Here’s a roundup of some amazing, green architectural projects that were either announced or completed this past year.

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(photo above) – Bahrain World Trade Center
A landmark in green architecture, the Bahrain World Trade Center is an environmentally sophisticated commercial development that incorporates wind turbines directly into its structural design.  Sure, the skyscraper looks modernly cool, but there’s a detailed science behind the design.  The shape of the towers acts as aerofoils, accelerating wind velocity between the giant turbines.  It’s estimated to generate 11 to 15 percent of the towers’ energy needs, enough to light 300 homes for over a year.

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(above) – School of Art, Design and Media
At the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the School of Art, Design and Media utilizes green roofing in a modern way.  The green roof stretches across the five-story building, blending into its surrounding landscape, while providing several environmental advantages.  It is as visually pleasing as it is functional.  Green roofs are reported to absorb up to 70 percent of rain runoff, thereby preventing pollution of waterways.  In addition, green roofs absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to reduce carbon emissions, and also provide natural insulation for the building, reducing energy costs.  This innovative design combines modern architecture with green concepts, yielding a truly amazing setting for an art school.   

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(above) – Wat Pa Maha Chedio Kaew Temple
Approximately 1.5 million recycled bottles were used to build the Wat Pa Maha Chedio Kaew temple in Thailand’s Sisaket province.  Bottles are incorporated throughout the temple, from the walls to the roof, and even the toilets!  It began in 1984 when the monks began using bottles to decorate their shelters.  Visitors then began to donate bottles, until there was enough in the collection to build the temple seen here.  It’s safe to say that recycling brings good karma!

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(above) – Dubai Pyramid
This modern pyramid design is anticipated to house up to a million people, while remaining completely carbon neutral.  Dubai-based company, Timelinks, presented this design, named the Ziggurat Project, at the 2008 Cityscape Dubai.  The pyramid city is projected to be 2.3 square kilometers and runs solely on green energy, including solar power, steam power, and wind turbine technology.  If the concept transpires, it will be interesting to see the direction future housing will take.

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(above) – New York Tower
The New York Tower, proposed by Daniel Libeskind, is a 54-story condominium  that features “sky gardens” integrated throughout the tower.  Upon a closer look, you see these “gardens” function as balconies.  They are expected to provide clean indoor air and natural insulation for the building.  The structure is projected to stand at 937 feet, which would make it the tallest residential building in the city.  More information about this project can be found in Libeskind’s book, “Counterpoint.”

For more highlights on green architecture in 2008, visit here and here.

related: Truro Residence / Green Building