Planet 100: 5 Skyscrapers Pushing Green to Towering New Heights (Video)

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There's no better way to fight urban sprawl, it seems, than to build up. Indeed, modern super-towers have the opportunity to become entire communities with space to live, work, shop, and relax. These towering titans, however, do not come without a cost.

Keeping the buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer, pumping water to the upper floors, and simply keeping the lights on requires huge amounts of energy—and this says nothing of the cost of construction.Innovative Tower Living: Tiny Apartment Transforms - 24 Rooms

To help minimize these impacts, innovative architects have found ways to utilize recycled materials, implement passive heating and cooling and alternative energy generation, and even offset emissions with gardens, all hundreds of feet above the ground.

Planet 100 rounds up the top five skyscrapers pushing green to towering new heights:

5. Ohkta Tower

ohkta tower photo

Photo credit:

The Mayor of St. Petersburg announced this month that the site for a controversial 400-meter green skyscraper in the city will be moved.

Okhta Tower is the proposed new headquarters of Russian gas giant Gazprom. Designed by RMJM Architects, the building will be super-insulated thanks to two glass 'skins' that create an atrium around the main body of the tower. Opponents worry the tower with ruin the city's unique low-rise skyline.

Via: Russkimir

4. Hearst Tower

hearst tower photo

Photo credit: Tim Klein/Getty Images

Architect Norman Foster was the brains behind the Hearst Tower, New York City's first LEED gold skyscraper.

The triangular framing pattern known as a diagrid is made from 85% recycled steel and uses about 20% less steel than a conventional frame. From heat conducive limestone paved atriums to a rain water powered water sculpture, the building is tricked out with green features.

Read more about Hearst Tower:
Hearst Tower Leed Certified in "Gold"
Accidental Architecture: Cutting Buildings To Suit the Economy
The Four Sins of LEEDwashing: LEED Green Buildings That Perhaps Aren't Really Green

3. Bahrain World Trade Center

bahrain world trade center photo

Photo credit: Bahrain World Trade Center

Built in 2008, it's first skyscraper in the world to integrate wind turbines into its design. The Bahrain World Trade Center is at number three in our Top 5 Eco Skyscrapers.

The Bahrain WTC consists of two sail shaped towers designed to funnel wind to three skybridges each holding a 225KW wind turbine, capable of generating 11% to 15% of the towers' total power consumption. The turbines operate approximately 50% of the time on an average day.

Read more about the Bahrain World Trade Center:
World's First Building-Integrated Wind Turbines
"Twin Towers" Bahrain World Trade Center With Three Wind Turbines
Does Building-integrated Wind Power Work?

2. Shanghai Tower

shanghai tower photo

Photo credit: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

Designed by architecture firm Gensler, the Shangahi Tower will be tallest, most eco-friendly skyscraper in China.

Made from nine cylindrical buildings stacked atop each other, the twisting design is perfect for capturing rainwater to be used for heating and cooling. The building will have a double-skin layer to accommodate nine sky gardens, while the glass fa├žade is described to be able to reduce wind loads by 24%.

Read more about Shanghai Tower:
China's First Zero-Emissions Building
China's Stunning Green Buildings (Slideshow)

1. Dynamic Tower


In at number one, a rotating skyscraper to be built in Dubai will be entirely powered by a series of 79 horizontal wind turbines.

In wha's being described as "the world's first building in motion," the revolving 80-story tower will also have solar photovoltaic ink on the roof of each floor to supply further renewable energy to this building. The skyscraper will cost an estimated $700m to build.

Read more about Dynamic Tower:
Construction Starting On Dubious Dubai Twirling Tower?
Read more about architecture in Dubai:
Dubious Dubai
Rem Koolhaas's Dubai Deathstar
Dubai Jumps the Shark
Dubai Saves Architecture Profession
Koolhaas Loses His Marbles Again

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