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Architecture Leans Green in Sustainability-Minded Korea

Korean architecture and urban planning seem to be continuing on a sustainability trend – with a green focus at architectural events, major green projects across the country, and a growing number of LEED-certified buildings.

Recently, Korea’s southern city of Gwangju hosted the 9th Gwangju Festival of Architecture and Urban Culture. Korean architects gathered to attend the four-day event that featured an Architecture Award Exhibition, International Architectural Exhibition and a joint-exhibition with the Japanese city of Fukuoka.

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The 2012 theme was “Architects, Building Life.” One of the goals of the festival was to highlight the “latest construction techniques and design exhibits used by leading Korean and international companies.”

In particular, architects learned about how to achieve sustainable communities in the future through green projects. The festival’s seminars, conferences, and competitions also drew interest from Chinese and Japanese architects.

Check out the below video to see more about the festival!

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Major green projects such as the international business city of Songdo also point to this sustainability trend. Songdo is an entire city designed from the ground up to be sustainable, reflecting the priority of the government and stakeholders.

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Songdo is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and it promotes the inclusion of “positive planning aspects into local and municipal zoning codes focused on Smart Growth, Transit Oriented Development and Green Growth.”

The city claims that “third party development land sale agreements” will require that buildings meet LEED Certification.

Green space makes up 40% of Songdo and charging stations for electric cars are available. You’ll also see energy-efficient “LED traffic lights” on the streets. Read more about Songdo here.

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LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is a system that provides rating frameworks for sustainable “design, construction, and operation.” While LEED certifcation is used more in other countries, its use is also increasing in Korea.

According to a LEED research organization in Korea, 29 buildings across the country are already LEED-certified. Interest in sustainability is growing in both the public and private sectors. In the future, we will probably see more buildings and projects conforming to global green standards such as this.

What do you think about the importance of sustainable architecture, design, and urban planning?


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About the author by Anna Sohn

I’m a New Jersey girl with a lifelong fascination with Korea, my motherland. In 2011, I moved to Seoul and I’ve enjoyed living in this wired and fast-paced city ever since. I’m excited to share the latest tech and design developments I encounter in Korea and hope you enjoy the AT&D blog as much I enjoy writing for it!

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