No. 544 . 04 January 2012 
ArchitectureWeek

ArchWeek Image
The Newton Suites residential tower in Singapore, designed by WOHA, integrates planted walls, sky gardens, and large balconies. Photo: © WOHA/ Patrick Binghham-Hall Photographer

High-Rise Sustainability

by Philippe Honnorat

A high-level assessment of the impact of the urban tower on the natural environment would conclude that low land use and possible higher density are the chief advantages, with high energy usage being the chief disadvantage. Concepts of density and of energy usage are relative, and should be examined by comparing high-rise buildings with their low- or mid-rise alternatives.

Under closer scrutiny, towers do, of course, make other positive and negative environmental contributions; but the number of these, and the interaction among them, is a highly complicated subject. We will therefore focus on some key elements, with the aim of providing a glimpse into the complex web of parameters influencing how an urban tower interacts with its environment, and how a tower can ultimately be considered sustainable.

The Principal Issues

The main questions of a technical and environmental nature to be addressed when contemplating a specific tower project and its urban implications go beyond land and energy use to encompass subjects such as access, transportation, construction challenges and technology. Many of these issues relate both inwardly to the tower itself and outwardly to the surrounding environment and urban context.

For instance, energy use can be influenced by a variety of factors, such as facade technology, local methods of energy production, international leasing market expectations, local construction and maintenance practices, and shading from surrounding buildings, to name but a few. The resulting complex interactions make each tower a one-of-a-kind project that strikes a particular balance among many factors.

And even before a tower project gathers momentum, its genesis typically precedes these project-related interactions with other forces at work, of a socioeconomic, political, and aesthetic nature — forces that continue to have a bearing throughout the project's life cycle.   >>>

Continue...

This article is excerpted from The Urban Towers Handbook by Eric Firley and Julie Gimbal, copyright © 2011, with permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons.

Contents · Design · Context · Building Culture · Tools & Products · Search

IN THIS ISSUE
 Contents/RSS
People and Places
People and Places
Design
False Bay Writer's Cabin
Culture
High-Rise Sustainability

AND MORE
  Current Contents
  People & Places
  Blog Center
  Book Center
  Download Center
  New Products
  Products Guide
  Classic Home
  Calendar
  Competitions
  Conferences
  Events & Exhibits
  Architecture Forum
  Architects Directory
  Topics Library
  Complete Archive
  Web Directory
  About ArchWeek
  Search
  Subscribe & Contribute
  Free Newsletters
   

 
QUIZ
 
NEXT WEEK
Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments     Twitter     Facebook
Special thanks to our sustaining subscribers, including Building Design UK,
Building Design News UK, Building Design Tenders UK, Building Trades UK, Building Trades China, and offering bathroom faucets, and bathroom vanities.


...
Next Page >
GREAT BUILDINGS   |   ARCHIPLANET   |   DISCUSSION   |   COMMUNITY   |   NEW BOOKS   |   BLOGS   |   SEARCH
http://www.ArchitectureWeek.com/2012/0104/index.html
© 2012 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved