Green building practices aim to reduce the environmental impact associated with the construction and management of buildings. As of today, buildings account for 18% of the world’s emissions, or the equivalent of 9 billion tonnes of CO2 annually. 

Green buildings are estimated to save on average 30% of electricity, 30-35 % water, and 50-90% waste discharge costs. These numbers can be achieved taking into account multiple elements such as: building level/orientation, water capture and reuse, energy efficiency targets, etc. 

The EC-Link Project’s goal is to sustain the cooperation between Chinese and European cities, with the intent to introduce sustainable solutions in the Chinese green building sector.

Position Papers
Green Buildings
Position Paper, January 2018
Green Buildings
EC-Link Implementation Guidelines
Case Studies
ZED (Zero Emission District)
Building with Integrated Solar Panels
Eco-District Viikki
Vertical Forest (Houses)
Energy-Efficient Green Building Programme
Freiburg Vauban
Heidelberg Bahnstadt
Grenoble Le Bonne
Pamplona Navarra
Passive Building Design
Active Building Design
Retrofitting of Buildings
Green Building
Performance Evaluation Indicators
Green Building
Interational Green Building Standards


Building Construction Authority Gets Additional S$20 Million For Green Building Innovation

The National Research Foundation (NRF) has provided S$20 million of funds for Building Construction Authority’s green building innovation project.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong announced this project at the opening of the inaugural International Built Environment Week (IBEW), organised by BCA.

These funds are available to all companies within the Green Buildings Innovation Cluster (GBIC) which was set up by BCA in 2014, with an S$52 million grant from NRF.

GBIC is a group focused on experimenting, exhibiting and exchanging of information and solutions for the smart use of energy. It was launched under the Energy National Innovation Challenge (Energy NIC). It provides grants to companies within the industry to innovate on ways for creating smart green buildings.


Smart buildings, artificial intelligence key to uni's bold plan to be carbon neutral by 2029

Researchers from La Trobe's Centre for Data Analytics and Cognition are designing the La Trobe Energy Analytics Platform (LEAP) — a tool which will monitor and manage energy consumption across the university's 50 buildings.

It promises to make lighting, heating, and cooling adjustments in real time to reduce energy consumption.

The technology will help the tertiary institution reach its net-zero emissions target by 2029, one year ahead of Monash University's 2030 target.

Net-zero carbon emissions, or carbon-neutral emissions, are achieved by balancing the amount of carbon released with an equal amount of carbon offset by producing clean energy or buying carbon credits.


How Green Buildings Are Essential To Our Well-Being

The demand for green buildings has risen sharply in recent years. One study of 7,100 buildings found that 90% were improving energy efficiency by at least 10%.

The most obvious benefit of green buildings is that they help the environment. But there are other benefits as well that get less publicity.

Green design is an architectural movement that has gained a lot of momentum in recent years. It has been growing steadily since the turn of the century.

The main focus is still largely on the environmental, which includes making structures as energy and water efficient as possible. However, there has been a new branch of the green building movement that has gained traction as of late. This new sustainability trend is known as the healthy building movement. It takes a holistic design approach that considers the construction of a building and its inhabitants as deeply intertwined.


EC-Link Project Participates at the Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Forum

The Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Forum was held on 29Jun in Qingdao city. The EC-Link Project was invited to share the case of green project development in link with green financing. Qingdao is one the pilot cities under EC-Link assistance for green finance, two municipal green projects have been selected and prepared potentially for the Shandong Green Development Fund financing.  

The Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Improvement Project for the Existing Buildings in Qingdao was introduced as the example. The Shandong Green Development fund is initiated by Asian Development Bank, also expected to leverage the blending investment from other International Financing Institutes, Private Capital and Commercial Banks. It provides creative Green Fund mechanism with international standard on the green criteria, which expected to achieve significant positive outcomes on environmental and climate impact, particular on GHG reduction, as well as, innovative modality to increase the bankability of green projects. 

 The Qingdao case done by EC-Link Project give a best practice example of how the green project can be developed in link to Green Finance resources. This has been attracted huge interest among the forum participants, who are the key people from Municipal Environmental & Ecology Bureau, climate change research institutes and other International Cooperation Agency. They have shown strong willingness to cooperation with EC-Link program on the Green Development aspect. There will be potential opportunities for demonstrating the Qingdao case to other pilot cities, to amplify the EC-Link intervention influence on Green development.

EC-Link Project Presents Its Green Building for Cold Winter & Hot Summer Climate Zone Research Paper 

EC-Link Project presented its Green Building for Cold Winter & Hot Summer Climate Zone Research Paper; the research has been developed in cooperation with the 

China South-West Architecture Design & Research Institute. The research paper focuses its attention towards City level needs providing technical guidelines (solutions and references) and case studies for green buildings. 

Furthermore, during their presentation, EC-Link experts showed sustainable approaches for green urbanization & green building (strategy, parameters, methods and specific techniques) and how to develop an integrated way for a sustainable and efficient green building sector. 

EC-Link intent is also to present solutions that are able to make a contribution to climate protection (targets of EU and Chinese Central Government, carbon neutral till 2050), therefore effective solutions (such as mechanical ventilation) should not be disqualified due to higher cost or mismatch with the local culture. Indeed, during the presentation were introduced solutions that are effectively reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions to very low values and that provide the indoor environmental quality desired by the people. 

EC-link project, with such research paper is focusing its attention towards policy recommendation and technical assistance (including subsidies and support schemes for effective measures); still, due to limited funds in Guilin, the Project agreed to try support 

Guilin municipality proving also some practical guidelines for architectural design.

Moreover, once Guilin will better recognise the projects to be develop, EC-Link project will also try to support the municipality in identifying sustainable financial solution due to its active work in the green municipal finance sector.

EC-Link Project Support Zhuzhou In Developing Passive House Projects 

In light of on-going collaboration between EC-Link Project and Zhuzhou municipality, a mission was organized to work on a real project currently developed in Zhuzhou.

The project is about the measurement for 3 built passive apartments and normal (traditional build) apartments. This research project has been carried out by Zhuzhou Mightier Construction Group, Hunan university design Institute, Hunan technical University and Tsinghua Tongfang Ltd. Co. 

Zhuzhou municipality is asking for EC-Link support in providing its expertise for inspecting the indoor environment and annual energy consumption of passive houses, testing and finding the best solution for building passive ultra-low energy building in hot summer and cold winter climate zone.

During the mission, EU expert and Chinese experts discussed in detail what has to be measured and how to measure. EC-Link experts recommended to measure apartments with enough detail to make assessment about the building physical properties in local passive house design. Therefore, it is recommended to measure a small number of apartments, their structures and systems in detail, rather than to measure a larger number of apartments with low depth. Moreover, it was suggested to add an occupant survey to the measurement and to install sensors and data loggers in wall structures and glazing systems.

Concerning EC-Link research on Green Building for Cold Winter & Hot Summer Climate Zone, EC-Link experts also showed sustainable approaches for green urbanization & green building (strategy, parameters, method and approach), and in particular the passive low-energy building in Zhuzhou climate as an integrated way for achieving green building in Hunan Province.

EC-Link Project and Zhuzhou will continue their cooperation in the green building sector, and already planned future missions to share results of on-going activities.

29 Key Projects Are Contracted In Wujin District Of Changzhou With A Total Investment Of RMB 18.95 Billion 

Recently, it was learned from the municipal housing and urban-rural development department that 19 projects including the project of construction of the Baizhang Cheliang Section of the Rail Transit Line No. 1 of Changzhou City, which is undertaken by the Third Construction Co., Ltd. of China Construction Eighth Engineering Division, were named one of “2018 New Technology Application Demonstration Projects of Jiangsu Construction Industry”. 

It is understood that the Provincial New Technology Application Demonstration Projects of Jiangsu Construction Industry refers to the projects that should apply at least 6 technologies stated in the 10 New Technologies in the Construction Industry as recognized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, at least 2 technologies in Jiangsu Province’s 10 New Technologies in the Construction Industry (2011 edition), and some other new technologies adopted by the enterprises themselves according to their project characteristics and features. The 10 new technologies proposed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development include the foundation and underground space engineering technology, concrete technology, steel and prestressing technology, formwork and scaffolding technology, steel structure technology, electromechanical installation engineering technology, green construction technology, waterproof technology, seismic strengthening and monitoring technology, and information application technology.


Hong Kong’s Harbourfront Commission Approves Plan For Eco-Friendly Footbridge Linking Central Wan Chai To Victoria Harbour

The proposed design of an eco-friendly footbridge meant to provide a faster, more enjoyable walk from central Wan Chai to the waterfront has been approved by Hong Kong’s harbour oversight body.

The Harbourfront Commission’s Hong Kong Island task force was in favour of the project on Tuesday, asking the government to merely fine-tune the proposed walkway with an eye to additional features such as food and drink concessions and more cover.

Source: South China Morning Post -

Climate Change Can Pose Big Risks To Real Estate Investments

Climate change could dramatically alter the value of real estate investments.

And that goes for real estate investment trusts, companies that own income-producing real estate, if they do not shift their investment strategies to address growing risks, industry experts say.

A 2018 report found that 35% of REIT properties have geographic exposure to climate hazards, including inland flooding, typhoons or hurricanes, and coastal flooding and elevated sea levels. The research evaluated 73,500 properties owned by 321 REITs.

Source: CNBC -

European Cities Target Net-Zero Carbon Buildings By 2050

A coalition of eight European cities – including Madrid, Wroclaw, and Leeds – have pledged to completely decarbonise their existing building stocks by 2050.

The commitment is called Build Upon2 and is being convened by the World Green Building Council (WGBC).

It will see the cities collaboratively develop and implement a built environment renovation and retrofitting framework aimed at boosting residents’ wellbeing and local economies while dramatically reducing carbon emissions across all Scopes.

As the framework is implemented over the years, the cities will be required to use local-level data to lobby for national policymakers to set equally ambitious net-zero legislation for buildings.

Source: Euractiv -

Sustainability Is The Need Of The Hour For Real Estate Sector

Sustainable Living has been gaining significant importance owing to the mindset change among the environment conscious individuals. The rapid degradation of the planet and resulting ill-effects on the environment has sounded alarm bells globally. The call for sustainable living has come about due to rapid urbanization, and the cities turning into concrete jungles. The fast depleting green cover and open areas have given way to high rises and concrete blocks. There has been a growing concern among people to safeguard and protect the planet from self-destruction. Real Estate developers need to work cohesively towards building a sustainable future for the coming generations as well.

Source: Entrepreneur -

Qingdao Municipal Housing And Urban-Rural Development Bureau Actively Made “The Pingdu-Laixi Breakthrough”.

In recent years, the Municipal Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau has greatly shifted the driving forces of construction industry. It vigorously promoted the development of prefabricated buildings and green buildings, and actively carried out investment promotion that builds a solid foundation for enterprises to invest and settle down in the prefecture. Through the early active visits and negotiations, on May 16, 2019, the Pingdu Municipal People’s Government and China Construction Science & Technology Co., Ltd. held the cooperation signing ceremony in Beijing. 

Deputy mayor LIU Jianjun expressed his heartfelt congratulations on the cooperation between the two parties. He expressed that Qingdao Municipality will continue to increase policy support, improve the application scales and technology levels of fabricated building, and provide follow-up services to encourage enterprises to explore potential market space. The Municipal Housing and Urban-Rural Development Bureau and Pingdu Municipal People’s Government will strengthen the cooperation to promote the development of prefabricated buildings and green buildings in the city, which will increase both economic and social benefits.


China’s First Passive Forest Park Hotel Passed The Acceptance

On April 17, the passive energy-efficient renovation project of Shennongwan International Healthcare Holiday Hotel (Shennongwan Hotel), which was built by the Mightier Group’s Energy Efficient Housing Co., Ltd., passed the acceptance organized by Party A —and will open on May 1.

Shennongwan Hotel is located in Shennong Valley National Forest Park, Yanling County, Zhuzhou City, Hunan Province. It consists of one three-storey building and two two-storey buildings with a total construction area of 7,940 m2. The hotel’s acceptance marks the birth of the first passive hotel of Forest Park in China. The project is also the largest passive energy-efficient renovation project so far among such existing buildings known to the world.

The Shennong Valley Forest Park where the hotel is located is deep into the Luoxiao Mountains. The annual temperature there is low and the humidity is especially high, with an average annual rate of about 88%. Usually, tourists can only lodge in the surrounding farmers’ homestays, and the quilts will be easily damped and become musty that make them unbearable. After the passive transformation, it can not only solve the problem of mold in the rooms caused by indoor humidity, but can also effectively save energy and reduce operating costs.

Source: WeChat article: Nine-Five Green Building

China Joins the World Green Building Council Community

China's Green Building Council officially has partnered with the World Green Building Council in a major boost to international efforts to curb the environmental impact of the building and construction sectors, the two organizations announced.

The partnership was hailed as "hugely significant" by the World GBC, given China's position as the largest building construction market in the world, responsible for the construction of up to 2 billion square meters of building space each year. The country is expected to account for nearly half of new global construction over the coming decade.

Source: Green Biz -

The Scramble to Put A Ceiling on Spiralling Building Emissions

Things are looking up in the magazine this month as we examine how companies are reducing CO2 emissions in the built environment. As Mark Hillsdon reports, buildings are one of the biggest contributors to climate change, accounting for 36% of energy use globally. And despite improvements in building technologies, energy use continues to grow, with sharply rising use of air conditioners, and an area of floor space the size of Paris constructed every week, according to the International Energy Agency.

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, launched last year at the Global Climate Action Summit in California, is seeking to bend the curve on this trajectory by challenging companies, cities, states and regions to reach net zero operating emissions in their portfolios by 2030.

Source: Ethical Corporation -

EC-Link Project Participated at the Fifteenth International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo

The EC-Link Project, funded by the European Union (DG DEVCO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD), participated in the Fifteenth International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo held in Shenzhen on April 3-4, 2019. During the event, high level European and Chinese speakers introduced and shared practical experiences of on-going EU-China International Programs in the Green Building Sector.

The EC-Link Project hosted a Forum entitled: “Sino-Europe Green Building & City Forum”.

The Forum saw also the participation of Local Government representatives, academicians, and Chinese private companies. Main objective of the Forum was to introduce European experiences and best practices in the Green Building Sector. It received great appreciation from the participating Chinese stakeholders, both in terms of knowledge sharing and potential for future cooperation with the Project (

Andrea Claser, Team Leader of the EC-Link Project, introduced the Project and its purposes,highlighting the work it is doing to support the dialogue between European and Chinese cities and the correlated introduction of best practices among multiple sectors, such as: sustainable urban planning, green building, as well us water and waste management and municipal green finance.

At the Forum, the following Chinese and European experts were invited: GUO Zhenwei - Deputy Director, Green Building Research Center, Chinese Society for Urban Studies; Dirk Schwede - Director,Energy Design (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; WU Zhetao - Design Director,; Peter Sailer - Project Director, Sino-German Urbanization Partnership,GIZ and Stefan Schirmer - Senior Architect, German Energy Agency (DENA).

The focus of all presentations was to find,analysing different scales and angles, a successful correlation between energy efficiency and green building sector so to have greener urban development.

On the scale of green building, great attention was given to the importance of selecting the right technological solution according on different levels in terms of climate and resource efficiency. Mr. GUO Zhenwei introduced the practice that CSUS made which integrates the German DGNB system, British BREEM system and French HQE system by ‘dual certification’. Mr.Dirk Schwede introduced active house technologies analysing present policies and technologies and providing practical suggestions for their effective introduction within Chinese market. Mr. Stefan Schirmer explained dena’s approaches on promoting net-zero energy consumption building in hot and humid area. 

Moreover, speakers also touched upon the energy-saving approaches on city level. Mr. WU Zhetao introduced the concept of “living with ocean” facing climate change, and their practices in applying the concept into urban design, industry development and ecological environment of coastal cities in Europe and China. Mr. Peter Sailer explained the Energy Efficiency Policy in Germany, which provides a package of tools in order to reach the goal of reducing 40% GHG emission by 2025 (comparing to 1990).

The EC-Link Project is fully committed in supporting Chinese municipalities in reaching such ambitious goals. Indeed, the participation to the Expo, was also an occasion to meet with cities’ representatives, such as Zhuzhou, so to improve on-going cooperation activities.

For instance, in the frame of the pilot actions implemented by EC-Link in agreement with the cities of Guilin and Zhuzhou, a research paper “Design guidelines for energy-efficient residential buildings in the hot summer and cold winter climate zones in China” was elaborated, through the academic cooperation of Chinese and EU experts aimed at guiding Chinese cities not only on strategies and policies, but also on the best practices from European and Chinese cities.

Another pilot action, involving the Zhuzhou Municipality and the Stuttgart University, is on-going.It aims at contributing to the development of a localized Energy-efficient building code. Moreover, EC-Link is also cooperating with Qingdao municipality to develop municipal green finance projects for comprehensive energy efficiency improvement project for existing buildings; a similar cooperation will start soon also with Zhuzhou municipality.

“Green” is increasingly becoming a competitive selling point, as more and more Chinese municipalities and developers are placing a focus on green construction.

Reducing energy consumption in the building sector is one of the most important measures for global energy reduction and climate adaptation. The adoption of state-of-the-art green building technologies and solutions is a key part of China’s sustainability and environmental protection goals. Europe can support such significant developments with the necessary expertise in the full supply chain,covering planning & design, construction and operational stages. Scientific development philosophy must be steadily created and seriously implemented, so is the concept of urban sustainable development.

The EC-Link Project will continue its work to sustain cooperation and dialogue among European and Chinese cities so to support the best exchange of knowledge within the green building sector.

Building Sector Takes Concrete Steps to Address 'Hidden Emissions'

Over the last 20 years, the building sector has focused on tackling the 28% of global emissions created by the operational phase of a building, the greenhouse gases pumped out by offices and homes as they are cooled and heated.

Far less attention has been paid to embodied carbon, those emissions created during the building’s construction and which are effectively locked in as soon as materials like concrete and glass are created.

However, since the Paris Agreement injected an even greater urgency into efforts to fully decarbonise the global economy, policymakers and industry have recognised that the focus can no longer just be on the use phase. 

Source: Ethical Corporation -

New European Emissions Limits for Cars Risk Triggering Influx Of ‘Fake Electric’ Vehicles, Green Group Warns. 

Car manufacturers could take advantage of new European emissions rules to push sales of “fake electric” vehicles, green transport campaigners have warned.

EU leaders agreed on a plan this week to cut CO2 pollution from new cars by over a third by 2030, including measures to incentivise the rollout of electric vehicles.

But green group Transport & Environment said companies could use high-polluting “plug-in hybrid” vehicles to supply half of all the low emission cars required to comply with stricter targets. While this would meet goals on paper, the group warned that if the industry takes this path of least resistance it would jeopardise the continent’s climate targets. 

Currently the plug-in hybrid market is dominated by large SUVs with small batteries that are rarely charged due to their limited range.

Source: Independent -

“Hefei Made” Talent Apartment Becomes a Provincial Architectural Demonstration Project

On March 25th, 34 projects of the city were officially selected into the Anhui Provincial Green Building and Prefabricated Building Demonstration Project. Among them, Hefei has got a number of talent apartment projects selected into one major Demonstration Project showing that the city’s architecture industrialization level is steadily improving.

The Provincial Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development requires prefectural-level housing and urban-rural development departments to include the organization and implementation of the demonstration project into their key agenda, strictly supervise the demonstration project construction units to refine their project implementation plan, and organize the construction in an orderly manner. According to the plan, this year’s green buildings in the province will account for 45% of the newly built residential area, and the proportion of prefabricated buildings to the newly built building area will strive to reach 10%.

The Provincial Department hopes locals to ensure that the demonstration objectives and tasks be completed on schedule, so to successfully promote the high quality development of green buildings and prefabricated buildings in the province.


China Is Top Country for Global Green Building

Mainland China tops the list of countries and regions for LEED green building, with more than 68 million gross square meters, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The annual Top 10 list recognizes markets outside of the U.S. that are using LEED to create healthier spaces for people, as well as use less energy and water, reduce carbon emissions, and save money for families and businesses. The top countries and regions account for nearly 7,800 certified buildings and more than 210 million gross square meters of space.

“For the last 25 years, LEED has played a key role in sustainability efforts around the world”, said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the global certifying body for LEED projects. “The Top 10 Countries and Regions represent a global community of dedicated USGBC member companies and green building professionals who are committed to improving our quality of life. A better future requires a universal living standard that leaves no one behind—and that future would simply not be possible without the extraordinary work is being done in these countries.”

Source: Facility Executive -

Chinese Developers’ New Year’s Resolution – Diversify into Robotics, Green Cars and Beijing’s Other Pet Projects

It’s hard to be a rich Chinese property developer these days. Profits are still booming, for sure. And property development remains one of the most powerful engines of the economy. But when developers look ahead, they see diminishing profits – and diminishing favour. To stay at the top of the tycoon pile, they are quickly diversifying, embracing the government’s new pet industry – tech. Think robotics. Think green cars. Think artificial intelligence.

The embrace of hi tech by property developers comes amid President Xi Jinping’s push for the ambitious “Made in China 2025” plan that would transform the world’s second-largest economy into an innovation powerhouse.

Source: South China Morning Post -

Renewable Energy Investments Increased Five-fold Globally Over Past 15 Years

In the green building sector, the UK and International Finance Corporation (IFC) joined a partnership in blended concessional finance for climate change mitigation. Lebanese electricity distribution services received clean climate finance to increase its grid efficiency through deployment of new technologies. To ensure that energy-saving investments in electricity transmission and distribution technologies are aligned with the Paris Agreement on climate change, the World Resources Institute (WRI) presented a methodology to screen their mitigation impacts.

Source: IISD -

Green Buildings Must Do More in Fixing Climate Emergency

After more than three decades of talk about the potential of building green, we’ve still failed to change the way we design and construct buildings so that the built environment stops being a dominant contributor to runaway climate change.

The Earth has already warmed about 1℃ since the 19th century and it’s on track to rise another degree. This second degree would push stable civilization to the very brink. In its recent report, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change called for “urgent and unprecedented changes” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) so that we avoid reaching 2℃.

Source: Eco-Business -

Building the Future: Four Innovation Trends That Are Shaping Green Construction

Europe's buildings are receiving an energy-efficiency makeover, and a host of innovative, green building technologies are the perfect tools for the job.  

Europe's homes, businesses and public buildings sap up about 40% of all energy in circulation, more power than in either the industrial (32%) or transport (28%) sectors. This translates into about 20 exajoules of energy per year - the rough equivalent of 3.5 billion barrels of oil - and means our buildings are responsible for about 36% of the continent's carbon emissions. 

As Europe pushes forward to shrink both its energy consumption and carbon footprint, revamping the region's buildings has been given top priority. Countless numbers of buildings are slated for renovation in the coming years, and millions more will be constructed or refurbished after tougher EU guidelines take effect in 2020.

Source: European Patent Office -

Green Building Materials Gain Adoption as Investment in Sustainable Solutions Grows

The evolutions in construction industry have increased demand for sustainable construction materials and techniques. In the last few years, the demand for green building materials has been witnessing significant growth, owing to stringent government regulations on emission reduction. Moreover, reduced maintenance and operational costs and less energy consumption are further accelerating the demand for green building materials. 

Various types of green building materials are gaining popularity in residential as well as commercial building owing to growing preference for materials that are energy-efficient, moisture-resistant, durable, and easy to maintain. Fiber cement siding, thermally modified wood, bamboo, fly ash and recycled plastic, are some of the green construction materials witnessing growing adoption in the construction industry.

Source: Globenewswire -

National University of Singapore Welcomes Its First Net-Zero Building

The National University of Singapore has built its first net-zero building on campus, making it also the first of its kind in Singapore to be built from scratch. 

Launched at the new School of Design and Environment (SDE), SDE 4 is the latest addition to the three buildings that exist in the school, but the only one currently equipped with sustainable building designs such as solar roof installations, a hybrid cooling system as well as innovative approaches to optimise natural ventilation and lighting.

Being net-zero also means that the building produces more energy than it consumes, which it does with a “solar farm” on its roof, comprised of more than 1200 solar photovoltaic panels. The building draws energy from the university power grid on days when there is insufficient sunlight.

Source: Eco-Business -

First Green Building Inaugurated in Ajman

Ajman Municipality has begun work on its first green building with the pouring of green concrete for its central laboratory building, which is the first of its kind in the emirate and costs AED15m. The construction of the building is in line with the emirate’s green building system standards and is part of the department’s vision to create a sustainable environment and a modern structure for building the future of Ajman. The building will include sunlight-reflecting glass, which will insulate it and help save electricity, as well as thermal bricks that will be examined in the laboratory before they are used.

Source: Arabian Industry -

How To Improve Communication Between People And Smart Buildings

When it comes to buildings and their occupants, USC researchers see a failure to communicate, yet improved dialogue between the two can help smart buildings work better for a sustainable society. 

In a new study, researchers found that subtle changes in design of virtual assistants results in behavioural changes that can help the environment. The researchers found people connect better with a computer-generated avatar that represents building management. They found that social banter between machine and people gets better results. The findings underscore how personal connections and social interactions key to human relations also foster cooperation between people and machines.

Source: PHYS -

The World's Largest Single Passive Public Building Under Construction by the Zhu Zhou Mightier Group Is About to Open

Zhuzhou City Civic Center (also known as Entrepreneur Square) is a comprehensive citizen service center that integrates “convenience service”, “entrepreneurial service” and “leisure service”. The center has set up 7 comprehensive management areas such as “Real Estate Registration Area”, “People's Social Security Provident Zone”, “Public Service Comprehensive Area” and “Investment Approval Area”, so that the government service “only enters one door” and “runs at most once”. This project was contracted by Zhu Zhou Mightier group.

The project has a construction area of 62,334 square meters, an office part of 39,976 square meters, a commercial part of 7,000 square meters, a basement 1 commercial area, and a ground floor of 1-4 floors. Building Environment Central Park forms six scales of pleasant floating islands, which solves the needs of different functions such as office, social, shopping and leisure. The connection between entrepreneurial space and service platform can greatly improve the efficiency of work. The most important thing is that the project is completely built using passive energy-saving technology and is the world's largest single passive public building!

Passive construction, simply speaking, does not require active heating and air conditioning, but uses the insulation of the ground, walls, doors and windows, fresh air system, and renewable energy such as solar energy and geothermal energy to achieve constant temperature and humidity throughout the four seasons. Constant oxygen, constant net and constant static buildings. This is a true green building and a future building.


The Cost of Cooling Our Cities

As the world gathers for COP 24, the U.N. climate summit, it must contemplate the fact that as development and urbanization increase, the heat island effect will worsen. This is a phenomenon where the density of buildings, industrial activity, roads and traffic in a city trap heat and raise temperatures above those of the surrounding areas. This heating up will, naturally, require even more cooling units. The International Energy Agency recently predicted that the stock of air-conditioning units would triple by 2050, growing from 1.6 billion to 5.6 billion by 2050. This would require as much electrical capacity to power as the United States, the European Union and Japan currently use, combined.

Source: The Washington Post

Sustainable Floating Neighbourhood Nears Completion

The most sustainable floating residential neighbourhood in Europe will soon be ready for the residents to move in. After years of dreaming, research, design and construction, the Schoonschip project is starting to take shape. The water homes will float on the Johan van Hasseltkanaal, a waterway in Buiksloterham, Amsterdam Noord.

The homes are currently being constructed in different locations in the Netherlands. They will then be towed to the Johan van Hasseltkanaal. The neighbourhood will also have social activities, leisure facilities, and floating gardens.

Source: Gemeente Amsterdam

International Forum of Financing Sustainable Buildings

On November 15, 2018, the “International Forum of Financing Sustainable Buildings” took place in Chongqing. The event welcomed 150 attendees and was hosted by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. The GIZ Sino-German Urbanization Partnership (SGUP) was excited to co-organize the event. As an organisation which was initiated by the aims to foster collaboration between Chinese and German parties on sustainable urbanisation objectives, SGUP believes that effective solutions can only be found by involving all stakeholders in the discussion. This scheme is overseen by the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD) of the People’s Republic of China


In the last decade, the Chinese government has implemented multiple policies to promote sustainable buildings. Public financing particularly provides a major incentive for various actors to improve the potential of energy efficiency and green building. However, it is evident that subsidies alone cannot achieve China’s sustainable building initiative. Green financing channels and tools are also essential for attracting private investment to further fill the immense financial gaps. At the same time, green financing is becoming increasingly popular worldwide among both financial institutions and policymakers. Therefore, although the area of green financing has developed rapidly in China, the general building sector seems to have received far less attention than other sectors.

Important Ideas

Data developed by Shi Yichen, the Dean of International Institute of Green Finance, Central University of Finance and Economics, presents further insights into China’s green finance situation. According to Shi, as of June 2017, the green credit balance of 21 major banks in China reached RMB 8.2 trillion (approximately  EUR 1 trillion)  . This indicates a year-on-year increase of 12.9%, accounting for 10% of the budget of various loans. Industrial financial institutions have developed policies to support green credit and established 50 categories of green credit.  Shi offers a comprehensive explanation of green building investment and financing. According to him, the term should take into account a wide range of factors: impacts on social and economic resources, green technology and energy-saving of buildings and the potential benefits and risks of capital in investment and financing. He similarly states that ecological aspects of the building’s life cycle should be considered in financial accounting and decision-making. Similarly, economic behavior in the construction sector should also take a multi-disciplinary approach by recognizing environmental, social and economic issues in order to enhance the sector’s sustainable development.

The forum brought key players from China, Europe and international financial institutions together to discuss the challenges that green financing faces in supporting China's sustainable building development. These actors also highlighted opportunities for collaboration and potential solutions to the recognised challenges.

In his presentation, Professor Ding Yong of Chongqing University shed light on the relevant required technology as well as a cost-benefit analysis of energy-saving renovation of existing public buildings in Chongqing. According to his research, investment for renovating both school and office buildings in Chongqing remains low, but the investment recovery period is the highest when financial subsidies are not considered. It is believed that these two types of buildings do not attract high investment because of they are actively used for relatively brief periods. For example, school buildings are closed for vacation during the summer – a season when other buildings are at their peak of using air-conditioners. Therefore, school buildings save less energy through their air conditioning systems than other types of buildings each year, so the investment recovery period is longer than in other types of buildings. This indicates that school buildings have a large demand for financial subsidies. Nonetheless, after the renovation, the average energy consumption of each type of building decreased significantly, with a drop of roughly 24%.

 About SWITCH ASIA-II – Promoting Sustainable Building Mainstreaming in Western China

Overall Objectives:

  • To further sustainable building practices in less developed regions of western China;
  • To reduce climate and resource impacts of the building sector and to contribute to sustainable socio-economic growth in China.

Specific Objectives:

  • To foster sustainable building practices among Micro, Small and Medium Entreprises  (MSME)s in Chongqing City and Yunnan province and further promote these practices in western China over 2016 to 2019.

 The Challenge:

China’s unprecedented socio-economic growth has triggered a vast expansion of the country’s building sector. As a result, since 1990, the energy consumption of buildings has increased by 40%. Furthermore, China’s building sector accounts for almost 30% of the country’s final energy consumption. Hence, enhancing energy-saving practices in the building sector represents a critical way to fulfil China’s ambitions of developing a resource efficient and low carbon pathway. In fact, the Chinese government aims that 50% of the country’s new constructions will meet green building standards by 2020. At present, it is estimated that only 10% of new construction projects currently reach this standard. Out of these mentioned  10% of construction projects, a large majority (about 90%) are located in the more developed eastern part of China. In contrast, the expansion of sustainable buildings in western parts of the country, such as Chongqing and Yunnan Province, remains still in the early stages.

 The Project Consortium:

  • Environment and Energy (WI)
  • China Association of Building Energy Efficiency (CABEE)
  • Chongqing Association of Building Energy Efficiency (CQBEEA)
  • Yunnan Development Centre for Building Technology (YNBTDC)
  • Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture (BUCEA)
  • Yunnan Engineering Quality Supervision Management Centre (YNEQS)
  • Chongqing Economic Promotional Centre for Building Material Industry (CEPCBM)
  • Bank of Chongqing (BOC)

 Associated Partners

  • Ministry of Housing and Urban & Rural Development (MoHURD)
  • Yunnan Provincial Agency of Housing and Urban & Rural Development (YNHURD)
  • Chongqing Municipal Agency of Housing and Urban & Rural Development
  • (CQHURD)
  • Chongqing Banking Association (CQBA)
  • Yunnan Banking Association (YNBA)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
  • econet china I Germany Industry & Commerce Greater China
EC-Link Project and Qingdao Stringent Cooperation To Develop Green Finance Projects 

On November 3-5, 2018, EC-Link team was involved in a mission to Qingdao focused towards the possibility to start a city to city cooperation between Qingdao (represented from local HURD) and Dena (representing the German Federal Government and associated German cities).

The proposal from local HURD is to develop a “model” combining technical and financial elements so to create a framework activity that could be easily replicable in multiple different projects within the green building sector.

Within this City Network Unit (CNU), EC-link will cooperate in providing technical support for the financial part due to its connection with most relevant international financial institutions.

From a technical point of view, Qingdao HURD would welcome a cooperation with Dena (due to their domestic collaboration with KfW) in order to develop a model both for Green Assessment of the Project but also, if possible, for the post green assessment to be performed once the project is started.

Moreover, EC-Link will support local HURD in order to identify bankable pilot projects, with consequent technology selection and also actions needed to start collaboration with international financial institutions.

At the moment, Qingdao has been selecting the following line of activities: Retrofitting for existing private buildings, retrofitting for public buildings, district heating and clean heating.

Qingdao HURD asked EC-Link support as facilitator among different international projects (such as Felicity) and international institutions/funds (such as Shandong fund, ADB, KfW, AFD, etc.) so to identify the best model, with related procedures, to reach such important target.

Europe-China Initiative Marks World Environment Day with Green Building Workshop

A green building workshop was held by the Europe-China Eco Cities Link project (EC Link) in cooperation with southern China’s Guilin City in southern China’s Guangxi province from the 28th to the 29th of May to mark World Environment Day which falls on June 5th.

The event was designed to tailor a strategy according to the specific needs of Guilin city, one of EC Link’s pilot cities. Guilin's climate is used as a microcosm for the project as nearly 20 percent of China has similar conditions, making up one-third of its population. Guilin city wants to become a leader in green building technology and has been developing multiple projects in order to introduce in China more cost effective solutions.

This initiative reflects EC Link’s continuous efforts to build an EU-CHINA platform on low carbon and ecological city development. The major objective of the meeting is to identify common interests and cooperative opportunities between Chinese cities and their European counterparts in the green building development.

EC-Link Project invited to Guilin foreign experts bringing best European experience within the Green Building sector; attending to the meeting were more than 300 officials, professionals, experts and entrepreneurs from China and European countries, including the vice mayor of Guilin Municipality, chief engineer of Guangxi Provincial HURD, representatives from other pilot cities include Weihai, Changzhou, Qingdao, Zhuzhou, Xixian New Area, Hefei and Liuzhou.

As a result of two days technical discussions, policies, technologies, market mechanisms and good local practices will enter into a key research report on green buildings in sub-tropical climate zones; beside introducing latest technology solutions, the report will also address implementation, monitoring and management strategies.  

This fruitful discussion will be continued within multiple pilot projects and manifold experiences are going to be introduced into other parts of the country with similar climate conditions. Both European and Chinese sides agree to put more project resources to help pilot cities learn from European cities’ noteworthy green building technologies, know-how and good practices and evolve more effective green building development strategies to fit their specific climate features.

EC-Link Project and Guilin Municipality will continue their dialogue in order to strengthen their on-going collaboration in order to support the sustainable urban development of the Municipality.

The EC-Link project is a key component of the EU-China Partnership on Sustainable Urbanization, which was signed by the Chinese government and European Commission in May 2012. The initiative was launched in November 2013 with the aim of assisting Chinese cities in implementing energy and resource-efficient measures by sharing experiences in sustainable urbanization with cities in Europe.

EC-Link Project and CSTB Ready to Start Their Cooperation

EC-Link Team met in Zhuhai the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Batement (CSTB). The Agency operates on behalf of French cities such as Grenoble and Nantes.

CSTB delegation was represented by Cristina Garcez – Urban Strategies Director; Daniela Belziti – Project Manager; Wu Dan – China Project Manager.

The meeting focused on the possible cooperation with CSTB in the frame of CNU activities on Sustainable Urban Planning and Green building sectors, also in light of the best practices presented by Cristina Garcez, Daniela Belziti and David Mangin, who attended EC-Link sub-forum held in the frame of Zhuhai International conference on Green building.

CSTB has great experience in France in the development sustainable urban plans; this experience has been already integrated developing successful cooperation with local cities such as Jingzhou, Qingyun, Jilin and Panshi. CSTB successful experience is based on taking into account each city’s history and needs and merging them also with specific social and economic aspects. Moreover, CSTB has been developing the Building Information Modeling (BIM); it supports the emergence of the «eco-districts» concept relying on multi-criteria KPIs systems in response to different aims and stakeholders’ strategies at both local and national levels; moreover, BIM could support the development of municipal eco-city label in Chinese cities.

It was agreed to strengthen communication among two Teams in the frame of a complete Training and CNU proposal. EC-Link will keep informed its Pilot cities (but not only) regarding future on-going activities.

EC-Link Project and Zhuhai Municipality Ready to Strengthen Their Cooperation

Zhuhai – April 3rd, 2018

EC-Link Project and Zhuhai Municipality met in the view to strengthen their cooperation within Project’s activities. EC-Link and Hefei municipality have a long lasting cooperation that was expressed in the co-organization of the International Inter-City Lab held in Zhuhai in 2017.

Zhuhai Delegation was led by Mr. Zhaohui Wang, Director of Zhuhai Housing & Urban-Rural Development Bureau, together with Qiancong Peng, Director of Zhuhai Urban-Rural Planning & Information Center; Zhentao Zhang, Vice-Director of Zhuhai Urban-Rural Planning & Information Center; Meng Zhou, Vice-Director of Zhuhai Urban-Rural Planning & Information Center;  Zhiming Xu, Director of Zhuhai Municipal Building Energy-Saving Office; Guan Liu, Director of Zhuhai Architecture Design & Research Institute.

Director Wang first of all expressed the importance of the on-going cooperation with EC-Link Project and the willingness to strengthen it in upcoming months. More specifically, he stressed that the dialogue could be based on multiple aspects:

  • Green building sector for sustainable urban development
  • Land reclamation & harbour city development
  • Sponge city & resilient city
  • Low carbon urban planning
  • Flood prevention for planning & building regulations

EC-Link and Zhuhai agreed to organize a series of training events to be held in May and June, 2018. The training events will see the participation of International stakeholders and experts; at the moment is confirmed that European cities of Valencia (Spain), Bologna (Italy) and Rotterdam (Netherland) will send their delegations to Zhuhai in light of EC-Link “City Network Unit” activity meant to facilitate the dialogue and fruitful cooperation among European and Chinese municipalities.

EC-Link Project participated at the 14th International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo

Launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, on April 2-3, 2018, EC-Link Project participated to the 14th International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo held in Zhuhai in the International Convention & Exhibition Centre. During the event, high level European and Chinese speakers introduced and shared practical experience of on-going EU-China International Programs in Green Building Sector.

EC-Link Project hosted a Forum on Green Building entitled: “Europe-China Forum on Eco-City and Energy Efficiency Innovations”.

The Forum has seen the participation of Chinese Local Governments (Zhuhai, Hefei, Tianjin, etc.), academicians, and Chinese private companies. The intent of the Forum was to introduce to the audience European experience and best practices in the Green Building Sector.

Mr. Andrea Claser, Team leader of EC-Link Project, introduced the Project and its purpose, highlighting the sustenance that it is giving in supporting the dialogue between European and Chinese cities and correlated introduction of best practices among multiple sectors such as: sustainable urban planning, green building, and water and waste management.

The first presentation “The Development of Eco-City: Cases Sharing” was from Ms. Cristina Garcez (director of Regional Strategy Office of Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy in France) and Mr. David Magnin (professor of School Architecture, University of Marne-La-Vallee in France); they have given different eco -city cases in France and in China in order to compare them, from different approaches and thus in different results.

The second presentation “Refurbishment in EU – Challenges and Game Changers” was given by Mr. Uwe Bigalke, the team leader of division of energy – Efficient Buildings of German Energy Agency.  He has presented the new techniques and method of how to improve energy efficiency in renovated building.

The third presentation “The innovation and Development of passive House in China” was from Mr. Li Congxiao – deputy secretary general of Green Building Council of Chinese Society for Urban Studies. He provided many good examples of passive houses in China and the techniques in details.

The fourth presentation “The sustainable rehabilitation of villages and old neighbourhoods with their inhabitants” was from Mr. Jean Mark Natali, the founder & Chairman of URBANIS. He stressed the social aspects of the sustainability and inhabitants’ involvement in such process. The fifth presentation “Eco-cities assessment: pragmatic approach and examples to foster pedagogy, adaptability, operational capability and innovativeness” was from Ms. Daniela Belziti- the project manager of smart and Sustainable City in French Scientific & Technology centre for Building.  She pointed out the importance of government support/regulations/assessment for making an eco-city.

The Forum received great appreciation from present Chinese stakeholders, both in terms of knowledge sharing and also in light of future possible cooperation with EC-Link Project.

SWITCH-ASIA II - SusBuild Kick-off in Chongqing, April 12

China’s unprecedented socio-economic growth drives expansion in the building sector.  Meanwhile, building energy consumption has increased by 40% since 1990. The building sector now accounts for about 30% of the final energy consumption in China and thus plays a vital role in China’s pursuit of a more resource efficient and low carbon economy.  By 2020, the Chinese government aims for 50% of new constructions to   reach a green building standard. It is estimated that only 10% of new construction projects currently reach a meaningful standard. Of those 10% about 90% are located in the more developed eastern parts of China.  In western Chinese regions such as Chongqing and Yunnan Province, new green building construction is still in early trials. 

Micro-, small-, and medium-enterprises (MSME) are contracted in the development of many building projects and play a major role in shaping the quality of new buildings. This is where the EC-funded SusBird project aims at engaging with MSMEs in the City of Chongqing and Yunan province, both located in western China.

The project will provide

  • capacity building and technical support to MSMEs along the supply chain
  • guidance to facility managers
  • trainings to financial institutions for the provisioning of loans for green projects
  • guidance for effective networking amongst stakeholders
  • advice to both national and local government

The project will run for four years (2016-2020) and is lead by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy with support from the China Association of Building Energy Efficiency and the Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture. The consortium will work with econet china/German Industry & Commerce Greater China and GIZ.

On 12-13 April, SusBuild, an EU/Switch-Asia-funded project will have its kick-off event in Chongqing with MOHURD officials, public and private stakeholders from Chongqing and Yunnan, representatives from building associations from all provinces in western China as well as German organizations/enterprises.

Rotterdam Plans Most Sustainable Building in the Netherlands

Rotterdam defines green building policy as policies that affect the entire life of the building, from design and construction to operation and deconstruction; moreover, it is taken into account the economics of green buildings, with particular emphasis on information problems and externalities.  Also for this reason, the city of Rotterdam released a bevy of gorgeous green designs for a new mixed-use city hall building that will become “the most sustainable in The Netherlands”. The city challenged designers to create something spectacular, something that will be energy efficient, use sustainable materials, be useful for various people and events, generate its own energy, recycle and take out its own trash. With this project, Rotterdam wants to present an overview of green building economics and policies through a survey of theoretical and empirical evidence concerning green building practices. 

Source: Inhabitat

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