On a building-by-building basis, it’s a no-brainer that towers use more energy, but when you look at the bigger sustainability agenda, it is vice-versa.
Say a person living on the 11th floor of a skyscraper.
- If he/she wants to take a bath, the pump transport the water to that floor with the desired pressure.
- If he/she wants vertical transportation, they use the elevator.
- On that floor he/she cannot open the windows as the velocity of the wind would he high. This makes him/her use the Air Conditioner almost throughout the day.
All these will consume more energy than if he/she lived on the ground floor.
But if we look at the city level it is a different story. The United Nations predicts that the world’s urban population will rise from 3.6 billion to 6.3 billion between now and 2050. To accommodate these new residents, the cities of the future will have to be much denser – and that means the building will be higher. From an urban planning point of view, towers are very sustainable.
In the end, it all comes to the inhabitants of the building. The way they use the resources and energy will have the most effect on the sustainability of a building. High-rise developments that combine offices, homes and other uses enable more efficient use of resources.
Happy Learning! 🙂