I thought this was amazing...from Inhabitat:
The building’s aggressive approach to sustainability enables it to offer the lowest energy consumption per square meter for its class, one of the world’s largest integrated photovoltaic systems and the world’s largest solar thermal driven cooling and dehumidification system. The complex will utilize sustainable materials and feature integrated wind turbines, outdoor air quality monitors. Compared with typical mixed-use buildings of the same size, the Headquarters will consume 70 percent less water.
The kicker? "The Masdar Headquarters building outside of Abu Dhabi is also the first building in history to generate power for its own assembly, using a solar roof pier that will be built first to power the rest of the construction."
In a mostly unrelated vein... I've been reading about this for a while and I just noticed it's now open, the Svalbard Seed Bank. What an interesting idea.
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which is established in the permafrost in the mountains of Svalbard, is designed to store duplicates of seeds from seed collections from around the globe. Many of these collections from developing countries are in developing countries. If seeds are lost, e.g. as a result of natural disasters, war or simply a lack of resources, the seed collections may be reestablished using seeds from Svalbard.
Within hours of the conclusion of the official opening ceremony of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the Vault was already in business. Some 268,000 seed samples containing more than 100 million individual seeds that represent the agriculture of 220 countries have already been catalogued, coded and moved into the Vault.. These seeds were sent to Svalbard from 20 different research institutes and national gene collections.