Brief: Green towers: big can be green

The Bank of America's new 1 billion USD national headquarters in New York will be the first skyscraper to apply for a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) platinum rating. It will feature underfloor displacement air ventilation enabling occupants to adjust the temperature at individual work stations. Freedom Tower, to be built on the site of the former World Trade Center, is likely to feature a windfarm on the roof supplying 20% of the building's energy needs. London's 41-storey "Gherkin" boasts natural ventilation, maximum use of natural lighting and computer-controlled blinds responding to data provided by exterior weather sensors. The Gherkin consumes almost 50% less energy than a conventional tower. In Australia, cutting-edge buildings now feature sky gardens, solar cells, wind turbines, fresh-air ventilation and sun shades.