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High rises can be sustainable says ‘Father of LEED’

High rises can be sustainable says ‘Father of LEED’

Robert Watson, one of the pivotal figures behind the LEED green building rating system, stated that high rise buildings are sustainable in several ways.

Speaking to Middle East Architect, Watson said: “In terms of material density per square foot of land, high rise buildings are very intensive. Yet if you look at the total impact per capita, they’re less than a lot of the small buildings. Feeding people takes a lot of land and land that’s built on can’t produce food.”

He continued: “There are a lot of innate resources in a tall building whether it’s daylight or efficient use of land. When you concentrate transportation it’s easy to have mass transit.

“I think we’re going to see a great deal of focus on urban infill development, and that means going up. Next steps will be integrating gardens and expanding the ability of tall buildings to capture and re-use rainwater.”

When it comes to shining examples of green towers, Watson points to Taipei 101 – which last week attained LEED Platinum status – as well as Beijing’s Parkview Green. “There are a lot of big projects that are going green, including many in Shanghai’s CBD,” he added.

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