Green architecture is a sustainable approach to building design. The goal is to use materials that are safe and environmentally friendly in the process of building. Design elements may include sustainably harvested wood, energy-efficient lighting, thermal control, the incorporation of plants into buildings or minimally harming the area’s habitats. Many architects also include designs that help relieve the area from the effects of climate change.
The Corallo House (Guatemala)
Created by Paz Arquitectura, this house is built in a forest of the Santa Rosalia region of Guatemala City. Nestled within the forest, the house works around what already existed in nature. For instance, multiple trees quite literally grow through the living room. This chic home shows the possibility of co-living with nature.
The Toronto Tree Tower (Canada)
Although it is not yet built, the Toronto Tree Tower by Precht (a collective of Austrian creatives) is an example of how green architecture can change a city’s landscape. The tower will be a highrise built from sustainably sourced wood. This residential building will be covered in plants and create its own ecological system.
Precht’s goal is for the structure to be “seen as a catalyst for future residential buildings that are ‘more efficient to construct’ and ‘more ecological to our environment’ than common construction methods.” It is being funded by the Canadian government as an attempt to decrease their carbon footprint.
Bosco Verticale (Italy)
The work of Stefano Boeri Architetti, Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) consists of two residential towers that house humans, plants and wildlife. With 800 trees, 15,000 perennials and 5,000 shrubs, it truly is a forest within the city of Milan. The plants are organized as a ‘curtain’ around the towers.
All of this greenery absorbs Co2, produces oxygen and filters the sun for internal cooling. Animal species have also begun to call the balconies of these towers home. For these reasons, Bosco Verticale has won numerous architecture and design awards. The construction of future vertical forest towers is underway in Nanjing, China right now. They will be based on the model of Bosco Verticale.
Shilda Winery (Georgia)
A British architecture firm known as X-Architecture designed Shilda Winery to exist without disrupting nature. In Kakheti, Georgia, the winery is built into the vineyard, using rounded beams to allow the vineyard to grow over the building. The soil aids in the cooling of the building thus requiring less energy for temperature control. Located on the southern slope of the Caucasus Mountains, Shilda makes, stores and serves wine to visitors.
The California Academy of Sciences (USA)
The vision of Italian architect Renzo Piano, the California Academy of Sciences blends nature and city-life into a breathtaking structure. Green architecture at its best, Piano created a vast green roof that emulates rolling hills in the heart of San Francisco. This unique roof grows almost 2 million plants and creates a natural habitat for wildlife.
Beneath one of the mounds is a recreation of a rainforest. This unique Academy doesn’t just teach you about biodiversity, it shows you in-action. Piano used a variety of sustainable materials, even recycled blue jeans as insulation.