With the increasing environmental consciousness in our time, You must be familiar with words like“green building.” However, what kind of construction deserves the name of a“green building”?
What is a green building?
A green building is a man-made construction which provides comfortable and cozy living experiences while ensuring a design which is environmentally sound and sustainable. In a nutshell, an ideal green building should fulfill the standards of ecofriendliness, energy-saving and waste reduction. There are 26 green-building evaluation systems around the world, Taiwan being the 4th in which an evaluation system is in force. This system is also the only one evaluating buildings in subtropical areas.
A green building creates a beautiful life
Taiwan is an island with well-marked seasons. As the natural sources in Taiwan are far from sufficient, water and energy conservation has always been a prominent issue in Taiwan. As a result, when it comes to designing a building, environmental compatibility, energysaving and sustainability are usually of primary concern. Additionally, more and more people accept the idea that a good living environment should consist of ample supply of bright sunlight, fresh air and clean water. When a building exists in harmony with sun, air, water and all living creatures, we will be graduallyreturning to nature in our daily life, and only then the city will present a healthy relationship between humans and nature.
Beautiful green buildings in Taiwan
In order to attract more people to design green buildings, the Architecture and Building Research Institute is selecting green buildings all over Taiwan on an annual basis since 2003. The awarded buildings are culturally expressive and aesthetically pleasing. Go and visit these beautiful constructions in your free time. You will find that buildings can be full of life if they are built in harmony with the surroundings.
A Breathing Green Library ／ Taipei Public Library – Beitou Branch
Photo /// Mainly structured with wood materials, the library looks like a big tree house in the forest. Ample natural lights and breezes are introduced into the room thanks to the big glass panels. (Source: Taiwan Green Building Council)
Beitou Library, the first green library in Taiwan, is nestled in the ecologically diversified Beitou Park. Mainly structured with wood materials, the library looks like a big tree house in the forest. Wood is a natural building material because trees are great carbon absorbers and wood causes much less environmental impacts than cement and steel do. The roof of the library is equipped with solar panels to generate clean energy and the broad eaves further keep the sun away to protect the wooden wall from wearing. Big glass panels send ample natural light and breezes into the library room, making it well-lit and well-ventilated. People inside feel relaxed and refreshed when being surrounded by bird chirping and frog croaking. In 2012, this beautiful energysaving library was listed as one of the “25 Most Beautiful Public Libraries in the World."
Green and Innovative ／ The Magic School of Green Technologies, NCKU
Photo /// This building is structured on the concept of a Star Trek spaceship with the cascade garden on the roof populated by draught-tolerant plants. Photo courtesy: National Chengkung University, Taiwan）
This green building is designed by several NCKU professors together with their PhD students. Structured on the concept of a Star Trek spaceship, the huge solar panel on the roof works as a “rudder" of the spaceship. The railings and banisters are also smartly allocated and the front side of the building looks like Napoleon’s Hat. The clever design attracts numerous visitors to take pictures around and in the building. This innovative design helps shield most of the sunlight from going into the room, hence significantly reducing the need for air conditioning. The cascade garden on the roof is populated by draught-tolerant plants selected from around Taiwan, a perfect fusion of advanced technology and nature. Marveled at this building, the Discovery Channel spent 3 months to film a documentary about it in 2009.
The First GMP Certified Cosmetics Plant in Asia／ O’right Green Headquarters
Photo /// O’right Green Headquarters has a modern look.
Sitting in a hilly area near Longtan Township in Taiwan, the O’right Green Headquarters looks like a uniquely attractive and beautiful museum. People walking by are usually attracted to stop and take a good look at its modern appearance. To their surprise, this beautiful green building is the birthplace of shampoos instead of historical objects! Trees are planted around the building and there are several ecological ponds to purify the post-production water. The sky farm on the roof is covered by pebbles and vegetation to reduce the indoor temperature. The trees and plants on the sky farm have become a habitat for birds. The fenceless design further integrates this man-made structure into nature. By building this ecofriendly construction, the cosmetic enterprise hopes to create a sustainable relationship between humans, the building and nature.。
Photo /// The solar panels on the roof of the building create a beautiful scene.