Archives: viridian

Remember when I asked if anyone was making a certain kind of building?

Well, check it out!

Consider the Hearst Building, by Norman Foster & Partners, which opened in August, becoming the first building to receive a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) rating in New York City.

The diagrid (a diagonal grid building structure) frame of the tower used 20% less steel than a conventional frame for the same sized building, and more than 90% of the steel contains recycled materials. The roof collects rainwater that is used to irrigate trees and plants inside and outside the building.

High-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems use outside air to ventilate and cool the building 75% of the year. And the list goes on.

Neat, huh?

I’d love to work in an office building that had fiber-optic delivered direct sunlight on every floor.

That had both windmill and solar power generators incorporated into the structure of the building.

That collected rainwater for use in plumbing functions that don’t involve making the water available for drinking.

That incorporated air-freshening, oxygen producing greenery into the design of each floor, which is watered by filtered greywater and rainwater from the building’s own plumbing system.

A building much like the one described in this Fortune magazine article:

Tower of Tomorrow

I found that article while searching for links to back up some of the ideas above, so clearly I’m not the only one thinking about these things. Has anyone built one yet? Imagine how pleasant it would be to work there!

Imagine a building that makes oxygen, distills water, produces energy, changes with the seasons – and is beautiful. In effect, that building is like a tree, standing in a city that is like a forest.

By William McDonough, Fortune
November 9 2006: 10:21 AM EST

Or, if the tree metaphor is too sappy (pun alert – too late!), make it a sleek modern structure. However it was aesthetically designed, it would be beautiful, and imagine how much the owner could lease such prime office space for. It would be unique and prestigious.

If I were rich, I’d build it.