy Star rated appliances, and sustainable materials like recycled insulation, carpet, counters, and furniture. Bren Hall encourages building users to use alternative transportation besides single person vehicles by setting up a carpool service, offering discounted parking for certain “green vehicles,” and by providing bike racks to safely store the bicycles of students, staff, and visitors. Bren Hall’s aesthetic appearance is enhanced by giving building users direct lines of site of the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Barbara Channel, and plants that are native to the area which can be viewed from nearly every window in the building, improving building user experience.
Biosciences Research Building
Research building in Ireland that makes efficient use of its emissions. The labs, which are conducting experiments and running a lot of equipment, are located in the centre of the building. The heat emissions from the equipment in the labs are then used to heat the rest of the building, allowing the building to not have to use additional heating.
Centre for Sustainable Landscapes
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Often referred to as one of the greenest buildings in the world, the Centre for Sustainable Landscapes runs on its own renewable energy. In 2015, it produced more wind and solar power than it used. It is also net-zero water, as the building uses only captured rainwater, and all wastewater produced in the building is filtered with plants and used again in toilets. Additionally, the interior relies mostly on natural lighting. It is the first and only building to be awarded the Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum Certification, Four Stars Sustainable SITES Initiative, and WELL Building Platinum project.
Southeast False Creek Neighbourhood
Vancouver, BC, Canada
(Waste Treatment, Energy Conservation)
The Southeast False Creek Neighbourhood Energy Utility uses waste thermal energy captured from sewage to provide space heating and hot water to buildings in Southeast False Creek. This recycled energy eliminates more than 60% of the greenhouse gas pollution associated with heating buildings.