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Buildings around the world are measured by their space, design and security, but their sustainability also plays an important role in their development. Today, more eco-friendly practices that reduce the building’s carbon footprint are being used in construction. Developers are applying innovative methods to conserve energy, recycle materials, and minimize waste in order to help minimize consumption. Here are 4 of the most sustainable buildings around the world, boasting impressive features like geothermal cooling systems, solar power, and energy-saving glass.

Manitoba Hydro Place. Photo Credit: Paul Hultberg

Manitoba Hydro Place: Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Hydro Place makes use of its “passive design and natural ventilation” to make it one of the most energy efficient office buildings in North America. The building has a geothermal system to heat and cool the inside, rooftop gardens, and triple-glazed windows. Because of these unique features, energy saving is increased by more than 60 percent. 

Micro Emission Sun-Moon Mansion: Resembling a sundial, the Sun-Moon Mansion is located in Dezhou, Shandong province, and is one of the world’s largest solar powered buildings. The structure is home to a variety of offices, a hotel, and a conference center; all powered by solar energy. The building also utilizes a solar powered hot water supply, energy-saving glass, and 50,000 square feet of solar paneling.

Micro Emission Sun-Moon Mansion. Photo Credit: Himin Solar Energy 

Bank of America Tower: Located in the Midtown neighborhood of New York City, the building is known to be one of the greenest buildings in the world. The tower uses an onsite natural gas-fueled power plant to provide 70 percent of its annual electrical power needs. It also uses waterless urinals which saves 8 million gallons of water each year alone. Rainwater is collected on rooftops and is used for cooling purposes and for flushing toilets. Additionally, 83 percent of construction waste was recycled and diverted from landfills. The building is the first in its segment to attain a Platinum LEED Certification.

One Angel Square: Manchester’s One Angel Square is a three-sided building with gently curved walls and serves as the headquarters of the Co-operative Group.  The building houses more than 3,000 employees and has been awarded an “Outstanding” Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) rating. The building features a double skin façade to help maximize cooling during summer and retain warmth in the winter months. It is powered by pure plant oil and utilizes grapeseed oil that is grown on their own farmland. Other features include LED lighting, rainwater and greywater harvesting system, and carbon dioxide sensors that regulate the amount of fresh air that circulates in the building. 

 One Angel Square. Photo Credit: Daniel Hopkinson, Trevor Palin, and Len Grant

Energy efficient buildings are no longer an idea of the future. In fact, behind foundation, energy and waste management methods are becoming some of the most vital considerations in the construction of buildings around the world.