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Sustainable buildings in Europe will have a new height to scale with the creation of the Gazprom Tower, officially known as the Okhta Tower. The plan has recently been given the green signal to begin construction; it will be designed by UK-based architectural firm RMJM. Upon completion, this building will be the tallest in Europe and one among the world’s most energy-efficient.

St. Petersburg in Russia will be the home to Okhta Tower, which through its 77 storeys will cross 400 metres in height. This tower will primarily serve as headquarters to Gazprom’s oil unit, OAO Gazprom Neft, and will also be home to a concert hall, a museum, a hotel and a business centre. In the name of sustainability, this tower will incorporate multiple elements for energy-efficiency during construction.

Glass Skin

The building will be insulated by an exoskeleton, dubbed as a low-energy ‘fur coat’, and will consist of two layers of glazed glass ‘skin’ with an atrium between the inner and outer walls. This buffer zone will supply the building with natural ventilation, sunlight for interior lighting and at the same time will act as a thermal insulation by keeping the structure warm during fierce minus 30 degrees Russian winters. Trees and plants will be sandwiched between the double glass walls, which will be responsible for providing warmth in winter and lower temperatures in summer.

The outer wall will comprise of temperature-colour-changing glass panels. This tower will change colour up to 10 times a day depending on the position of the sun, and creating a dazzling scene of a 300m-tall twisting glass tower across 75 floors.

Inspired by the pentagonal plan of an ancient Scandinavian fort believed to have once occupied the site, the tower consists of a central concrete core ringed by five square interlocking floorplates. The floorplates spin on their axes as they ascend, giving the building its twisted effect. A ‘cog mechanism’ – whereby the five floorplates interlock – ensures the tower’s stability.

Sustainability

The pentagram design of the tower maximises access to daylight and allows for spectacular views for the offices without losing heat due to exposed surface area in comparison to other structures.

Specialized water, heating and ventilation systems have also been incorporated to reduce the energy consumption levels of the building. There will be a public viewing gallery on the 70th floor.

The office floor plans will also feature a large number of social spaces and green zones that will let the workers to access leisure areas without wasting energy by using elevators for vertical transportation.

The cost of construction is estimated at to $2.4bn. This cost will be borne jointly by Gazprom’s subsidiary Gazprom Neft ($1.4 billion) and the St Petersburg City Administration ($1 billion).


South India is now home to an iconic “zero energy and solar powered home”, a masterpiece in Green architecture that is set to start a welcome trend in controlled energy consumption in residences.

This zero energy space project was exhibited at the Indian Green Building Congress (IGBC) 2010, held at Chennai from 6th to 9th October last year. The IGBC is Asia’s largest Green building conference. The project was also showcased at the Economic Times’ ACEtech – Mumbai as well as Delhi chapters. These are Asia’s largest construction related expos.

About 60% of this home’s energy requirements are met by the conventional sources, while solar power supplies the remaining 40%. Nevertheless, there is no compromise on performance and comfort.

The chief sponsors of this Green initiative are Aluplast Windows, Breezair, Everest Industries, Nippon Paints, Supreme Pertochem and Roca.

EVEREST FIBRE CEMENT BOARDS

The drywall construction with fibre cement boards from Everest creates a strong, light weight, water resistant and energy efficient building envelope which supports a variety of finishes. 55% of the raw materials used to prepare these boards are recycled.

BREEZAIR FRESH AIR

Air conditioning is known to be the largest consumer of energy in a building. The Breezair system works through an evaporative cooling cycle and consumes 1/10th of the energy of a conventional air conditioning device, apart from providing 100% fresh air ventilation.

PHOTO-VOLTAIC BY TEAM SUSTAIN

This energy-efficient residence sports photo-voltaic solar panels on the rooftop. An inverter and a battery storage device are used for uninterrupted power-supply.

SUPREME INSUBOARD & BEARDSELL

Insulation of the walls and the roof is a vital element of the building envelope, meant to prevent the transfer of heat in both directions. This product reduces heat ingress through the walls/roof and hence cuts down on energy consumption for air conditioning. INSBOARD offers one the highest insulation values for XPS insulation.

ALUPLAST WINDOWS

High performance double glazed units and energy-saving UPVC frames are used to reduce energy consumption as well as sound transmission. This is a German product, which saves energy by reducing infiltration and the frames are provided with thermal breaks to prevent heat ingress.

ROCA BATHROOM

Water efficient fixtures for toilets and taps reduce the fresh water consumption in the building and also help score points for the LEED rating system.

SURABHI BAMBOO

Bamboo improves the sustainability of the building as it grows rapidly and can be harvested in much shorter period compared to hardwoods. With the help of the modern production techniques bamboo is transformed into an excellent materials for flooring, furniture and other interior design works.

NIPPON PAINTS

Low-Voc Paints are used on the interiors to create healthy indoor environment and keep away toxins which could be lead to respiratory problems. Solar Reflective paints are used on the exteriors, which facilitate reflection of sunlight and reduction in solar heat gain.

Source: http://www.inspiredGreen.in

Go Green

KOCHI: Incorporating energy-efficiency measures in buildings has the potential to save up to 50 per cent energy, since buildings are responsible for 40 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions.

For existing buildings, the savings potential through alterations and energy-efficient fittings is between 20 and 25 per cent. Even non air-conditioned buildings can go green, by making optimal use of wind and daylight and by adopting other environment-friendly measures. These were stated at ‘Go Green’ – a seminar-cum-exhibition on green buildings, organised here on Friday by the Rotary Club of Thripunithura and KREEPA, as part of their Akshaya Vikas Project.

Making a presentation, Siva Kishan, chief executive officer of GRIHA – Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (which is the national rating system for green buildings), said the Energy Conservation Building Code regulates the usage of power in new buildings. “Green-rating mechanisms have been able to sensitise the construction industry to the benefits of integrated design and resource efficiency, from both the economic and environmental perspective. A rating system for India must respond to the country’s diversity and help develop sensible solutions relevant to different building projects.”

In her presentation on ‘Green buildings – the potential to earn carbon credits,’ Mayurika Chakraborthy, senior consultant with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, said that less power consumption for lighting, air-conditioning, etc., would mean lesser usage of electricity from the thermal-power dominated power grid. “This in turn means an equivalent reduction in the amount of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide that are released from fossil fuels. This makes a green building eligible to earn carbon credits.”

Guruprakash Sastry, manager (Green Initiatives) of Infosys, said the IT firm has been aggressively going ahead with its plan to design all its buildings as green buildings, to optimise energy performance and occupant comfort. “Sustainable buildings and saving every percentage of electricity and water make business sense and reduces expenses, especially when the annual electricity bills exceed Rs.120 crore and the water consumption is over 3 billion litres.”

Quoting Winston Churchill, Sathiaram Ram of IGBC, Hyderabad, said, “We shape our buildings. Thereafter, they shape us.” Buildings consume more energy than industry and vehicles. The green concept must become part of society’s DNA. Even a 100-sq ft building can make a difference in shaping a better world. The intangible benefits of green buildings include better working/living atmosphere, he said and cited how a 20,000 sq ft green building saved Rs.9 lakh a year.

“India also has a great opportunity to export green-building technologies. Already, India has 508 green buildings spread over 358 million square ft area,” Mr. Ram said.

SOURCE: THEHINDU

ISHRAEISHRAE, the “Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-conditioning Engineers” was founded in 1981 in New Delhi by a group of eminent HVAC&R professionals. Between 1989 & 1993, ISHRAE Chapters were formed in all major cities in India and also in the Middle East. ISHRAE has grown rapidly and now has more than 3000 HVAC&R professionals as members in 11 chapters in India and abroad. The Delhi Chapter is the first and the oldest of the constituent chapters of ISHRAE and has about 700 members.

Organizing successful international and national exhibitions is one of ISHRAE’s major activities. Its primary objective is to further the arts and sciences of heating, refrigerating and air-conditioning. ISHRAE has successfully organized more than ten exhibitions out of which four have been in New Delhi.

ISHRAE is an associate of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers). ISHRAE Foundation Trust was formed in 1995, mainly to consolidate the Society’s resources and to channel them towards projects necessary for achievement of Aims and Objectives, as listed below.

Aims and Objectives

  • Advancement in Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineering and related Sciences.
  • Education of interested persons in said sciences through lectures, demonstrations and publications.
  • Rendition of Career Guidance and Financial Assistance to students of said Sciences.
  • Encouragement of Scientific Research.
  • To establish facilities for testing, rating, certification of air-conditioning, refrigeration, and allied equipment and systems.
  • To offer consultancy services in the areas of Education and Training in said sciences.
  • To disseminate and make available to the Government, Industry, and General Public information relating to said sciences through papers, reports and periodic publications.

Priority Areas

Training

ISHRAE has recognised that training technical personnel is the single most important need at present, to improve the quality of HVAC & R work and raise it to meet ever-increasing customer expectations. It has also been felt that the existing manpower needs continuing education to equip them with the latest technology. This has become particularly relevant in the wake of globalisation of the Indian economy. Several industry leaders have also strongly expressed the need for such training.

Testing, Rating & Certification of Equipment and Devices

The last few years have seen a surge in manufacturing of both – major equipment as well as ancillaries and devices in the HVAC&R Industry. This has given rise to a need for a facility which will undertake testing, and will develop ratings which will help the industry establish reliable ratings and encourage development work.

Advisory Council

In addition to the Board of Trustees, an Advisory Council consisting of eminent persons in the fields of Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration and Allied fields, are to be formed to deliberate on the activities of the foundation.

Sustainable Development

ISHRAEACREX INDIA 2010, which is Asia’s largest International Exhibition and Conference catering to Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, Ventilation & Building Services Industry is organised by ISHRAE, endorsed by ASHRAE and supported by the Indian Green Building Council, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, and the Refrigeration & Air-conditioning Manufacturers Association amongst others.

ACREX INDIA 2010 was held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre from 17th – 20th February and brought together leading companies and technologies that focussed on energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and innovation in and products and services that are green and sustainable.

Highlights of the Exhibition:

  • Exhibitors showcased products that conform to the Energy Conservation Building Code, 2007 of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency
  • Solar Energy for Air-conditioning was featured by Mamata Energy of Ahmedabad
  • The Indian Green Building Council (CII organization) and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (Govt. of India) were both supporting agencies that influence the development of the Industry and its products.
  • ASHRAE (The American Society, with 55 000  members) endorsed ACREX for the 1st time with an active contribution to Workshops, Seminars and overall Promotion
  • With substantial overseas participation, ACREX demonstrated India as a prime market for efficient products
  • The event was produced professionally by UBM, a leading International Media and Exhibition Company

Workshop for BEE Energy Star

A Half day workshop on “Workshop for BEE Energy Star Labelling and Energy Efficiency Improvement in Buildings‟ has been organised by ISHRAE.

BEE Star labelling program for buildings has recently been launched by Bureau of Energy Efficiency, New Delhi, for evaluating the energy performance of buildings. There was a provision of issuing “Energy star labels” to buildings as per their energy efficiency, similar to the energy star labels for home appliances (e.g. air-conditioners, tube-lights). Energy audit studies in buildings have shown large potential for energy savings both in government and commercial office buildings.

BEE

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is an agency of the Government of India, under the Ministry of Power, created on 1st March 2002 under the provisions of the nation’s 2001 Energy Conservation Act. The agency’s function is to develop programs which will increase the conservation and efficient use of energy in India. The government has proposed to make it mandatory for all appliances in India to have ratings by the BEE starting January 2010.

The prime aim of BEE is to reduce energy consumption in the country and promote energy efficiency through various strategies and policies. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency also aims at organizing the energy efficiency services available and to develop mechanisms to offer these services. There are a number of organizations that are involved in the movement of energy conservation, and providing leadership to these movements is also under the agenda of BEE.

The BEE in India also has the responsibility of monitoring the effects of energy efficiency programs in different sectors of the country. It is also involved in the process of implementing the Energy Conservation Act and to design programs according to this Act. For this purpose, BEE encourages the private sector to work jointly with the public sector. It also ensures the delivery of different programs related to energy efficiency. For implementing all these programs, the Bureau takes help from different public as well as private organizations of the country.

Objectives

  • Provides a policy framework and direction to national energy conservation activities.
  • Coordinates policies and programmes on efficient use of energy with shareholders.
  • Establishes systems and procedures to verify, measure and monitor Energy Efficiency (EE) improvements.
  • Solicits multilateral, bilateral and private sector support to implement the EC Act 2001.
  • Demonstrates EE delivery systems through public-private partnerships.

The Bureau obtains inputs and expertise from private sector, non-governmental organisations, research institutions and technical agencies, both national and international, to achieve these objectives.

Mission

The mission of Bureau of Energy Efficiency is to ‘institutionalize’ energy efficiency services, enable delivery mechanisms in the country and provide leadership to energy efficiency in all sectors of the country. The primary objective would be to reduce energy intensity in the economy.

The broad objectives of BEE are as below:

  • To exert leadership and provide policy framework and direction to national energy conservation and efficiency efforts and programs.
  • To coordinate energy efficiency and conservation policies and programs and take it to the stakeholders.
  • To establish systems and procedures to measure, monitor and verify energy efficiency results in individual sectors as well as at a macro level.
  • To leverage multi-lateral and bi-lateral and private sector support in implementation of Energy Conservation Act and efficient use of energy and its conservation programs.
  • To demonstrate delivery of energy efficiency services as mandated in the EC bill through private-public partnerships.
  • To interpret, plan and manage energy conservation programs as envisaged in the Energy Conservation Act.

BEE trust areas include:

1. Indian Industry Programme for Energy Conservation
2. Demand Site Management
3. Standards and Labelling Programme
4. Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Establishments
5. Energy Conservation Building Codes
6. Professional Certification and Accreditation
7. Manuals and Codes
8. Energy Efficiency Policy Research Programme
9. School Education
10. Delivery Mechanisms for Energy Efficiency Services

Awards by BEE

NATIONAL ENERGY CONSERVATION AWARDS are given to selected Industrial units who have made systematic and serious attempts for efficient utilization and conservation of energy. Bureau of Energy Efficiency coordinates the Energy Conservation Awards scheme of the Ministry of Power. The Awards were given away for the first time in December 14, 1991.

The BEE Star Energy Efficiency Labels have been created to standardize the energy efficiency ratings of different electrical appliances and indicate energy consumption under standard test conditions. Thus we can also conserve the cost of electricity by switching to electrical appliances with BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) label.

BEE Star Labels

These labels indicate the energy efficiency levels through the number of Stars highlighted in colour on the label. The BEE Star Labels include a Star Rating System that ranges from One Star (least energy efficient, thus least money saved) to Five Stars (most energy efficient, thus most money saved).

We can reduce your electricity bills and help India to increase the availability of electricity for more people, simply by buying Refrigerators, ACs & Tube lights that bear BEE’s Star-Rated Energy Efficiency Labels.

BEE in Automobiles

The Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) recently proposed rating automobiles in the country on the basis of their energy efficiency. The proposal suggests charging a registration fee of Rs 2,000 per vehicle to rate the fuel efficiency of its engine and another Rs 1,000 to assess its energy consumption. Vehicles with the highest efficiency will get a 5-star rating and those with the lowest a single-star rating. The BEE plans to make this procedure mandatory after a few years.

Scheme for star rating office buildings

  1. Energy audit studies in buildings have shown large potential for energy savings both in government and commercial office buildings. Study of the available data has shown that there is an urgent need for improved energy efficiency of buildings.
  2. National commercial energy benchmarking initiatives was taken up with a goal to establish a framework to standardize energy data collection, baseline setting for “typical” commercial buildings, energy performance target setting and monitoring and use the information to improve energy efficiency in buildings. This information can help the user and other stakeholders to evaluate building energy efficiency and track improvements compared to other buildings and recognize the top performers.
  3. The Star Rating Program for buildings would create a demand in the market for energy efficient buildings based on actual performance of the building in terms of specific energy use. This programme would rate office buildings on a 1-5 star scale with 5 star labelled building being the most efficient.
  4. Five categories of buildings – Office buildings, hotels, hospitals, retail malls, and IT parks in five climate zones in the country have been identified for this programme.
  5. Initially, the programme targets the following 3 climatic zones for air-conditioned and non-air conditioned office buildings.
    a)    warm and humid
    b)    composite
    c)    Hot and Dry
    It will be subsequently extended to other climatic zones.
  6. To apply for rating of office buildings, a standardized format is developed for collection of actual energy consumption; data required includes building’s built up area, conditioned and non-conditioned area, type of building in a day, climatic zone in which buildings is located, and other related information of the facility.
  7. The technical committee constituted for Energy Base lining and benchmarking of commercial buildings chaired by Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency shall be the technical committee for the scheme.

header-band2 copyGlazette.com is a smart and striking name of a newest glass portal. This budding portal efficiently presents various beneficial facts and news about glass and energy efficiency from the nook and corner of the world. This portal also brings us a great knowledge about the glass architectures, architectural glasses, green trends and so on. Unprecedentedly, Glazette not only address the existing architectures but it also offers the information about the buildings under construction and also about the buildings in blue print.

Moreover, Glazette also unveils the latest news, events, features, interior design relevant to glass. Glazette provides the data about the twinkling glass buildings, glass houses, green buildings, LEED rated buildings and the tallest skyscrapers of the world and also about the several events regarding glasses such as exhibitions and trade shows. Glazette incorporates the facility for forums.

Glazette is a greatest feast for all those who are having greatest zeal on glass. Glazette also focus on the sustainable and energy efficiency programs. Glazette describes various manufacturing process and applications for different types of glasses. It includes many articles about the solar control glass, fire resistant glass, self-cleaning glass, energy-efficient glass, high-tech switchable glass and so on. Amazingly, glazette narrates the various types of glasses like tempered glass, laminated glass, ceramic printed glass, heat strengthen glass, insulated glass and heat soaked glass.

Proudly, glazette is useful for the budding to the full-fledged professionals in architecture and interior design whilst the community of glass manufacturers, fabricators and processors by its versatility. Glazette dedicates itself as a common knowledge sharing platform for the architects, interior designers, students, builders and processors for mutual benefits.

NASANational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an agency of the United States Government is responsible for the public space programs of the nation. It is a very well known agency with most stunning and innovative projects in their hands. To set as an outstanding example for other agencies, NASA guys planned to work on a project, which will be expected to shutters the ground by its high performance. This amazing green project is none other than NASA’s most sustainable base. In order to launch this energy efficient and environmentally friendly building, they decided to use their lunar base technology.

This new building is designed in such a way that it will gain the platinum rating under the LEED new construction standard for environmentally sustainable construction. This building is budding in Ames research center in Moffett Field, California. This new building of NASA is designed by McDonough with his partners and AECOM. This project will cost about 20.6 million and its construction will be completed by 2011.

Three key goals

The three key goals of this building are to achieve the zero net energy consumption, to use 90 percent less drinking water or the water which is potable, when comparing to the usage level in other equivalent size conventional buildings and finally to reduce the maintenance of the building.

Highlight of this building is the usage of natural ventilation complemented by the geothermal systems, increases the building sustainability. Nearly 72 geothermal wells with ground-source heat pumps will be installed to promote the objectives of sustainability of the new building. This building will also provide a parking and a landscaping with California-native plants. This advantageous project will include a very sophisticated system for solar water heating, fire detection and suppression, advanced lighting, security and communications operations.

These above mentioned systems will be deliberated in a way that they can act automatically according to the changes in sunlight, temperature and wind and use resources to maximize the performance of the building. Radiant cooling, intelligent buildings systems and on-site photovoltaic energy generation will also be incorporated in this project. A site storm water management is also going to be installed in this base building. Optimization of water comes from use of natural landscape; non-potable irrigation system and on-site water treatment by an Eco machine are other added features of this building.

The interior of the building includes large column-free spans, which helps the building to adopt itself to the changing needs of the programs and a structural exo-skeleton which renders the repairs easier even after the earthquakes. The real crown of this project will be the intelligent computer-controlled system. The computer in this sustainable building along with the internet connection can forecast the weather of the local area; along with integrated occupancy sensors adjust the heating and cooling system. These computers also control the windows in order to take advantage of passive cooling.

Base building includes few new facilities such as structural steel frame, 4645 square-foot open- collaborative workspace, a glass-walled atrium and so on. It is very clear that NASA has anchored its flag on the planet earth by contributing this base building in California. This sustainable base building will be an outstanding and competitive example for the present and future green buildings.

Nowadays, not only the factories, industries start their journey towards the green future but also many educational institutions like schools and colleges started to prepare their students towards the energy efficient green buildings, green economy and green jobs. By this the colleges can create good citizens for the future with the greater knowledge about the environmentally-friendly features. Some of the colleges started to offer green building courses for the students as a part of their contribution to the eco-friendliness. Here are three colleges that include various excellent the green practices:

College of the Atlantic

college-of-the-atlanticCollege of the Atlantic (COA) at Bar Harbor, Maine, USA was inaugurated on Oct 8, 2006 by the president David Hales had taken an oath to be a Carbon NetZero college by the end of 2007, to achieve that mission, the students, faculties and the staff worked together and carried out many researches and analyses to offset the green house gas emission. As on Dec 19, 2007, COA invested in a green house gas reduction project operated by The Climate Trust of Oregon to offset the 2,488 tons of carbon output over the past 15 months.

By obtaining the electricity through a low-impact hydroelectric generator in Maine, COA reduced its annual green house gas emission and this will be further reduced by 22 percent or about 450 tons by next year. Incandescent light bulbs have been replaced by compact fluorescent where possible. This college makes use of the natural light by installing light shelves, which bounces the light from the windows to ceiling to lights the interior of the rooms. Commuting methods such as carpooling and biking promotes the employees to work from the home.

COA uses only certified woods, not from the old-growth forest and no materials that emit gas-chemicals. COA uses a renewable wood pellet boiler to heat 20 percent of the college campus. It keeps the temperature as 65 during the day time and 50 at night time. Coolant from air-conditioning in library stacks and kitchen used to preheat the hot water. All toilets, urinals, faucets and shower heads use less than three gallons of water.

Berea College

berea_kyBerea College at Berea, Kentucky, amazingly locates an Ecovillage that occupying a 5 acre eco-friendly community. The complex includes 50 apartments, a state-of-the-art Child Development Laboratory, a common house and a Sustainability and Environmental Studies (SENS) demonstration house. The Ecological machine, wetlands, permaculture food forest and individual gardens are the other community features. This energy efficient Ecovillage reduces the energy usage by 75 percent, water usage by 75 percent.

Ecovillage recycle and reuse 50 percent of the sewage and waste water. Skillfully, Ecological machines are used to convert the sewage water to swimmable quality water. This village also incorporates passive solar heating, photovoltaic panels andwind-powered. The roof top captures the rain water used for the landscape irrigation and for the production of fruits and vegetables. Berea college maintains it own farm to provide the organic produce, beef and pork.

Evergreen State College

evergreenGreen roof of the new building is a greatest highlight of Evergreen State College at Olympia, Washington. This building is being evaluated for the LEED-Gold rating under the USGBC. This tremendous green roof builds 24,000 square-feet on 13 separate green roof areas. This green roof is a live visual representation to develop the sustainability. Roughly, $18 is incorporated for a square-foot with polyisocyanurate insulation with an R-value of 21, bitumen roof system which incorporates recycled materials and stainless steel flashings.

Green Roof uses Garland’s filterdrain 110 as the drainage layer. It is a very high density polyethylene filter fabric fused to a geotextile filter fabric. A drip irrigation system will be used only during the severe drought periods. Important advantage of this green roof is it reduces the size of the storm water preservation ponds. The green roof collects, filters the rain water incident on it and allow it to flow into a 20,000 gallons reservoir tank, which is designed in such a way to release water back to the environment. The students of this college use benches and patio  areas, arranged around these green roofs as an interaction place with their staff members.

1007energystar21Drastically, many buildings with the great alertness of sustainability, energy efficiency and green building necesscity and also with a consciousness to minimize the global warming started to recognize themselves with a great list of eco-friendly features. In such a manner, PepsiCo’s Chicago downtown corporate plaza also implemented various energy efficient initiatives and upgrades for the conservation energy to a maximum extent. As a result of those implementations, it earned an Energy Star certification – a national mark of excellence in energy performance. Energy Star is an international standard for energy efficient consumer’s products and projects, created by United States Environmental Protection Agency.

PepsiCo’s Chicago Plaza was built in the year 2002. This 17-story sparkling plaza already earned a LEED certification for Existing Building Silver Certification from USGBC. This company was also awarded with the 2009 Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award by the U.S. EPA. PepsiCo Chicago Plaza had taken various of steps to minimize their energy consumption. This plaza successfully achieved its goals with the help of its employee “Green Team.”  

Especially, all conference rooms and the offices of this plaza are installed with motion sensors, which automatically turn the lights off when there are no foot prints or when they are not occupied. Old components of the HVAC systems are replaced with the energy efficient equipments. The roof top of the sustainability center is installed with solar and wind power generating equipments. These save the electrical energy to a greater extent. Also, the Green Team keeps its employees to be aware of the daily energy usage through the employee-nominated floor leaders.

Contests are being conducted for every month between all the floors of the plaza regarding the waste reduction and finally the names of the winners and losers are announced internally. A very beneficial recycling program was also started that aims to recycle all the recyclable glass, paper, plastic, cardboard, batteries, printer/fax cartridges, light bulbs and so on taken from the refuse bins of the plaza.  This effort lands in recycling and reusing Chicago Plaza’s 70 percent solid waste instead of being dispatched into the municipal landfills.

Even all the janitorial products are also replaced with the alternate products, which meets the USGBC’s sustainable green building products and materials standard. This plaza satisfies all the categories of the energy efficiency such as sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, material and resource and indoor environmental quality.

American Institute of Architect (AIA) – a professional organization for architects in United States unveiled a list of Top 10 environmental friendly green projects for 2009. After analyzing various energy efficient features of the numerous buildings, AIA generated this top 10 list for green buildings. Those remarkable green buildings are listed below:

Charles Hostler Student Center

charlesCharles Hostler student Center located on the campus of the American University of Beirut is a startling example for how a perfect campus should be. This building covers an area of about 204,000 square feet. Here the project is organized as a cluster of interior and exterior spaces rather than a single building. This allows the building forms themselves to redistribute the air, activity and shade. The east-west orientation of the building forms helps to provide shade to the exterior courtyards, which reduces the amount of the southern exposure. That orientation also directs the nighttime breezes and the daytime sea breezes for cooling the outdoor spaces.

The rooftop of this study center includes a green space, which allows a very pleasurable physical and visual integration to the upper campus. This green rooftop reduces the amount of exposures to the sun. Shading and ventilation process increases the amount of usable program areas of outdoor spaces.

Chartwell

chartwell_schoolAn outstanding and stunning Chartwell school campus occupies an area of about 21,200 square-feet. Excellent daylight inside is provided by the tall and north-facing glass windows and clerestories. This helps in achieving the net-zero electrical goal of that school. Sloping shed roofs helps in good photovoltaic orientation of the building. Radiant heat plays a very beneficial role in providing a quite and pleasant environment to the students of the school and also reduces the size of the mechanical equipments and mechanical rooms. Framing the structure at the two feet on the centre reduces the amount of materials used on the project and thus saves the overall construction cost.

Gish apartment

gish7Gish apartment is a 35-unit transit-oriented family apartment in downtown San Jose, California. This ground breaking apartment covers an area of about 75,200 square-feet. This is the first US housing apartment to receive the LEED for homes and LEED for new construction Gold certification. By choosing a site adjacent to light rail and reserving 35 percent of units for tenants with developmental disabilities, the owner earned a major parking reduction from the city. As a result, the project has a high housing density of 81 units per acre. Other energy efficient features of this apartment includes the reuse of urban brownfield site, a roof-top photovoltaic array, high performance insulation in 2×6 exterior walls, double-glazed windows, and high-efficiency heating and hot water system

Great River Energy Headquarters

greatriver_mnGreat River Energy (GRE) is Minnesota’s second largest electric wholesale supplier, generating and transmitting the electricity to 28 distribution cooperatives serving more than 620,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers. The headquarters of the GRE covers 166,000 square-feet area. It is a four-story building with concrete frames and architectural glass curtain walls. GRE wished to design its headquarters as a model of electric efficient building, which could be adopted by the electric co-op members across the state. The major goal of these members was to reduce the demand for large and coal fired generating plants. They also wanted to meet the new demands with the wind power or with other renewable resources.

This building achieved most of the features of a green building by providing abundant day light, view to the exterior, exceptional indoor air quality and a quality work environment within a reasonable budget.

Jewish Reconstructionist congregation

jewEye-catching Jewish Reconstructionist congregation (JRC) in Evanston, Illinois covers 31,600 square feet. This new synagogue for Jewish Reconstructionist congregation building earned the LEED Platinum certification. Perimeter space of this building has 9.5 ft ceilings. This enhances the day lighting and natural ventilation. The synagogue is a wooden box clad with reclaimed cypress, with spectrally selective, low emissive glazing. The reclaimed cypress is also used in the indoor of the worship spaces. At the perimeter sites of the building Gabion walls filled with waste masonry are used. Most of the floors are made up of polished concrete. Thus there is no necessity for the floor covering. Paints and finishes with low level of volatile organic compounds are used throughout the building.

Portola Valley Town Center

portola-01Portola valley town center was constructed at Portola valley in California by demolishing three town structures – a library, a community hall and a town hall. The materials of the old town center were reused as beams, paneling, countertops and structural fills. The new building is 20 percent smaller than the old. The salvaged wood is used for the exterior siding and louvers and the local eucalyptus is used for the wood flooring. The concrete mixture is 70 percent slag. Because of such energy efficient measures, the carbon emission is reduced by 32 percent.

Energy efficiency is achieved greatly by proper building orientation, day lighting, natural ventilation, sunshades and thermal mass. Small and efficient air conditioning units pre-cool make-up air and eliminating the need of full air conditioning. This building includes a photovoltaic system with 76KW, which supplies 40 percent electricity to the building. The non renewable energy cost is reduced by 51 percent and the carbon consumption is reduced by 76.2 tons per year. Strikingly, an abandoned culvert will become a cistern for storing 40,000 gallons of rain water.

Shangri La Botanical Garden & Nature Center

shangrila1Shangri La Botanical Garden & Nature Center in the heart of Orange, Texas is a project which involves in the restoration of the land, which had been closed to the public for 50 years. This building finished one edge of its complex with the cues taken from the brick, glass and steel from the green houses built in the early 1920s. The nature discovery lab and pavilion, outdoor classrooms, bird blind and boat house are designed to float above the land on helical pier foundations and for very minimal impact. Photovoltaic panels are used for the power generation for these structures. Proudly this green building earned the LEED platinum certification.

Synergy at Dockside Green

Synergy_BridgeDockside green covers wide area of about 1.3 million ft2 in the heart of Victoria, BC. This resourceful building includes many environmental friendly features like rolling canopies that are used to control glare and solar radiations. Occupants have a control over their spaces with the help of dashboards, which also controls the canopies as well as heating and ventilation. There are also green roofs which includes planting spaces for vegetables and a green way to support the social equity and local food production. These green roofs and spaces help in minimizing the heat island effect. It also takes away the great burden of the city storm water system by allowing the storm water to leak into it.

Meanwhile all the waters landed by the rain gets collected and reused for the purpose of irrigation, toilet flushing and for the greenway treatments. A wood-fire combined heat and power plant will produce the heat and hot water to the entire usage. This greatly combined along with the hydropower-based electricity, will reduce the carbon emission to a greater extent. Highly renewable resources such as bamboos and cork were used as the interior finishes and the materials with the low level volatile organic compounds were also used in the construction.

The Terry Thomas

Weber_Thompson_HQThe Terry Thomas, a gorgeous green building in Seattle, WA cover 37,000 ft2 office space in four floors. The highlight of this building is its less dependency on the energy. A holistic design concept was tailored with specific sites to provide day light, ventilation and reinforced community connection to the tenants of the building. This indirectly resulted in increase in the productivity potential. By this process, they also created an experimental and educational tool for promoting sustainable design.

World Headquarters for the International Fund for animal Welfare

10187_2_Animal3The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is located in Cape Cod in yarmouthport, Massachusetts. This new headquarters received the LEED Gold certification. This project aims to create a restored meadow and to re-establish a natural habitat with native vegetation. IFAW also incorporated low-tech, low-cost and sustainable features such as orientation, natural day lighting, ventilation and very efficient mechanical system. This green house also incorporates a plan that reduces the square footage by 50 percent per person during the elaboration of the workspace and increasing the employees.

Rating the buildings according to the green building features leads to the increase in the awareness about the energy efficient green buildings in the world as well as it gains reputation to the buildings.

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