Sanyo Solar Ark- Gifu, Japan
The Sanyo Solar Ark is a 630 kW solar building constructed from reject solar panels for the company’s 50th anniversary. Sanyo planned to build the world’s largest photovoltaic system, a 3.4 megawatt Solar Ark, using their latest crystal silicon and a thin-film amorphous hybrid cell that had a 14-15% efficiency.
During the design, however, Sanyo had to issue a recall on the predecessor to their hybrid cell. Rather than sending the recalled cells to the landfill, Sanyo used them to construct the ark. Sanyo did not want to impact the environment with their mistakes and the ark now home to a solar energy museum.
National Stadium – Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The National Stadium was constructed for the 2009 World Games by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito using domestically made materials. The stadium generates all of the power it needs from the solar cells, and it only takes six minutes of sunlight to power up the stadium.
It generates 1.14 million Kilowatt hours per year, enough to offset 660 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. When the stadium is not in use, the power generated goes to the local grid. It is still used to host local games, and visitors can explore the surrounding park.
Condé Nast Building- New York City, New York
The Condé Nast Building is located in Times Square and was one of the first large buildings to use environmentally friendly architecture and solar panels.
Its solar panels do not solely supply this complex, but it is often referred as the first green structure. The Condé Nast was constructed in 2000 and features innovative efficiency such as fresh air delivery systems and high-efficiency chillers and heaters.
The Bullitt Center- Seattle, Washington
The Bullitt Center was opened in 2011 as a hyper-efficient office building. The 575-solar panels located on the roof allow for an annual net-zero energy usage.
The building is LEED Platinum, meaning it is built to the highest environmentally friendly standards by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The Bullitt Center also features rainwater collection, waste composting, passive heat recovery, efficient lighting, and many more.
Sonnenschiff- Vauban, Germany
The Sonnenschiff (Sun Ship) is a housing and retail community designed by architect Rolf Disch that makes four times the energy that the buildings need.
The community was created to be self-sustained, allowing residents to shop without the need of motor vehicles. There are 52 homes in the community and it is laid out to balance commercial residential and green space evenly.