The Future Now – Green Infrastructure
"Green design" has many names: eco-design, earth-friendly, organic architecture, biomimicry, arcology, and so on. The collective goal is to strive for a sustainable future where nature is a part of the built environment.
Existing green buildings like Singapore’s Frasers Tower, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, National Library, Oasia Hotel Downtown, Tree House, Heartbeat@Bedok and Vietnam’s Atlas Hotel in Hoi An showcase environmentally-friendly designs. Some sport entire facades draped in lush planting, in line with the shift towards biophilia and topophilia. A rooftop meadow is now a necessity – high-rise towers are resembling vertical forests and thorough building orientation studies and wind flow research is the order of the day. Urban greenery is a much-needed solution to the growing urban heat island phenomenon, causing cities to be warmer by 1-3°.
Countries are acknowledging the need for green infrastructure, which is good news. Certifications like the international Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Green Mark in Singapore, Landscape Excellence Assessment Framework (LEAF) or LOTUS certifications in Vietnam encourage developers to adopt green designs for recognition. Policies such as the Landscape Replacement Area (LRA) require a one-to-one replacement for the greenery lost to a building's footprint.