China: Towards a Zero Carbon Built Environment

Will the world reverse course to achieve a sustainable and zero carbon built environment?

In late October, an historic two-day forum and workshop event was held in Wuhan, China. Organized by the China Exploration & Design Association Architecture Branch (CEDAAB) and Architecture 2030, this event established Zero Net Carbon (ZNC) as a necessary and achievable goal for buildings and developments.

Top Chinese and U.S. professionals presented the transformative principles and practices, illustrated with built work, that make ZNC development possible today.

Forum: Towards a Zero Net Carbon Built Environment, Wuhan, China

Forum: Towards a Zero Net Carbon Built Environment, Wuhan, China

China is currently urbanizing at a rate unmatched in human history. Over the next few decades, China will build 1.5-2.5 billion square meters of new buildings annually as China’s urban population grows by about 350 million people. China together with the US/Canada account for over half of the total floor area to be built over the next two decades.

On September 3, 2016, China and the US took the lead and ratified the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, and President Xi Jinping vowed to “unwaveringly pursue sustainable development” for China.

To meet its commitment in signing the Paris Agreement, it is critical that the greenhouse gas emissions of the built environment in the U.S. and China be reduced dramatically.

In October 2015, 24 international firms and 28 Chinese Local Design Institutes (LDIs) signed the China Accord, a voluntarily pledge to plan and design to carbon neutral or near carbon neutral standards. Three new international firms: HOK, ZGF and ZEDfactory, and four new Chinese local design institutes: Huahui Engineering Design Group Co., Ltd, Shanghai J Zone, China Academy of Building Research Architectural Design Institute and Guangzhou Design Institute joined the China Accord at the forum in Wuhan.

The forum and workshop provided an opportunity for leading international and Chinese firms and organizations to exchange knowledge and best practices in sustainable and ZNC planning, development, and building design. Presenters and participants included the American Institute of Architects, China Green Building Council, China Academy of Building Research, and the U.S. Consulate, as well as China Accord signatory firms and organizations (see list below).

Workshop: Zero Net Carbon Design – Implementing The China Accord, Wuhan, China

Workshop: Zero Net Carbon Design – Implementing The China Accord, Wuhan, China

Most importantly, CEDAAB’s newly-formed Zero Carbon Green Building Design Committee committed to pursuing a professional training program for the architecture and planning community in China on ZNC principles, strategies and applications. There was also a discussion on developing tools and real-time simulation design platforms, building energy consumption baselines and targets, and professional exchange programs.

“The first step of a long journey has been taken. Let us all act together and contribute to protect the Earth’s environment upon which our survival relies” said Mr. CHEN Zhen, Deputy Director, Secretary General of CEDAAB.

Will the world reverse course to achieve sustainable and zero carbon urban development? With the leadership of Chinese and international building design and planning professionals, firms, and organizations, the answer coming out of the event was a not just a resounding “yes”, but an observation that China has the ability to move very, very quickly.

> Download the forum program here.

THANK YOU TO OUR HOSTS FOR THE FORUM AND WORKSHOP

The Central-South Architecture Design Institute,
Huazhong Architecture
Hubei Civil and Architectural Society Architect Branch

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS AND SUPPORTING PARTNERS

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PRESENTERS AND PARTICIPANTS

(* Presenters)

International Firms and Organizations:
American Institute of Architects*
American Institute of Architects – Shanghai Chapter
Architecture 2030*
Autodesk
Bisagni Environmental Enterprise
CallisonRTKL*
Cuningham Group*
DLR Group*
HKS*
HOK
Mott MacDonald
Natural Resources Defense Council
NBBJ*
Perkins+Will*
Rocky Mountain Institute
SOM*
ZEDFactory
ZGF*

Chinese Firms and Organizations:
Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tsinghua University*
Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd
Central-South Architecture Design Institute*
China Architecture Design Group
China Academy of Building Research*
China Exploration & Design Association Architecture Branch (CEDAAB)*
China Green Building Council*
China Northeast Architectural Design and Research Institute Co. Ltd
China Northwest Architecture Design and Research Institute Co. Ltd
Construction Group Co., Ltd
Construction Times
Dalian Architectural Design and Research Institute Co. Ltd
East China Architecture Design Institute
Guangzhou Design Institute
Guangdong Provincial Academy of Building Research Group Co., Ltd
Guangxi Hualan Design & Consulting Group
Guizhou Architectural Design and Research Institute Co. Ltd
Heilongjiang Provincial Architectural Design and Research Institute
Huahui Engineering Design Group Co., Ltd
Hubei Provincial Academy of Building Research & Design
Jiangsu Provincial Architectural D&R Institute Ltd.
Jiangxi Province Architectural Design & Research General Institute
Jilin Provincial Jianyuan Design Group Co., Ltd
Peking University*
Shandong Tong Yuan Design Group Co., Ltd
Shanghai J ZONE Architectural & Planning Design Co., Ltd
Shanghai Shining Digital Image Co. Ltd
Shenzhen General Institute of Architectural Design & Research Co., Ltd
Sichuan Provincial Architectural Design and Research Institute
The Architectural Design and Research Institute of HIT
Tianjin Architectural Design Institute*
Tongji University Architectural Design and Research Institute (Group) Ltd.*
Tongji University
Urban Planning & Design Center of Peking University
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Architectural Design & Research Institute
Zhejiang University of Technology Engineering Design Group Co., Ltd