3 Innovative Examples of Sustainable Construction

Sustainable buildings

Eco-friendliness is a growing priority for both consumers and industry professionals. Today, top architects design with green features in mind. The result is architecture that is good for the planet and the skyline. Some of the most beautiful buildings in the world use sustainable building practices.

That means it’s important to plan for sustainability in your firm’s future. Here are a few of the most exciting eco-friendly buildings we’ve seen. We also suggest ways to incorporate these practices into your own portfolio.

Bank of America, One Bryant Park, NYC

This Bank of America at One Bryant Park is in one of the most environmentally advanced buildings in the country. It was completed in 2010 and achieved LEED platinum status. The building’s features include:

  • a building-wide water reclamation system
  • green rooftops that compost waste from on-site cafeterias
  • an urban garden
  • an ice cooling system
  • an on-site 4.6-megawatt heat and power plant

Salesforce Tower, San Francisco

In San Francisco, the eco-friendly Salesforce Tower is nearly complete. Its rooftop park will absorb excess CO2 from the transit terminal at its base. The building has wind turbines and sun shades to take full advantage of sustainable power. Outside air intakes on every floor will provide outdoor-fresh air to each occupant. Salesforce Tower also aims to operate at zero waste, using compost and recycling to reach 75% diversion.

Clock Shadow Building, Wisconsin

The developers of the Clock Shadow Building weren’t going for a green building. Instead, they used sustainable construction to create a “radical green” building. Its green roof reduces stormwater runoff, protects the rooftop from the aging effects of UV rays, and adds insulation to reduce energy costs. Under the building, a cistern collects greywater. The reclaimed water is then used to power toilets.

The building site used to be marshland, which could have been a problem. Instead, the developers took advantage of this unique ecological feature. They installed geothermal wells to heat and cool the building. 50% of the project’s materials were salvaged. This diverted many materials that would otherwise have gone to a landfill.

How to Implement Sustainable Construction

These buildings may seem like extreme solutions to eco-friendliness. However, developers can use parts of these radical designs without breaking the bank. In fact, LEED certification can actually return your money ten-fold. Is does this by increasing the value of your portfolio. To get started, here are a few ways to create a realistic plan for sustainable development:

1. Start small. We’re not suggesting that you rebuild your property from the ground up. Instead, begin with a small project like upgrading your software to a more eco-focused platform. A solution like The 4tell™ Platform can give you a data-driven look at how your buildings impact the environment, along with concrete next steps for improvement.

2. Maintain your progress. It’s easy to fall behind when it comes to sustainability. Stay on top of your performance with frequent assessments. Then, collect all your findings in a centralized database. Make sure to choose one that makes it easy to access and update your building’s information. Here are our recommendations for scheduling regular facility inspections.

3. Budget and prioritize. Sustainable construction is a long-term plan. It requires strategizing and budgeting. Once you’ve completed your assessment, pinpoint areas where you can install eco-friendly systems. Look for opportunities for upgrades. Solar shades, urban gardens or geothermal/solar energy are all good choices.

Retrofitting your buildings with green technology increases their value. It also improves your community and the wellbeing of your tenants. We hope you will take inspiration from these examples. It’s easy to apply the benefits of sustainable construction to your portfolio.

Photo: Bokic Bojan / Shutterstock.com