The green building movement in Asia may be lagging behind the U.S. and Europe, but it is slowly gaining momentum. Today’s Wall Street Journal features a piece that highlights eco-architecture projects taking shape in Asian cities across Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. One project is Ocean One, a 91-story beachfront residential high-rise in the Thai resort town of Pattaya.


Designed by Australia-based firm Woods Bagot, the building (set to be completed in 2010) will be the first eco-friendly high-rise and tallest building to be built in Thailand. Energy efficient appliances will save residents as much as 30% on electricity bills and up to 80% of the water used will be recycled for toilets and then treated for use outdoors. “A highspeed elevator will zip visitors to an observation deck, generating enough electricity as it descends to light the deck at night. Solar panels on the roof of an adjacent commercial building will power shops and restaurants.” Excess energy will even be fed into Thailand’s electricity grid.

Other eco-friendly high-rises in Asia include the residential homes in Bang Na (a suburb of Bangkok) which feature special roofs that absorb minimal heat and increase ventilation and Orchard towers in Hong Kong which use a water-recycling system to collect rainwater to water gardens and wash floors. More buildings in Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Ho Chi Minh City and Shanghai are in the works.