How office buildings are reducing their carbon footprint

Office buildings are getting greener.

Companies are increasingly adding more outdoor spaces to offices for employees to enjoy, and incorporating nature into the interior design, such as living walls of plants, Zen gardens and greenhouses. Less obviously, more firms are creating buildings that are energy efficient or that even create more renewable energy than they consume.

The building that houses New York City's Public Safety Answering Center, which fields 911 calls, is made of recycled materials such as aluminum and the surrounding landscape requires no irrigation. The building, designed by architecture firm SOM, also has a green wall of plants inside that acts as a natural air filter.

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Where is LEED having the most impact in the US?

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently released its annual list of the Top 10 States for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the world's most widely used green building rating system. The list ranks states in terms of certified square feet per resident in the previous year, and it highlights the latest developments throughout the U.S. that are making significant strides in sustainable design, construction and transformation.

"We know how important green building practices and certifications are to ensuring a more sustainable future for all," said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. "These states showcase exceptional leadership and by using LEED, businesses, property owners and policy makers in these states are strategically addressing some of the most critical social and environmental concerns of our time."

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Solar-powered Miami office is made entirely from repurposed shipping containers

Argentina-based Reale Arquitectos just unveiled plans for a stunning office building made completely out of shipping containers. Currently under construction in Miami, the contemporary structure is made out of four repurposed containers strategically configured to give the building plenty of open spaces and great ocean views. In addition to the shipping containers, the project take advantage of a variety of green building strategies including solar power and a rainwater harvesting system.

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