3 buildings that balance aesthetics and performance
December 16, 2015
Architects today find themselves in a sometimes difficult spot. Growing demand for sustainable buildings is putting more emphasis on quality building materials, while the demand for aesthetically pleasing designs remains the same. For architects, this requires a proper balance of creativity and practicality. The good news is now that energy efficient buildings are growing increasingly popular, there are more ways than ever to create structures that are both sustainable and aesthetically pleasing by using the best insulation, without compromising design. Let's explore this new wave of construction:
1. The New School University Center, New York, NY
A recent development for the New School, the Observer found the University Center a sight to behold. Located in the crawling metropolitan area in Greenwich Village, this school has a modern flair to its look and its energy-efficient design. The very structure and dimensions of the exterior have surreal, Escher-like qualities to them and host unique double-banded windows. At the very top rests a 13,500-square-foot green roof, which Curbed National purports is a favorite amongst students. Observer also reported the New School has reduced its potable water consumption by 75 percent since producing a state-of-the-art blackwater treatment system.
2. The Bullitt Center, Seattle, WA
The Bullitt Center is a six-story commercial building squared straight in Seattle. Oh yeah, and it's a miracle of sustainable building. This green building is littered with long windows and boasts a rotating solar panel system on the roof. Seattle Times states it is projected to have a resounding 250-year lifespan. All the water they use is collected from rainfall and Bullitt CEO Denis Hayes told the Seattle Times that in 2014, the Bullitt Center generated 60 percent more energy than it used. The company's electricity bill? $0. This should be no surprise as it is both energy and carbon neutral. Suffice to say, this building is a marvel that houses thriving businesses and is improving the area around it.
A cutting-edge solar panel system allows the Bullitt Center to be completely energy-efficient.
3. The Collaborative Life Sciences Building, Portland, OR
This medical and dental school looks like it is straight out of the future. It was built near an old, decaying industrial section of Portland, partially because of the cheap location, but also so the building could inspire others to develop there and jumpstart the restoration process. A unique element of interior design is that the different sections of the building are connected through a series of crisscrossing ramps. The mastermind behind this building, Paul Zajfen, design principal at CO Architects stated to Archpaper, "We want to make buildings act like great cities." Archpaper also wrote that in addition to being LEED-certified, the firm looks to innovate by cutting down light pollution, helping clean water initiatives, and finding new methods for heat recovery.
Whether you're involved in the design process, the construction phase or the maintenance side, getting to work on buildings like these is an amazing balance of craft and results. Major projects like these might be far and few at the moment, but their notable success shows there are changes in the works. As more businesses begin to adopt designs like these, the demand will follow. Innovation and sustainability are where aesthetics meet performance.
Company: Sto Corp.
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