What Does Sustainability Mean to You?

Linked Student
  1. What does Sustainability mean to me?

Building sustainability means living in harmony with the natural environment, considering the social, environmental and economic aspects of decisions, and reducing our footprint through a less energy, water and material intensive lifestyle.


Social sustainability is also important and working towards a healthy and safe community is often interconnected with economic and environmental endeavours. In recognizing the above, the building sector, which comprises consumers, builders, architects, designers, manufacturers, government regulators, marketing agents and developers, continues to meet the challenge of developing sustainability in the built environment.


The built environment has in the past and in some cases continues to: Consume significant amounts of the earth’s resources (especially energy) Generate polluting toxins and waste Create conditions leading to a loss of soils and biodiversity Interfere with life support systems (eg. the water cycle, soil systems and air quality) Exacerbate urban sprawl, traffic pollution, social inequities and alienation

  1. What inspirational examples can we learn from?

2.1 One Central Park

The innovative city that brought you the Sydney Opera House also thinks green -- take One Central Park for example. A park at the foot of the building literally continues up the structure, as vegetation of 250 species of Australian plants and flowers cover One Central Park. They look pretty, shade the building and send an undeniable statement. Its hovering cantilever, which holds the taller tower's most luxurious penthouses, is a design marvel. It is said that it has 25% less energy consumption compared with a conventional building of its size.


2.2 Bahrain World Trade Center 1 and 2 (Bahrain)

Reaching an incredible 787 feet, the futuristic towers of Bahrain's World Trade Center complex are optimally positioned to take advantage of the island nation's desert winds, with three turbines mounted on sky bridges between the towers to generate electricity. The towers' shapes, reminiscent of the Arab dhow sailing ships, help funnel wind to the turbines, which supply about 15% of the buildings' electricity. Reflective pools at the towers' base help with cooling via evaporation.


2.3 Shanghai Tower (Shanghai, China)

The world's second tallest building at 2,073 feet, Shanghai Tower is an architectural wonder as well as a sustainable one. A transparent second skin wrapped around the building creates a buffer of captured air that serves as natural ventilation, reducing energy costs, and 270 wind turbines incorporated into the facade power its exterior lights. Thanks to measures like these, the tower uses significantly less power than other skyscrapers and has a platinum LEED certification.