Today, architecture finds itself at a crossroads. Building materials and new construction, along with the operation and maintenance of buildings, account for a significant sum of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Faced with this fact, how are architects to responsibly pursue the act (and art) of architecture without further deteriorating the planet’s environmental make-up or depleting its resources? What forms of high and low technology can be developed to curtail the injurious side of building? Can good—or even great—architecture be sustainable?
The answer, of course, is yes. The best buildings have always shown a concern for their immediate environs and how they fit in them, whether they were conscious of “sustainability” or not. Now, all architects and buildings are expected to be engaged with sustainable standards, such as LEED titles, photovoltaic cells, or green roofs—all things that these 10 projects have in common.