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Green Technology Wonders of the World


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Title: Green Technology Wonders of the World

Green Technology Wonders of the World
  • Organized by Joe Naumann
  • Images and test mainly from

Reichstag, New German Parliament, Berlin (1999)
  • Norman Foster's renovation of the Reichstag
    showed the world that green architecture could be
    a powerful symbol. Embracing the bones of the
    historic parliament building allowed for a
    recycling of both materials and ideals. The new
    glass dome brings daylight deep into the
    building, while opening up the government
    functions inside to public scrutiny.

  • Technically, the building creates its own
    electricity using refined vegetable oil, and
    stores excess heat in a groundwater loop, while
    its iconic light reflector inside the dome also
    acts as a chimney, drawing warm air out of the
    building. The combined result is a 94 reduction
    in carbon dioxide emissions, and a great deal of
    pride on the part of the German people.

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Menara Mesiniaga/IBM Tower, Kuala Lumpur (1992)
  • The IBM Tower in Kuala Lumpur was the first
    modern green skyscraperalthough its architect,
    Ken Yeang, prefers to call it a "bioclimactic"
    building, because of the way its natural
    ventilation strategies make the building feel as
    if it were breathing. The design was the first to
    bring low-energy use to a high-density urban
    environment, reflecting Yeang's idea that only
    the sustainable development of cities can
    accommodate the world's population growth.

  • But unlike the sophisticated technical
    engineering of later green skyscrapers, most of
    its strategies are passivesuch as a spiraling
    atrium that accommodates "vertical landscaping,"
    improving indoor air quality and aiding natural
    ventilation, and external louvers that reduce
    solar heat gain.

J.M. Tjibaou Cultural Centre, New Caledonia (1998)
  • Renzo Piano's cultural center in the South
    Pacific was the first to show that green
    architecture is as much about culture as
    technology. The use of local iroko wood and
    traditional construction methods reflect
    sustainable principlesboth by reducing the
    distance materials must travel, and drawing on
    this French island territory's local economy. By
    riffing on the shapes of the area's traditional
    Kanak huts, the 10 individual structures
    dramatically blend into the landscape, while
    their vertical slats allow the prevailing winds
    to ventilate the interiors.

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Ford Dearborn Truck Assembly Plant, Michigan
  • The sedum-planted roof of Ford's truck assembly
    factory at River Rouge has become the primary
    symbol of the greening of Corporate America.
    Conceived as part of a broader re-imagining of
    Ford's historicand legendarily pollutedRiver
    Rouge complex, the 10.5-acre green roof,
    installed in 2003, is one of the world's largest.
    The plantings work as a sponge (reducing storm
    water runoff) and as insulation (protecting the
    building in both hot and cold weather).

  • But more than that, its location near the
    visitor's center makes the nine varieties of
    plantsand the birds and wildlife they attracta
    powerful communication tool for Ford's story of
    environmental reclamation.

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Colorado Court, Santa Monica (2002)
  • There's no shortage these days of projects rated
    "gold" on the Green Building Council's LEEDfor
    Leadership in Energy and Economic
    Developmentscale, but what attracted attention
    to Colorado Court when it opened in November,
    2002, was its combination of affordable housing
    and energy neutrality in a dense urban

  • It has 44 single-room-occupancy units for very
    low income tenants, and its combination of an
    on-site natural gas cogeneration plant system and
    photovoltaic panels allows the building to send
    electricity back into the grid during the day.
    Passive cooling eliminates the need for air
    conditioning, while rainwater collection prevents
    polluted water from entering Santa Monica Bay.

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BedZED, London (2002)
  • The "Beddington Zero (fossil) Energy
    Development"or BedZEDapplies the concept of
    carbon neutrality to a small London neighborhood.
    Developed in partnership with the engineers at
    Ove Arup, the goal was a "triple bottom line"
    social amenity, financial effectiveness, and
    minimized environmental impact. All of the
    eighty-two units have gardens to provide a sense
    of connection to the outdoors.

  • Extra insulation reduces energy consumptionto
    the point, even, of eliminating the need for
    conventional heating. Instead, the development
    uses local tree waste as a fuel source for both
    heating and power, along with a combination of
    photovoltaics, wind turbines, and wind-driven
    ventilation (which explain those distinctive

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Arcosanti, Arizona
  • Architect and urban planner Paolo Soleri first
    broke ground on the new desert town of Arcosanti
    in 1970, with the idea of building a sustainable
    community for 5,000 people. Today, the population
    typically still hovers around 100, and most of
    those are visiting students, but Arcosanti has
    become shorthand for visionary, utopian solutions
    to the challenges of global development.

  • Like a medieval village, it's designed for
    everything to be within walking distance, and the
    thick earth structures are oriented to the sun
    for heating, cooling, and lighting. As Soleriwho
    recently won a National Design award for Lifetime
    Achievementexplains, at Arcosanti, "the built
    and the living interact as organs would in a
    highly evolved being."

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30 St Mary Axe, London (2004)
  • Inevitably known as the Erotic Gherkin, Norman
    Foster's London landmark raised the bar for
    sustainable skyscrapers around the world. Its
    distinctive tapering profile is the key to its
    energy efficiency because it creates a pressure
    differential between inside and outside, driving
    fresh air into the building. The diagrid
    structurerepeated, in a different form, in
    Foster's Hearst Tower in New Yorkallows for
    floor-to-ceiling windows, ensuring the maximum
    amount of daylight.

  • A system of atria acts as the building's "lungs,"
    circulating fresh air drawn through the facade's
    double-skin. Combined, the features reduce the
    building's energy consumption by half, compared
    to a typical air conditioned office tower.

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The City of Chicago
  • It may seem odd to call the city of broad
    shoulders a green wonder of the world, but
    Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley has set the
    standard for comprehensive urban environmental
    initiatives with his plan to make Chicago "the
    greenest city in America." In 2001, Chicago's
    City Hall became the site of the first municipal
    rooftop garden in the nation. Since then, over
    two hundred buildings throughout the city have
    added similar gardens.

  • All new municipal buildings will be designed to
    receive at least Silver LEED certification400,000
    trees have been planted, recycled materials are
    being used to pave the streets, and there are
    plans to install four wind turbines on the roof
    of the Daley Center, adjacent to city hall.

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San Francisco Federal Building (2006)
  • While it won't open for another six months, the
    San Francisco Federal Building is already shaking
    up expectations for green architecture. The
    18-story home for Federal workers will be the
    first office tower in the U.S. to eliminate air
    conditioning, at least over 70 of its area. It
    accomplishes this through a computer-controlled
    skin, developed with engineers at Ove Arup, which
    actively adjusts to weather changes.

  • Its narrow floor plate allows for natural
    ventilation, while metal sunscreens shade the
    floor-to-ceiling windows. But most striking are
    its bold design and social agenda Skip-stop
    elevators, sky gardens, and open stairs will
    foster interaction among employees, with the idea
    of creating a healthy office environment and a
    healthy culture.

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Subaru of America's Indiana Plant Achieves ZERO
  • Everyone knows about Subaru and their fuel
    efficient line of cars .... BUT ... did you know
  • When you carry out your trash at home ... next
    collection day, you'll be sending more trash to
    landfills than the entire Subaru manufacturing
    plant in Lafayette, Indiana (SIA). ... was the
    first auto assembly plant to achieve zero
    landfill status - nothing from its manufacturing
    efforts goes into a landfill. It's all reused and

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2305 W. Adams StreetChicago, Inner City 2004-05
  • Our aim is to construct an urban single-family
    home that is ecological, socially regenerative,
    and self-sustaining. We will only use energy
    generated on site. We would like this building to
    be an inspiration to other homeowners and
    developers in urban environments.

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