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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
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)
- 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
- Chongqing Banking Association (CQBA)
- Yunnan Banking Association (YNBA)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
- econet china I Germany Industry & Commerce Greater China
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.