Friday, 12 December 2008

Super Eco Buildings

As it’s traditional during a long period of economic crisis, the age of large projects is upon us. Important architects all over the world are working on large scale buildings that aim to revitalize the economy whilst keeping an eye on environmental concerns - perhaps the best long-term way to save money!

One project that has caught our eye is the incredible new California Academy of Sciences building. This project, put together by Italian super-architect Renzo Piano, is the world's largest eco-friendly public building.

The original building was completely re-worked with a new concept that has subsequently revolutionised the way a museum is visited. A single building replaced 12 separate structures and houses an aquarium, a planetarium and a natural history museum; that’s filled with hundreds of innovative and engaging exhibits and thousands of animals.

The sections all flow into each other providing this incredible organic experience. The animals of the Steinhart Aquarium, for example, once confined to their own hall, are now found throughout the building. And the building, itself, now functions as an exhibit - inviting discussion about sustainable architecture and green practices.

Here are some of the most impressive architectural concepts in place:

1 Recycling: One external wall and a portion of the African Hall from the original structure remain in place. The rest of the building — 9,000 tons of concrete, 12,000 tons of steel — was demolished and recycled.

2. Passive climate control: The undulating roof helps guide fresh, cool air into the central piazza, hot air out through high-point vents. This lessens the need for air-conditioning and ventilation systems. Shredded blue jeans insulate the walls.

3. Living roof: 1.7 million native plants insulate the roof, capture rainwater, and provide a 2.5-acre habitat for butter flies, hummingbirds, and other critters. And all of it framed by 60,000 photovoltaic cells along the roof's perimeter.

4. Natural illumination: Computer modeling determined optimal locations for windows to maximize illumination of sunlight-hungry coral reef and tropical rain forest installations without overheating the rest of the building.

5. Water conservation: Ocean water piped in from the Pacific cycles through natural filtration systems for aquarium tanks. Toilets flush with reclaimed water, sparing California's stressed-out water-delivery network.

For more see: Here

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