Top 10 Greenest Buildings In The World

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1. Velodrome—London, UK
Just north of London's Olympic Park, the Velodrome opens its doors this summer to thousands of track cycling fans during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Reflecting the design of a bicycle, the building is lightweight and efficient—one of the most sustainable Olympic Park venues.
Inspired by the sport itself, Veldrome's designers, Hopkins Architects says: “The bike is an ingenious ergonomic object, honed to unrivaled efficiency. We wanted the same application of design creativity and engineering rigor that goes into the design and manufacture of the bike to manifest itself in the building.”

Its double-curved roof emulates the dips of a racetrack and its specific positioning allows for the abundant use of daylight, while external timber cladding helps achieve natural ventilation. Only 100 tons of steel were used compared to the 3,000 used in the Aquatics Center that is about the same size. By utilizing new technology and software throughout the design process, adding photovoltaics and turbines weren't necessary to make the Veldrome a sustainable masterpiece.
2. Marco Polo Tower—Hamburg, Germany
As a world leader in green tech and renewables, it's no surprise that Germany also boasts some pretty sustainable buildings. Designed by Behnisch Architecketen, the Marco Polo Tower marries a high-end residential project with a holistic ecological building concept. Sun collectors on its roof provide power to warm water for the apartments, and the recessed facades of the structure protect it from direct sunlight.
3. Livestrong Foundation—Austin, Texas, US
The 1950s-era warehouse was adaptively reused and transformed into a LEED Gold-certified building. Windows were put in the roof to harvest the state's ample daylight and nearly 90 percent of the materials from the previous building were reused to build the new structure. Commuters are encouraged to take advantage of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, a six-mile bike path that enables carbon-free transportation from one side of town to the other.
4. Park Hotel Hyderabad—Hyderabad, India
Earning the country's first LEED Gold certification for a hotel, the five-star luxury boutique hotel boasts distinct sustainable design strategies. Perforated and embossed metal screens over a high-performance glazing system allow diffused daylight to enter interior spaces.
5. Swarovski Headquarters—Lake Zurich, Switzerland
This transparent, low-energy, horseshoe-shaped building houses some 500 staff for the crystal manufacturer Swarovski. For heating and cooling, the structure takes advantage of water from the nearby lake.
6. OS House—Racine, Wisconsin, US
Johnsen Schmaling Architects takes credit for this LEED Platinum-certified family house. Using natural cross-ventilation and its solar exposure, the home is incredibly efficient. It also features a compact plumbing system that includes low-flow fixtures and an on-demand hot water circulating pump. Due to an incentive from its local utility, every kilowatt its PV system produces provides the owners twice the value.
7. FUSMH—Madison, Wisconsin, US
The First Unitarian Society Meeting House, a 20,000-square-foot addition to the city's Meeting House, is LEED-Gold certified. It's about 40 percent more efficient compared to similar buildings of its nature. When spaces aren't occupied, carbon dioxide sensors trigger a ventilation system to save energy.
8. Sandal Magna School—Wakefield, UK
Standing as one of the most carbon-efficient schools in the UK, Sandal Magna teaches its students about sustainability by example. Ecological features include natural ventilation through wind towers and on-site energy generation for cooling and heating. Solar panels adorn its roof and students raise fruits and vegetables in a garden behind the school.
9. House in Shimogamo—Kyoto, Japan
“To be able to see green from every room.” Those were the client's stipulations. Despite the cold, industrial look of a circular screen of frosted glass around the house, an incredibly spacious green zone strikes a pleasant contrast on the inside.
10. Cherokee Studios—Los Angeles, California, US
Making the most of the mild local climate, the housing project employs passive cooling strategies of cross-ventilation and thermal convection. The site is not only a LEED Platinum live/work complex offering professional recording studios in select units, but deemed the best studio in America by Beatles producer George Martin.
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Top 10 Greenest Buildings In The World

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