Top 5 examples of successful sustainable developments
At J. &. W Lowry we are proud to put sustainability at the heart of our developments and the decisions that we make. We take our inspiration from developers and projects both in the UK and internationally. We wanted to share some exceptional examples of how sustainability can be incorporated into every aspect of design and decision making. Here are our top 5 examples of successful sustainable developments: Cambridge Central Mosque The architectural team behind the London Eye worked to create this exceptional oasis of calm. There is natural light throughout the year thanks to the vast skylights in the roof, with low energy LED bulbs to supplement when needed. PV cells on the roof generate renewable energy and the mosque is both well insulated and naturally ventilated. There are heat pumps in the basement of the building which help to ensure production of energy always outweighs consumption. The community garden is thoughtfully designed with cypress trees creating a permeable green edge, and even rainwater is harvested for use throughout the building. The Crystal, London One of the world’s most sustainable buildings, The Crystal was commissioned by Siemens and reopened in 2022 as London’s new City Hall. The building is completely electric and the heating is all generated via ground source heat pumps. Energy is also created via solar power and there is thoughtful urban landscaping around the entire building. By using different types of insulated glass (such as reflective and transparent glass) the designers have achieved the perfect level of solar gain and privacy/openness. Sydney Opera House This iconic landmark is recognisable across the world. The team here took the approach that what was needed was to renovate an existing building sustainably, rather than building a new sustainable building from scratch. In the last 12 years, Sydney Opera House has increased its recycling rates by over 50%. It has also implemented the use of LED lamps throughout the theatres and halls which is thought to have reduced energy consumption by up to 75%. Suppliers to the Opera House are expected to use chemicals with minimal environmental impact and where possible, show evidence of a low if not zero carbon footprint. Marco Polo Tower, Hamburg Germany Located next to the Unilever HQ, this eye-catching tower was built in 2009. Every floor of the building is turned on an axis by several degrees which results in each floor overhanging the one above - protecting the one below from direct sunlight. There are vacuum collectors on the roof, alongside a heat exchanger - used to turn heat into a cooling system which then benefits the residents of the apartments within. There are cleverly designed sound insulated air louvres in all sleeping areas which enable residents to enjoy natural ventilation without being disturbed by noise pollution. Green Towers, Nanjing With air pollution levels often off the charts in major Chinese cities, this tower exists as a beacon of hope. Designed as a vertical forest, the development will include a hotel, museum, offices and architectural school. There will be more than 1000 trees and 2,500 shrubs across the buildings which could absorb up to 25 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. If successful, the ‘forest’ could provide approximately 60kg of oxygen per day to benefit residents of the city. Taking Inspiration With so many incredible developments both within the UK and around the world, we are inspired to ensure that all our work is carried out with the intention of meeting the needs of today without jeopardising the needs of the future.