Ultimate Eco-Friendly Living becoming more Tangible
Can you recall the days when Hollywood used smart homes, flying cars and high quality energy efficiency features in movies to project the image of life in a distant future, like how life would be in the year 2050? Although flying cars are still somewhat long off, smart homes and high-tech super saving technologies seem to becoming more readily tangible every day for us now, in the year 2011.
LG Electronics has already revealed their line of smart home appliances that have built-in wireless and can be accessed from people’s smartphones. And it was just a little over a month ago when the South Korean government unveiled the first ever 100%, completely eco-friendly business center, right outside of the port city of Incheon.
The NIER ultimate Eco-Friendly building
At another reveal on June 8, 2011 that took a deeper look into this first-of-its-kind building, a representative shared that this building has encompassed over 60 different kinds of technologies. The building is able to soak up the sun’s heat from the outside and use it to pour in natural light inside, there are solar panels on the roof-top that provides the entire building with all its electricity, and both solar and geo thermal pumps cooperate together to help heat the building as needed. There are also other passive technologies, like super insulation (windows and doors) to minimize heat loss, that have been applied into the design of the building.
Solar panels all along the roof-top
Super insulated windows
Korea’s National Institute of Environmental Research calls this 2,500 square meter eco-friendly building home and it came with about an $8 million price tag. Currently, South Korea holds Asia’s 4th largest economy and cities like Seoul (that is similar in character to New York and Tokyo), are known to be densely populated with not only people, but congested with traffic, buildings after buildings, and pollution levels that are significantly higher than a normal level.
The unlimited eco-friendly building that is home to Korea’s National Institute of Environmental Research, will not only save monetarily in energy costs, but will also strategically cut carbon dioxide emissions by 100 tons a year. (In South Korea, buildings are known to make up 25% of carbon dioxide emissions.) Keep in mind that an average automobile releases about 2 liters of carbon dioxide for a little over 124,000 miles traveled.
This is all part of the government’s bigger plan for a more green Korea. The current President Lee Myung-bak’s administration has set a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from the projected levels by the year 2020. The South Korean government hopes that this building will become a model for the public to follow after.
Everyday things like a public bike pump cemented into the street next to a bike rack, leaves the impression that Korea is becoming more and more efficient. I discovered this particular bike pump during my lunch break with a co-worker along the main entrance into the famous, more traditional area of Seoul, Insa-dong. We both saw it as evidence of how the Korean government is investing into not only large projects like the zero-carbon emitting building, but are also thinking of smaller details that can help in enhancing the lives of everyday people.