5 Sustainable Buildings We Love Right Now

June 21st, 2016

The world of sustainable building has come a long way! When it comes to the latest and greatest, there’s always new and interesting architecture popping up around the world. We’ve been ogling the Committee on the Environment’s top sustainable buildings for this year and we’ve picked out our favourites to share the love.

Meet some of our favourite recent buildings that are both beautiful and sustainable:

1. The J. Craig Venter Institute

J. Craig Venter Institute

This example is located on the west coast and houses a not-for-profit research institute that studies genomics. When looking for a home for the institute, they challenged architects to design America’s first net-zero energy laboratory and this is the result. It’s LEED Platinum certified and features energy-saving design, water conservation, and the use of sustainable materials.

2. Biosciences Research Building

Biosciences Research Building

This building is located in Ireland and the design itself embraces its location. Much of the building is able to function without mechanical ventilation since it’s designed to take advantage of natural ways of doing it. Radiant heating is only used for less than 10% of the year because of this design. It’s great to see something so simple, but effective be pulled off in a sleek design.

3. West Branch of the Berkeley Public Library

West Branch of the Berkeley Public Library

Meet the first zero-net energy public library in California. This building minimizes their energy footprint through their daylighting, natural ventilation, an innovative wind chimney for cross-ventilation, solar thermal panels and more. The sustainable measures that this library has taken definitely puts them in the good books!

4. Exploratorium at Pier 15

Pier 15

Since this building is located on the water, they make full advantage of that. The water of the bay is used to regulate the temperature for both heating and cooling. Sustainable and durable materials were sourced for the construction of the building. The durability of materials was important due to the climate along the water. This project has been LEED Platinum certified and is a great model of what’s possible when it comes to building sustainable museums.

5. H-E-B at Mueller

H-E-B at Mueller

This building is actually a retail space that is incredibly sustainable. Located in Austin, this space features outdoor gathering areas, a community meeting room, pharmacy, cafe, fuel stations, and fresh food market. It’s nestled in a mixed-use community and gives people access to so many things in one stop. Among the sustainable features include a rooftop solar array, LED lighting throughout, reclaimed water, optimized daylighting, and the first North American supermarket propane refrigeration system.

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Images via the American Institute of Architects.