The extraordinary Gardens by the Bay in Singapore was completed in 2012, featuring carbon neutral conservatories with one of them being the biggest such greenhouse in the world. Implementing active and passive technology in the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, the Wilkinson Eyre design provides an environment that allows exotic plants to flourish.
The climate-controlled greenhouses span about 16,500 square meters and use renewable and low energy systems to achieve carbon neutrality. Each of the greenhouses has its own climate, with the Cloud Forest consisting of a cool and moist biome with a tropical waterfall while the Flower Dome has a more Mediterranean environment.
Each greenhouse is also home to its own plants, with the Cloud Forest indicating how destruction of tropical forests is destroying the biodiversity of the Earth while the Flower Dome showcases the relationship between plants and people.
Energy efficiency of the building is achieved by sophisticated technology. This includes envelopes made with myriad glass which allows about 65% of daylight to enter and prevents solar heat gain by allowing just 35% of solar heat. To keep the plants and people cool, dry and cool air is filtered in around the bottom of the domes.
This allows hot air to rise and escape from the building or be used for dehumidifying. Solar trees located close by are used for hot water and electricity generation and also eject hot air. Water for irrigation is obtained from collected rainwater while a biomass which makes use of the waste from the park produces electricity and heat.
The Gardens by the Bay recently won the World Building of the Year during the WAF 2012 WAF Awards as well as the BCA Green Mark Platinum 2012.