Reality: The Bank of America Tower New York, USA
Completed in 2009 after 5 years of construction, this magnificent feet of eco-engineering is located in Midtown Manhattan is the second tallest building in the city after the Empire State Building and the fourth tallest building in the United States! It was designed to be one of the most energy efficient and eco-friendly buildings on the planet and was the first ever skyscraper to be awarded The Leadership in Environmental & Environmental Design Platinum Certification.
The building has an uncountable number of energy saving and green features including:
The building is constructed mainly of recycled & recyclable materials.
Floor-to-ceiling insulating glass that contains heat and maximises light
meaning that an automatic dimming system has been placed on interior lights.
A greywater system that collects rainwater and reuses it throughout the building.
Waterless urinals that save up to 8 million gallons of water per year and reduce CO2 emissions dramatically.
The building has its own combined heat and power plant to fulfil basic energy requirements.
On top of all these features, all the cement used in construction was made with 45% slag, a blast furnace by-product, which meant less cement was needed reducing CO2 emissions. Lets not forget to mention, its a truly stunning building too!
Future: Dynamic Tower Dubai, United Arab Emirates
An 80-storey fully rotating and totally energy self-sufficient skyscraper is currently under construction in Dubai and is expected to be completed this year. This innovative piece of green design is the brainchild of Italian architect David Fisher and will feature 79 power-generating wind turbines located between each floor. These turbines along with solar panels on the roof and top of each floor will generate enough energy to power the entire skyscraper and five further buildings of similar size. This truly unique building has an unlimited amount of different looks, is totally self-sufficient energy wise and is the worlds first prefabricated skyscraper.
Vision: Ciadade Suspensa (Suspended City) Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
This incredible structure designed by Coolie Calahan & Charles Johnson aims to bring the city of Rio into perfect harmony with nature and the environment. This structure is proposed for completion on the citys waterfront by the 2016 Olympic and uses an enormous suspension system to lift the heavy city-like structure above the ground and water. The structural pylons to which the structure is anchored provide all of the mechanics and transport systems and feature a biomass generator which also conducts fish farming, hydroponics, water recycling and waste composting. All these technologies create a renewable and sustainable food source that can be directly provided to the residents. This development is unlike anything that has ever been proposed before and will include markets, apartments, green areas and many other urban environments yet to be thought up.