The race is officially on to build the greenest structure in the world. Apple recently staked its claim, unveiling the new Campus 2 in Cupertino. It boldly declared that it would be the greenest building on the planet. Some experts, however, have questioned this. That got us thinking. What other structures can claim to boast this level of sustainable energy and green credentials? There are, in fact, plenty of others who have made this same claim.
There is no hard measure for defining the world’s greenest building. Some claim to have the greenest building process. They use carefully selected building materials to leave a low carbon footprint. Many structures have renewable energy sources built into the design. Others have specific designs that minimise the use of energy across the board. We’ve collected our favourites in this list below.
Apple Campus 2, Cupertino
With Campus 2, Apple are renovating a huge concrete site. The former home of Hewlett Packard will be destroyed in favour of lush green forest. At the heart will be a donut shaped building with sophisticated green technology. Apple claims that the building will ‘breathe’ using venting systems. This will eliminate air conditioning and heating requirements. There are also renewable energy sources throughout the design.
China are slowly changing their carbon emitting ways. They are already making headway in the world of hydropower, now they are reaching for the skies. The Shanghai Tower is already the tallest structure in China. It is second only to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai when it comes to the tallest in the world. Skyscrapers are not typically associated with green technology. The Shanghai Tower aims to change that. Its designers are calling it the greenest super rise on the planet. The key to this is its transparent double skin design. It has an outer glass layer that will keep the entire building warm and cool, much like a thermos flask.
Bud Clark Commons, Portland
On a much smaller scale, the Bud Clark Commons building was one of the greenest buildings to emerge in 2014. It recycles all of its water and minimises run off. That means no water goes to waste. It is then heated by solar power making it a truly self-sufficient building. It gets a special mention as it acts as a shelter for the homeless.
One Angel Square, Manchester
The UK headquarters of The Co-operative group is another that holds the claim of greenest building in the world. It has a complex design that makes use of all sorts of green technology. It has a ‘breathable’ second layer, much like the Shanghai tower. It also harvests rainwater and uses solar power. Perhaps most impressively, the entire building is powered using rapeseed oil. The structure produces more energy that it uses and has no carbon emissions whatsoever.
It remains to be seen whether Apple’s Campus 2 will satisfy its grand claim. The project has just been announced and construction is slowly beginning. Only when it is completed will we get a true insight into its green credentials. Likewise, the Shanghai Tower looks efficient on paper. The true test will comes when its doors open to the public. We are constantly moving forward, and the green agenda is stronger than ever.