“Green” buildings are another step towards a sustainable and energy-efficient lifestyle. These environmentally friendly projects use resources such as energy and water sparingly, reduce waste, improve the quality of life of the people living or working in these buildings, and finally, they have a minimal negative impact on the environment. The list below features the Top 7 Energy Efficient “Green” Buildings that are setting the standards for innovation and sustainability.
1. William J. Clinton Presidential Library (Little Rock, Arkansas)
The Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, has been named one of the most environmentally friendly places to work at by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program. In fact, this is the first existing building in the United States to get the coveted LEED’s platinum rating. This highly energy-efficient green building has a well-managed pest control system, optimal conditions for the maximum performance of different equipment and high-quality indoor air.
2. Cor (Miami, Florida)
Located in Miami, Florida, the Cor is an eye-catchy environmentally friendly building. The innovative design of this green building has bamboo hallways, recycled ceramic tiles, wind turbines and state-of-the art solar panels and hot-water generators. This 25-story building is an architectural marvel with thermal insulation to protect against the heat and superior indoor air quality. It even has beautiful terraces that support wind turbines.
3. 101 California Hines Building (San Francisco, California)
This 30-year-old building has a platinum certification from LEED for its energy efficiency and waste reduction programs. Built in 1982, this 48-story building is owned and managed by Hines and NLI Properties West, Inc. This “green” building provides office space to numerous companies in the financial district of San Francisco. It is estimated that this building saves $1.45 per square foot in energy consumption and its greenhouse gas reduction is equivalent to more than 500,000 gallons of gasoline. The materials used inside this green building are recycled and the indoor dust levels are less than an impressive 0.01 percent.
4. 1331 L Street (Washington D.C.)
1331 L Street was developed in 2008 by the Paramount group and DRI development services and is currently owned by MBA. This energy-efficient building uses low-flow fixtures to reduce water consumption by more than 30 percent and aims to provide daylight for 90 percent of the occupants so they can enjoy better health and productivity. The materials used for construction have been purchased within 500 miles and this means a huge savings in transportation. Also, more than 80 percent of the construction waste was recycled. All this makes the 159,000-square-feet of office space a prime spot for businesses in the D.C. area.
5. McKinney Green Building (McKinney, Texas)
Another elite green building that has received a lot of attention in recent years is the McKinney Building in McKinney, Texas. Owned by West World Management, Inc. and designed by HDR Architecture, this 61,000-square-foot office space offers 62 percent reduction in energy, an underground rainwater harvesting system, waterless urinals and low-flow toilets, an open plan that provides ample sunlight and beautiful views for the occupants and plug-in stations for electric and other alternate fuel vehicles.
6. 1201 Third Avenue (Seattle, Washington)
One of the prominent landmarks in Seattle downtown is 1201 Third Avenue. Built by Wright Runstad & Company in 1988, this environmentally friendly building is a pioneer in recycling efforts in the Seattle area. Composting and recycling of day-to-day products such as paper, battery, glass, metal, plastic and aluminum products has helped this energy-efficient green building to earn the platinum certification from LEED. Water conservation programs include storm-water irrigation and energy-efficient fixtures in bathrooms.
7. 1800 Larimer Street (Denver, Colorado)
Revolutionary design and state-of-the-art technology has made 1800 Larimer Street one of the “greenest” buildings in the mile-high city. This environmentally friendly place reduces water consumption by 43 percent and energy usage by 30 percent Also, more than one-third of this building’s energy needs come from renewable sources. A unique aspect about this place is that the employees can control the temperature and flow of fresh air in their work space. Floor-to-ceiling glass provides ample sunshine and all appliances used in the premises are Energy Star rated.
These are a few of our favorite energy-efficient buildings in the U.S. There are more of course. We’d love to hear about more green buildings or projects! Tell us which ones would make your top-10 list!