Awhile back I read about how architects are increasingly trying to create green buildings by applying eco-friendly values and making use of resource-efficient construction methods and materials (Link). On taking a look at some of the newly built or renovated ‘green buildings’ I was overwhelmed not only by the buildings positive effect on the environment, but how beautiful they were, and how natural elements and materials had been turned into architectural masterpieces such as the one below.
In addition to the aesthetically pleasing architectural design of many green buildings, there are also other components that make these structures environmentally friendly. The concept of building ‘green’ addresses a building’s impact on the environment, including water and energy efficiency, toxic material and solid waste reduction, air quality and the use of sustainable building materials in all areas.
One of the industries that often take a beating due to their massive energy consumption is the entertainment and casino industry. With the advent of mobile casino games and other alternative entertainment options these establishments have had to re address not only their diminishing customer base, but also their impact on the environment and the massive amount of energy they consume. Las Vegas is an area renowned for its immense casinos and entertainment arenas and interestingly enough, it’s now also home to one of the largest green building projects to date. The Aria Resort & Casino at CityCenter in Las Vegas cost $8.5 billion and has set new standards in green building, proving that a structure can tie in seamlessly with its environment, yet still be eco-friendly.
Other structures that have adopted green building practices include the gorgeous Water Resources Centre in Watson, California where sustainable wood and hydro power have been used extensively; creating a spectacular building that can essentially power itself. At Yale, Kroon Hall has also been designed to be a net zero energy building and is absolutely striking in its ergonomic design and sustainable features, and further afield in Dubai, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology has implemented not only green building practices in-house, but have integrated sustainable measures of building within the community.
Green and sustainable building may be a new trend, but to me it’s a beautiful one, and the buildings that have been created using this practice are not only visually striking, they are also built to be symbiotic with the environment they are in.