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Eco friendly buildings are more than just fashion

The sustainable luxury apartment building in Buenos Aires is being hailed as one of the best ways to make use of the old and the new and it is a first for the London based architect in South America.

The Aleph building in Puerto Madero, the former industrial port district has been designed with the aim of selectively recycling some parts of an old property and to use the sun for light and climate control. Building materials are to be locally sourced and produced in a sustainable way.

'Sustainability is not a matter of fashion; it has become a matter of survival. Across the world buildings consume half the energy we generate and are responsible for half the world's carbon dioxide emissions,' said a spokesman for the company.

'Architects play a key role in challenging the existing situation and it is a key concern at Foster & Partners, where its Chairman states that sustainability requires a far more holistic approach to architecture.'

The project combines new construction with the selective refurbishment of existing buildings and will also incorporate several social and cultural spaces in its surroundings to encourage meeting and sharing in what will become a new waterside community.

Apart from that, the Aleph itself will incorporate green concepts mainly associated with natural heating and lighting control to encourage outdoor living.

Each facade orientation will have particular adjustments to protect the apartments from the different intensities of the Argentine sun: the north will deal with vertical midday sun, the east against mild morning sun, the west with strong afternoon sun, while the south facade will have to invite as much sunlight as possible.

Foster & Partners requested a detailed analysis of the local materials and their impact in the environment. Experts examined wood, concrete, paints, glass, petrol based materials, and bricks to make sure they are sustainable.