With the world threatened by extreme climatic changes due to green house emissions, one pressing challenge that is posed to modern architects is to build homes or offices which are eco friendly and sustainable in nature, despite having all the modern amenities and facilities available at the user’s disposal. One such marvelous structure built along these architectural concepts is Singapore’s Asia Square, located along Marina view at Marina Bay in Singapore. It is the epitome of a technological marvel ‘advanced building’, a 43 story multipurpose twin tower designed to be eco-friendly and self-sustaining with high-class modern facilities.
Asia Square holds the credit of being equipped with the largest photovoltaic cells (solar panels) installed on its roof, which takes care of a majority of the electrical and lighting needs of the building. Being equipped with on-site energy resource not only ensures the building is at all times energy sufficient, it also complies with some of the most advanced concepts of sustainable energy management life-cycle norms for facilities.
It also boasts of having the first bio-diesel generation plant in a commercial development of Singapore’s central business district, which produces pure diesel and gas recycled from used cooking oil and waste derived from many food and beverage outlets. The diesel obtained from the bio diesel plant is utilized for running generators and vehicles operated in the construction works of Tower 2, expected to be completed by 2013.
One of the unique features incorporated in the design of this building is the ‘Light Tubes’, which run along all the ceilings of the buildings, providing natural light for plant life to thrive on.
The other specialty of this building is the self-sustaining lift system, where the kinetic energy generated during the lift movements is converted into electrical energy, stored and made use during the next lift operations. On the whole there is a saving of 20 to 30 percent in electricity consumption. A healthy indoor atmosphere is created by sterilizing the surfaces and air using natural ultraviolet (UV) rays derived from sunlight thereby killing harmful germs and bacteria.
The building project also has an efficient water recycling plant which recycles the grey water derived from various domestic usages in the building and utilizes it in the flushing of toilets. The water accrued from the cooling towers of the building’s air conditioning system is put towards the watering of plants.
Many countries have begun opting for green building systems in their infrastructural development plans, both in the government and private sectors. As green buildings are made up of non-toxic materials and are better ventilated for constant supply of fresh quality air, these are considered to be healthy option for a better society.
Sustainable designed green buildings offer many benefits as they are constructed by intelligent designs strategies and new advanced technologies. There is no doubt that green buildings will soon be a requirement rather than a choice for construction. Adoption of solutions that use sustainable resources are an obvious road-map for the future growth of architecture. As countries across the world grapple with concepts of sustainable urban-housing and commercial development, incorporating environmentally-efficient solutions such as Asia Square will prove to be the way forward.
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