5 of the Coolest Commercial Green Building Projects
By Lana Hawkins
Climate change is a reality humanity has to alter. Civilization has to find the most reasonable and feasible ways to cut down on emission and dependence on non-renewable energy sources. In order to achieve this, many great minds around the world have made a great deal of effort to come up with building projects that will contribute to the environment and potentially make the planet a better place. There are a lot of interesting ideas out there, but here are five of the coolest commercial green building projects that can make a difference.
Who could have guessed that the houses from famous fantasy novels by J. R. R. Tolkien could have ended up being a reasonable ecological solution? These houses blend in with the environment and are built with maximum regard for the surrounding flora and fauna.
Once this house is sunk into the earth, it has the best kind of solid roof in form of a pasture which also serves as a fantastic isolator all around. Straw bales are additional insulation material and it also comes with compost toilet, rainwater collector and solar panels for electricity.
These constructions were a sight to behold throughout comic books, visionary paintings and novels of the golden age of science fiction. The idea has lost its steam later, and the last time we have seen such an iconographic object was in Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner”. However, the proposition of megacity pyramids has regained traction lately as the large sustainable buildings turn into reality.
Shimizu Corporation has proposed a colossal project of creating a three-mile long pyramid which was meant to be 14 times taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza. It would be comprised of 204 smaller pyramids capable of sustaining a whopping number of 750,000 people and yes, it was inspired exactly by the headquarters of Tyrell Corporation in “Blade Runner”.
While not exactly a building, it’s a legitimate and honorable green building project nonetheless. Since human expansion has pushed the animals deeper into the woods, there might be a solution to these tragic clashes between the two “ecosystems”. In other words, since highways are cutting through wild lands, how can we circumvent the problem of hitting endangered animals? Animal walkways have emerged as a potential solution. These “ecoducts” are basically bridges that go above the wide stretches of highways and motorways, and they would be covered with pastures and trees. This way, the animals would be able to cross territories without putting themselves in danger.
As far as ideas for sustainable housing go, there are a lot of possibilities and variants on the market right now. Some of these units are garnering a lot of popularity as the ecological frame of mind slowly sinks into global consciousness.
Many of such sustainable homes are kind of free floating, but there is not a significant impact on the environment if you decide to “go firm” with a quality TDK formwork for any scale of construction. In fact, considering the erratic weather patterns, it might be prudent to have a house with “good roots”.
No matter how it ends up, solar cells are becoming another additional tweak to many homes. Most of these convert the photovoltaic energy of sun rays into electricity. However, there’s a new breakthrough on the horizon – horizontal thermal tubes, 58 cm in diameter, that collect the sun’s thermal energy and take up a lot less space than solar cells.
It sounds like a mouth-full, doesn’t it? It’s a rough cluster of syllables that denotes quite a sophisticated idea – the building project that is meant to combine two trends: seasteading and arcology, which basically means a self-contained monolithic city by the sea. These cities would be self-sustainable by using wind turbines, river-based water turbines, fresh water recovery and storage systems and sky gardens. It sounds too good to be true, but there are some serious plans to build these seasteading arcologies in cities like San Francisco, Boston and New Orleans.
Civilization achievements have created serious problems for this planet and, as it appears, they are also the only tool at our disposal to deal with the consequences. With a few brilliant ideas under our belt and a willingness to change, there is great hope we’ll be able to pull through and even reverse some of the environmental damage. We just have to share awareness and put in the work. Building projects such as those mentioned above are doing an amazing job at making green look cool.