In the world today people all around are changing their lives to become healthier human beings. But, that is not all that is catching in this the health crazed world. Yes, buildings can be healthy too! These six buildings are all pushing the green envelope and participating in programs such as LEED and WELL to do so. First, let me tell you a little about each of these programs. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a green building certification program that is very popular and used around the world. Another program that was launched to bring health and wellness into the indoor environment is WELL. Let’s take a look at six of the healthiest buildings in the world.
1. The Crystal in London
Owned and operated by Siemens, The Crystal is a sustainable development. The building uses solar power and ground source heat pumps to generate its own energy. This building is the first to achieve the highest sustainable building accolades from two of the world’s leading accreditation programs, LEED and BREEAM. It is actually the most sustainable building in London.
2. 181 Fremont in San Francisco
181 Fremont is a 56-floor skyscraper in San Francisco, California. Once the building is omple, it will be the tallest mixed-use building in San Francisco. The building features a water reusing program that catches and reuses graywater and rainwater. It also has a glass curtain wall system that maximizes natural light. The tower will have the world’s first evacuation elevators. In an emergency, people will be instructed by signage to use the elevators and not the stairs. This is one building I would feel safe living in.
3. Apple Park in Cupertino, California
Apple Park is the vision of the late Steve Jobs. His idea was to create a space for creativity and collaboration for the Apple team members. Apple Park sprawls out over 175 acres. The main building is a 2.8 million-square-foot building made entirely of panels of curved glass forming a ring shape. There will be a 1,000-seat theater, named after Mr. Jobs himself. The parklands has two miles of walking and running paths for employees, an orchard, meadow and pond within the ring’s interior grounds. The building itself is powered by 100 percent renewable energy. With 17 megawatts of rooftop solar, Apple Park is one of the largest on-site solar energy installations in the world. The building is also the world’s largest naturally ventilated building, requiring no heat or air conditioning for nine months out of the year.
4. ShanghaiTower in Shanghai, China
This “Twisting Tower” is a 128-story megatall skyscraper in Shanghai, China. It is the tallest building in China and one of the most sustainable buildings in the world. One of the super cool features of the buiding is the double-skin façade technology that improves air quality while reducing the number of vertical trips each building occupant must make. There is also a parapet the collects rainwater which is used to heat and cool the tower. The building’s twisting form allows it to withstand typhoon-force winds which saved an estimated $58M in structural costs during construction.
5. Southwestern Energy in Spring, Texas
This 550,000 square foot building was built to LEED Gold specifications. A generator powered by natural gas provides 24-hour power for the data center, and overall the building uses 25 to 30 percent less energy than a standard building of its size. The building features a rainwater harvesting system, a high-performance unitized curtain wall system, shading fins and energy efficient HVAC system. Every detail is sustainable, down to the farm-to-table café and their natural gas fueling station.
6. Medibank Place in Melbourne, Australia
Medibank is Australia’s largest health insurer and in 2015 they opened their new headquarters after listening to what employees had to say about healthy work environments. This is what they took from all that they heard. Some features of their new space includes a sports court, edible gardens, demonstration kitchens all with a vibrant color scheme. The 495,000 square foot building has about 2,300 plants living inside and about 10% of the walls are covered with plants. There are 26 different work settings in the 24-story building. This is one of the many buildings I would want to see!