In recent years, sustainability has become the common interest of various disciplines. The concept of green architecture, also known as “sustainable architecture” or “green building,” is an attempt to protect air, water, and earth by choosing eco-friendly building materials and construction practices. Sustainable architecture strives to minimize the number of resources consumed in the building’s construction and operation, as well as reducing the harm done to the environment through the emission, pollution and waste of its components. Here, we introduce some of the buildings engaged with sustainable standards.
Singapore-based WOHA Architects have long been advocates of the ultimate ‘green city’ – one that would be comprise more vegetation than if it were otherwise ignored. Being recognized for their integration of environmental and social principles at every stage of the design process, WOHA has designed a diverse range of innovative and highly influential projects, which have been widely publicised as benchmarks for sustainable design. Guided by local climatic conditions, WOHA’s structures are designed to harmonize with and incorporate natural ecosystems.
One of the environmentally and socially groundbreaking schemes that have just been completed in Singapore is the crimson-colored Oasia Hotel Downtown tower. The property is a prototype of land use intensification for the urban tropics. Throughout the building, WOHA created a series of different strata, each with its own sky garden, that are treated as an urban scale verandah. While delivering natural cross-ventilation, the tower has also achieved an overall Green Plot Ratio of 1,100%, being conceived as a haven for birds and animals, encouraging the return of biodiversity into the urban space.
The next project with sustainability in mind is WOHA’s PARKROYAL on Pickering. The firm has designed the hotel based on a hotel-in-a-garden concept with nearly 15,000 square meters of greenery. Between the public areas and the room blocks, the top of the podium is a “new ground plane” that covers the entire site, featuring swimming pools, terraces, gullies, valleys, waterfalls, knolls and plateaus, formed by sculpting selective bays of the carpark slabs below. In addition, the “Birdcage” pavilions, inspired by traditional local fish traps, hang out over the street.
For its sustainable design, the project has been awarded the Green Mark Platinum score, Singapore’s highest environmental certification, and its performance, monitored by the building authority, is meeting the high targets.
Healing the Land
You would be amazed to see this next featured house; a house that is not merely appealing but also sustainable and totally unique. This stunning architecture is called Edgeland Residence and it is located on a brownfield site, aiming to repair the damaged landscape and raise awareness about the diminishing of natural landscape and its finite resources.
Aside from its original idea, this property’s design offers comfort without sacrificing the environment and the surrounding nature. Designed by Bercy Chen Studio, the project is divided into two separate pavilions, living and sleeping quarters, and requires direct contact with the outside elements to pass from one to the other. Edgeland sets new standards for sustainability while providing great aesthetic qualities through its small footprint and integrated mechanical features.
The house draws inspiration from the Native American Pit House. In harnessing nature’s clever design, the pit house, typically sunken, takes advantage of the earth’s mass to maintain thermal comfort throughout the year. Like this timeless dwelling, the Edgeland’s insulative green roof and seven-foot excavation into the ground keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
In addition, 40 native species of plants and wildflowers were reintroduced to the site, serving to help protect the local ecosystem. Both visually and functionally stunning, the Edgeland touches on architecture as site-specific installation art and an extension of the landscape.