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The Synergy of Architecture and Green Life

A marriage of green elements and architecture, resulting in sustainable building designs is a relatively new concept. The increased environmental awareness and the need to conserve energy have melded with a natural human urge to be surrounded by greenery.


Let’s take a look at some of the most stunning examples of perfect synergy of architecture and green life. 

Town Hall in Viborg, Denmark

image source: www.archdaily.com

This futuristic breathtaking architectural solution was has Henning Larson Architects signature all over it. Mimicking the sharp, yet aesthetically pleasing artistic expression of the region, this marvel conforms to a huge array of environmental standards, ensuring that its footprint remains as small as possible. Located on a vast open space outside of town, its parking area roofsare bristling with solar panels, while some are layered with grass. The designers say that such an endeavor was to symbolize the unity of the building purpose and the community it serves.


Shanghai Natural History Museum

image source: www.archdaily.com

Covering more than 749 thousand square feet of urban downtown Shanghai, this gargantuan construction features three unique façades and a spiraling green roof, mimicking the shell of some sea mollusks. The three facades stand for three aspects of nature: the interior wall stands for cellular structure of plants and living things, simultaneously acting like a natural light filter, minimizing the solar gain in hot summer months. The east wall, on the other hand is covered with metal trellis and climbing vines, representing our green planet. Finally, the north stone wall with its intricate network of cracks and crevices represents shifting tectonic plates and the effect of erosion.


Singapore ITE College Central

via central.ite.edu.sg

In Australia, Elmich installed vertical gardens on eight blocks of Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education College Central. This is one of the largest vertical green wall installation single project in the world. Boasting about 57,000 square feet of green wall, some of them reaching up to 115 feet in height, they cover the façade of the campus blocks. Their design allows them to withstand various direction gusts of wind at 68 mph, simultaneously acting as a natural temperature regulator, protecting the west facades from intense sun and reducing energy consumption. In addition, three campus blocks are adorned by green roofs. These sustainable roofs provide thermal insulation, while a system of water retention and drainage sheets increases the life span of the roof plants.


Life Sciences Building RUG, Groningen/Netherlands

image source: www.pinterest.com

The northern wing roof surface of this building is completely layered with a carpet of sedum species plants. On the other hand, the southern wing roof is divided into two components. The upper component features Floraset® green roof build-up, covered in “Sedum Carpet” 1 x 2 m mats, while the lower segment was built using Floratherm® insulation and drainage element, laid with turf.


Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver/Canada

image source: www.landezine.com

The Green roof of the new visitor center can be recognized outright by its stylized orchid-shaped green roof. The variation of inclines and curvatures in the roof surface design, called for application of three different green roof systems. On the flat areas a build-up based on Floradrain® was used, the pitched surface areas were built-up with Floraset®, while steep roof surfaces had to be supported with Georaster®.

From huge constructions like civil buildings and exhibition halls, to picturesque resorts, green roofs seem to go hand in hand with both modern and local architectural solutions. The reasons are multiple ecological and economic benefits, but also our innate bio-aesthetic conscience.

This article is contributed by our friend Derek Lotts of smoothdecorator.com.

More about Derek:


Derek writes about décor, gardening, recycling and everything related to home improvement. He thinks all these fall under self-improvement. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment. He blogs regularly at Smoothdecorator. In his free time, he likes spending time in nature with his wife. Check out his Google+ profile and follow him on Twitter.

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