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Fri 23 Jul 2010 04:00 AM

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Woods Bagot breaks new ground in Zero Emissions Design

New sustainable development model from Woods Bagot and Buro Happold.

Woods Bagot breaks new ground in Zero Emissions Design

New sustainable development model from Woods Bagot and Buro Happold.

CHINA: Woods Bagot has joined forces with multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Buro Happold, to unveil Zero Emissions Design (ZERO-E), a new model for large-scale sustainable development that would significantly advance the construction industry's contribution to realising a zero carbon economy by 2050.

The announcement was made at the 2010 Bloomberg Business Week Global Green Business Summit in Shanghai. ZERO-E will capitalise on the expertise of multi-disciplinary teams, using cutting-edge parametric technologies to develop a comprehensive approach to sustainability.

The joint initiative was designed to offer an emerging, revolutionary approach to sustainable design. It challenges the industry to fulfill its leadership role, in support of the UN Compact on Climate Change. It also supports China's commitment, made last November, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45% by the year 2020, as compared with 2005 levels.

"The construction industry has known for some time that increasing the sustainability of buildings and cities is key to turning the tide on climate change," commented Ross Donaldson, global executive chairman and CEO of Woods Bagot.

"The ZERO-E pilot project confirms that, using the expertise and tools available to us today, far greater advances in building performance - those that comprise zero emissions design - are currently within the industry's capabilities. This joint initiative is not only an entirely new model for sustainable design, it is also a call to action and an invitation to our development and construction partners to join us as we lead the way to a truly sustainable future."

The ZERO-E pilot project examines the development potential of an industrial site on the Yangtze River in Chongqing, China. The study scheme proposes a 450,000m² mixed-use project, featuring an 82-storey office and hotel tower, which will continually monitor and react to internal and external climatic conditions for maximum performance.

A holistic resource system integrates photovoltaics, solar thermal panels, absorption chillers, a biogas fuel cell and an anaerobic waste digester into a closed-loop system that greatly improves the building's operational performance while minimising resource consumption and waste production.

Beyond the technological advancements, ZERO-E's systems approach also encompasses the human dimension of sustainable development. "As an industry we must take urgent steps to change the planning, design and construction of the built environment if we are to help deliver a zero carbon global economy," said Gavin Thompson, Buro Happold's managing director.

"ZERO-E demonstrates the power of combining our significant expertise, blurring the boundaries between architect and engineer, and represents a watershed moment for our industry. "ZERO-E is evidence of our joint commitment to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address climate change," he added.

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