Green buildings: 18 examples of sustainable architecture around the world

May 29, 2020

There are a lot of ways to size up buildings, whether by measuring their height, comparing styles of architecture or dissecting their histories. But in the era of climate change, more and more emphasis is being placed on a building's "green" credentials, as environmental impact leads decisions around design, construction and operations.

On Earth Day, look through CNN Style's round-up of 18 noteworthy green buildings from around the world.

Pixel Building (Melbourne, Australia)

When it opened a decade ago, in 2010, the Pixel Building was Australia's first carbon-neutral office building, generating all its own power and water on site.

Among its energy-saving features are colorful, eye-catching panels that provide shade and maximize daylight as needed, supports that help process wastewater, a roof that captures rainwater, and a series of vertical wind turbines.

One Central Park (Sydney, Australia)

The innovative city that brought you the Sydney Opera House also thinks green -- take One Central Park for example.

A park at the foot of the building literally continues up the structure, as vegetation of 250 species of Australian plants and flowers cover One Central Park, according to They look pretty, shade the building and send an undeniable statement.

Its hovering cantilever, which holds the taller tower's most luxurious penthouses, is a design marvel. says it has 25% less energy consumption compared with a conventional building of its size.

Vancouver Convention Centre West (Vancouver, Canada)

Great things are happening on the roof of the Vancouver Convention Centre West, the first building of its kind to get a double LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum designation.

So what's creating the buzz? For starters, four hives of European honey bees have been installed to pollinate the roof's plants and grasses, which in turn help reduce heat build-up in summer and retain it in winter. On top of that, the roof's sloping shape also assists with water drainage and the distribution of seeds.

But not all the action is on the roof. Some of the project is built over the water on piles (columns) that help support a marine ecosystem that includes native crabs, salmon and shellfish.


Shanghai Tower (Shanghai, China)

The world's second tallest building at 2,073 feet, Shanghai Tower is an architectural wonder as well as a sustainable one.

Take a video escape to a dreamy and passionate Shanghai

A transparent second skin wrapped around the building creates a buffer of captured air that serves as natural ventilation, reducing energy costs, and 270 wind turbines incorporated into the facade power its exterior lights.

Thanks to measures like these, the tower uses significantly less power than other skyscrapers and has a platinum LEED certification.


Please, find 14 more examples of green buildings in CNN article.