8 July 2011 – An entertaining and mildly illuminating slideshow of China’s tentative steps into the green building world is revealed by Foreign Policy magazine. Whatever you think of progress to date, the sure thing is that this has got to be the biggest growth market for green buildings on the planet.

FP says: “It’s with good reason that China has recently been referred to by the New York Times as the world’s “great incubator of architectural ideas“: Architectural experiments are on display throughout the country, the product of a government rich with money and eager to show off. But the aesthetic boldness of contemporary Chinese buildings is increasingly matched by an attention to environmental standards. Green buildings have proved an effective way for China to earn international prestige while saving money on heating bills.

“But as the country’s building boom continues, its commitment to green building design will be put to the test: Is it just a fad to impress foreigners, or a real bid by Beijing for environmental and economic leadership in the 21st century?

“One of the most recent examples of green building design in China is the Vanke Center (seen on the first slide), a combined office, hotel, and exhibition complex in Shenzhen. Designed by architect Steven Holl, the building received a  ‘platinum ‘ rating (the highest) by LEED, the internationally recognized building certification system. ”