Artists rendition of the Zero-E development

28 July 2010 – Design team Woods Bagot and Buro Happold have launched a zero energy, carbon neutral sustainable development project to be piloted on China’s Yangtze River.

Zero Emissions Design (Zero-E) is designed as a new model for large-scale sustainable developments, aiming to advance the construction industry’s contribution to realising a zero carbon economy by 2050.

The project pilot will encompass a 450,000 square metre mixed-use development, featuring an 82 storey office and hotel tower, which will continually monitor and react to internal and external climatic conditions for maximum performance.

The development will feature a “holistic resource system” that 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.

The design team hopes that the project will challenge the industry to fulfil its leadership role in support of the UN Compact on climate change and China’s commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45 per cent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels.

Global executive chairman and CEO of Woods Bagot Ross Donaldson says that the project will demonstrate that zero emissions design are within the building industry’s capabilities.

“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. 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.”

In the pilot project’s next phase, the partnership will collaborate with development partners in the application of ZERO-E solutions.