China ZNC Design Professional Training

China takes the next step on the path toward a carbon neutral built environment by 2050.

On September 20th-22nd, Architecture 2030 and the China Exploration and Design Association Architecture Branch (CEDAAB) co-hosted a Zero Net Carbon (ZNC) professional training workshop in Shanghai, China. The event, put on by the Tongji Architectural Design Group Co. Ltd., was the first training of its kind to prepare architects, planners, building sector professionals, and future trainers from across China to design ZNC developments and buildings.

Globally, urban environments are responsible for nearly 75% of the world’s GHG emissions. Therefore, in order to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, it is crucial to reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the building sector.

“The Chinese government has reiterated on multiple occasions its determination to implement the responsibilities and obligations agreed to in the Paris Agreement. Protecting the environment and Mother Earth is the architects’ professional duty and social responsibility.”

Zhen Chen, Secretary-General of CEDAAB

China is adding roughly two billion square meters (21.5 billion square feet) of new buildings each year in order to accommodate an urban population expected to reach one billion people by 2030. Due to this tremendous growth, it is more important than ever that collaborations be established with Chinese design professionals to share the available principles, tools, and processes that deliver highly efficient, ZNC buildings and developments.

Since October 2015, 62 Chinese local design institutes (LDIs) and international architecture and planning firms have signed the China Accord, setting “carbon neutral or near carbon neutral” as the design standard for all new building projects in China. CEDAAB and Architecture 2030 have since established ZNC as a necessary and achievable goal for Chinese building design practice. In June 2016, CEDAAB established a Zero Carbon Green Building technical committee to further promote ZNC design in China.

The China ZNC training program built on the momentum established by the China Accord, providing a rare opportunity to bring together top international and Chinese professionals in the fields of planning, building energy consumption and emissions, solar analysis, passive heating and cooling, daylighting, and renewable energy systems. Expert speakers from SOM, SmithGroupJJR, NBBJ, DLR Group, University of Massachusetts Amherst, CallisonRTKL, the University of Washington, and Perkins+Will, discussed and presented strategies and methods for sustainable and ZNC design and planning practices applicable to China.

At the training, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, discussed EDGE certification and its incorporation of ZNC into the tool. On September 22nd, Autodesk delivered a half-day workshop on the application of Insight 360, its Revit plug-in, providing a hands-on demonstration on how the tool is used to inform early building design decisions.

The two and a half-day training and workshop were well attended by approximately 200 building professionals from throughout China.

The overarching goal of the ZNC workshop was to empower architects to assume a leadership role in the design of sustainable and carbon neutral buildings and developments, by providing them with applicable and cost-effective methods and case studies. The program ensured that participants understood the rationale behind various strategies, and were able to confidently deploy these strategies to effectively reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

“Chinese architects must implement zero net carbon design strategies throughout the entire design process, and not design ‘watermelon style green buildings’ – appearing green on the outside only – for the sake of achieving a certification.”

Xueya Che, Director of the Zero Carbon Green Buildings Technical Committee of CEDAAB

Multiple LDIs throughout China have expressed interest in bringing the ZNC training to their offices, to broaden the reach of the knowledge. As each LDI employees hundreds of architects, the impact of the training is expected to be significant. Architecture 2030 has also been invited to meet with various LDIs and Chinese cities in Guangzhou in March 2018, with the goal of introducing and implementing a new international building code standard in China.

With the ongoing collaboration between Chinese LDIs and international firms, China is in a position to provide global leadership on the pathway towards a ZNC built environment. The stone has been cast, and the ripples are beginning to spread. A transformation of the built environment in China is underway.


The 2030 Palette Updated

At the China ZNC Professional Training, Architecture 2030 presented the updated version of the 2030 Palette, an innovative online platform that provides the guiding principles and actions needed to create low-carbon, adaptable, and resilient built environments. This free online tool presents planning, landscape, and building design practices that are global in scale yet local in application. The updated version of the 2030 Palette has new project examples and resources including references to IFC’s EDGE, and is now easily accessible in China. The 2030 Palette is available in English, Spanish and Chinese languages.


Up next: Greenbuild India 

Architecture 2030 is excited to announce that Edward Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, will be giving the opening keynote at GreenBuild India: “India Rising: Providing Global Leadership”. Much like China, India now plays a critical global role in addressing climate change and greenhouse gas emissions: by 2050, nearly 15% of global new construction is expected to take place in India. The conference will be held on November 2-5 in Mumbai, India, and will address pressing issues such as air quality, human health, energy use, and global climate change.

Also taking place at Greenbuild India is an EDGE Technical Workshop that covers the tool’s capabilities, the EDGE certification process, and includes a tutorial on using the EDGE software.

INNOVATION 2030: Internships and Jury Announced

Leading design firms across the U.S. and Canada are offering paid summer internships for student winners, and outstanding professionals have been selected to jury the AIA COTE Top Ten for Students Design Competition: INNOVATION 2030.

Architecture 2030, with the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), and in collaboration with Design Intelligence and View Dynamic Glass, has produced this year’s COTE Top Ten for Students – INNOVATION 2030, a student design and ideas competition for adaptable, resilient, and Zero Net Carbon built environments.

As the planet warms and storms, flooding, drought, heat waves, and sea level rise intensify, it is essential that students entering the profession have the knowledge and design skills necessary to address and mitigate the effects of climate change.

– Edward Mazria, CEO and Founder of Architecture 2030


The five Jury members selected for the INNOVATION 2030/COTE Top Ten for Students design competition are accomplished leaders in architectural design, education, and professional practice:

Awards and Internships

Ten winning student projects will be awarded $2,000 each and recognized in architectural press and at the A’18 (AIA Conference on Architecture 2018) in New York City, and each student from a winning project team (1 to 3 students per team) will be offered a paid summer internship at a leading design firm in the U.S. or Canada.

Design studio faculty sponsors of the winning projects will be recognized for their leadership and innovative design instruction, awarded $2,000, and invited to participate in the Design Futures Council 2018 Leadership Forum on Design Education in New York City, just prior to A’18.

Top design firms offering one or more summer internships include the following, with more firms signing up every week:

For internship locations and detailed information, visit the INNOVATION 2030 and ASCA websites.


Innovation 2030 Supporters

We would also like to thank the supporters of the INNOVATION 2030 student design competition:


AIA COTE Top Ten for Students Sponsor