This article is the ninth part of a multi-part series looking into the world’s greenest buildings. It is based off the book of the same name by Yudelson and Meyer. The book came out in 2013, but I still think that a lot can be learnt from the examples contained within it.

As the image below demonstrates, there are some highly sustainable and architecturally stunning buildings in this shortlist, that can act as an inspiration for current and future developments.

School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University

This week we will be looking at the School of Art, Design and Media building at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

This building stood out for its stunning incorporation into its surroundings, to such an extent that from some angles it is completely hidden.

Like other establishments in this shortlist, a primary driver behind the focus on sustainability was to inspire the students and employees who pass through the building during its lifecycle.

In terms of accreditations, the building received a Green Mark Platinum in Singapore’s national benchmark for sustainable buildings. This is the highest accreditation possible.

One of the guiding principles when designing the building was to create a “non-building building.” This led to the concept of hiding the building within the landscape and under green roofs in order to preserve the maximum amount of green space for the campus.

The green roof is the centrepiece, which the whole building was designed and built around. It is accessible by stairs and is illuminated after dark. During the day, it is so successful that it serves as a gathering space for students.

In terms of water efficiency, to keep the grass alive, it receives water from an irrigation system that is harvested from rainwater.

There are a number of other noteworthy sustainability features in this building. There is a high efficiency air conditioning system and there are motion sensors for lights, with high efficiency light fittings throughout. There is also a passive feature, whereby, the building is oriented with its long axis facades facing North and South to maximise solar gain.

All these features combine to allow the building to report an energy intensity of 134.8 kWh/sq m/year.

What you need to know   

This article is the ninth part in a multi-part series where I am picking out my favourite buildings from Yudelson and Meyer’s book The World’s Most Sustainable Buildings.

Today was the turn of looking at the School of Art, Design and Media building at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

This building stood out for its green roof, which is the best I have ever seen. There are also a number of other active and passive systems, that allow it to report an extremely low energy intensity. This is especially impressive for a building in the tropics, which would ordinarily have significant cooling costs.

Thank you for reading,

By Barnaby Nash

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, or reach out to me on social media. What do you think makes a building a sustainable building?

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I can be reached on LinkedIn and on Twitter @FollowBarnaby

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