COMPACT URBAN
DEVELOPMENT

GREEN
BUILDINGS

GREEN
TRANSPORT

WATER
MANAGEMENT

SOLID WASTE
MANAGEMENT

CLEAN
ENERGY

MUNICIPAL
FINANCE

GREEN BUILDINGS

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
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Guidelines
Green Buildings
EC-Link Implementation Guidelines
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Case Studies
London
ZED (Zero Emission District)
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Copenhagen
Building with Integrated Solar Panels
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Helsinki
Eco-District Viikki
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Paris
Vertical Forest (Houses)
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Germany
Aktivhaus
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Germany
Energy-Efficient Green Building Programme
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Germany
Freiburg Vauban
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Germany
Heidelberg Bahnstadt
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France
Grenoble Le Bonne
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Spain
Pamplona Navarra
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Sweden
Malmö
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Sweden
Stockholm
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Toolboxes
Passive Building Design
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Active Building Design
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Retrofitting of Buildings
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Green Building
Performance Evaluation Indicators
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Green Building
Interational Green Building Standards
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NEWS

EC-Link Project participates at The Sixteenth International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo

Launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, P. R. China since 2005, the annual “International Conference on Green and Energy-efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo” has proved to be an increasing success through 15 years development. With more and more supports from around the world, now the IGEBC has ranked the most influential event with the largest scale in the green building industry in China, and sees each year over 3000 participants, including more than 300 high-ranking officials, renowned experts and specialists, along with more than 300 exhibitors at home and abroad.

EC-Link Project was invited to deliver a speech at the sub-forum “The Latest Theory and Practice for International Eco-City” and to promote during such occasion, and through the whole two days event, its newly established IT Platform. 

As it was confirmed during the conference, there are some platform, but mostly offline, or focusing on one specific sector. EC-LINK IT platform is really the only one cross-sector and on-line platform, and for this reason it received a lot of interest and attention from the participants to the Forum. 

EC-Link Platform received a lot of attention and interest as most of participants believe that it is good idea to have a unified and integrated IT platform targeted to most important sectors in the field of substantiable urbanization such as clean energy, compact urban development, green buildings, green transport, municipal finance, solid waste management, water management.

Building Climate-Resilient Infrastructure in the Post-Pandemic World

With the global economy facing its deepest economic contraction since the Second World War, many governments are looking to infrastructure development to reinvigorate growth. Investments in infrastructure have the potential to boost productivity, facilitate trade and generate widespread multiplier effects that can aid economic recovery. As public sector support for infrastructure development and adaptation grows, new opportunities are likely to emerge for private infrastructure owners and operators — both in the construction of new infrastructure, as well as in the enhancement of existing assets. 

However, the risk profile of infrastructure assets is shifting: Climate change is imposing new pressures on the long-term and stable returns traditionally promised by the infrastructure sector. Volatility in the earth’s climate and an unprecedented global transition toward low-carbon energy and consumption is presenting new risks, and the private sector will not be able to effectively protect against these risks alone.

Source: https://www.brinknews.com/it-takes-a-village-building-climate-resilient-infrastructure-in-the-post-coronavirus-pandemic-world/ 

Shopping Centre Lippulaiva to Become A Pioneer of Sustainable Energy Solutions

Shopping centre Lippulaiva, due to be opened in spring 2022, will become the flagship of local energy production. The largest geothermal heating and cooling facility for a commercial building in Europe is being built under the shopping centre, and it will generate carbon-free energy to meet almost the entire heating and cooling needs of the shopping centre. The facility and several other sustainable energy solutions make it possible for Lippulaiva to participate in the EU's SPARCS project, which aims to promote energy efficiency and electric-powered modes of transport. 

There are 31 partners around Europe involved in the EU's project. Along with Leipzig, Germany, the City of Espoo is one of the lighthouse cities of the project, where the majority of solutions are implemented. In addition, the project includes five fellow cities, where proven solutions are implemented later on: Reykjavik, Maia, Kladno, Lviv and Kifissia. The total duration of the project, which started in October 2019, is five years. Citycon was invited to SPARCS because of the Lippulaiva construction project due to its wide variety of sustainable energy solutions.

Source: https://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/shopping-centre-lippulaiva-to-become-a-pioneer-of-sustainable-energy-solutions-citycon-to-participate-in-the-eu-s-sustainable-energy-project-sparcs-892082908.html 

EC-Link Green Finance Pilot Project: 
Existing Building Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Improvement

EC-Link Technical Support Summary 

EC-Link provided significant support to this project, which helped the project development and increased its bankability through a Pre-feasibility study process. The EC-Link project also identified the green financing resources and steered the project preparation to meet specific requirements of Shandong Green Development Fund. The detail Technical Support included: a) developing the project to maximise green impact and to document this impact so as to meet the eligibility criteria of downstream green financing, through rigorously documenting the results of the Pre-Feasibility Study; and b) stakeholder capacity building and trainings on green finance.  

Project Information 

Project Name, Type and Sector

Existing Building Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Improvement Building energy efficiency, retrofitting project.

Location

Qingdao city, Shandong Province, People’s Republic of China 

Project Rationale

The project solves a critical problem for Qingdao which is high level of energy consumption for heating and cooling in its building stock. This energy saving scheme by retrofitting buildings will achieve significant impact on reduction of GHG emissions and pollution. The focus area of the project will be aligned with one of the main transport corridors under the Green Public Transportation Demonstration Project creating the backbone of a Green Corridor.

There are strong policies support from national, provincial and city government levels. Qingdao is a pilot in both low carbon and adaptation initiatives of the national government and there is strong policy commitment at the local level for implementation of the policies and plans already in place relating to both energy efficiency and adaptation.

Description

The project is designed to improve energy efficiency and living standards of the existing buildings in Qingdao city. According to statistics, there are 25 million square meters of public buildings in Qingdao that have not been retrofitted for improved energy efficiency and there are 40 million square meters of old residential buildings with both a low level of thermal comfort and high energy consumption. Retrofitting these buildings has a high potential for large energy savings. The Qingdao local Urban-Rural Housing Bureau has initiated a pilot comprehensive energy efficiency improvement project for these existing buildings, for the purpose of energy saving and improving residents living conditions and now wishes to scale up this effort. The project will start in a phase 1 stage to retrofit 15 million square meters of public and residential buildings in coming 5 years. The building retrofitting will meet government criteria on energy efficiency and conservation and will utilize green building technologies - for instance prefabricated building technology and heating supply upgrading technology. The co-benefit of this project will be significant reductions of CO2, SO2, NOx and other particle pollutants. In addition, the energy conservation transformation will drive the development of relevant upstream and downstream green industries.

Key Climate Impacts  

Through the above large-scale energy conservation transformation in existing buildings and promotion of comprehensive energy efficiency, the project would provide:

  • Improve the buildings energy efficiency by more than 20%.
  • Reduction of 288,000 tCO2e per year. Some 5.76 million tCO2e over a 20-year building life.
  • Bring other co-benefits throughout the whole project cycle of 10 years:
  1. Save the Standard Coal by 70,000 tons in total 
  2. Reduce the Sulphur Dioxide emissions by 6,000 tons 
  3. Reduce the dust NOx by 3,200 tons 

Summary of Investment

This project has two major components: 

  1. Façade retrofitting 
  2. Upgrading heating systems

The estimated investment of this project is 2.25 billion RMB, as 281.01465023 million EUR  in total.

Summary of Development Outcomes 

  • The project will benefit more than 700,000 persons. Through energy-saving renovation of existing buildings, the project will improve the comfort and reduce the energy expenditures of residents and public building users and administrators;
  • The energy conservation transformation will drive the development of associated green industries, promoting the development of SMEs focused on this business line and of relevant upstream and downstream industries within the market economy;
  • The project retrofitting shall provide jobs to the construction workers and employees work for construction upstream and downstream industries, which estimated 30,000 people will be benefited.

Implementing Plan and Structure

The project is designed to retrofit 15 million square meters of public and residential buildings in coming 5 years, to achieve the objective of improving the energy efficiency. The building retrofitting will meet government criteria on energy efficiency and conservation and utilize green building technologies – for instance prefabricated building technology and heating supply upgrading technology. 

The implementation scheme will be retrofitting 2million, 3million, 3million, 3million and 4million sqm in each year respectively.  The project sponsor will utilize an “Engineering Gross Contract” for implementing the project. 

The project Implementation cycle will be 8 years, which including 3 years for implementing energy saving transformation and 5 years of construction and operation period.   

  • 3 months; Based on energy consumption monitor platform and field research and communication, further confirm the scope of energy-saving reform project in implementing areas (Shibei, Shinan, Laoshan Districts) 
  • 6 months; Feasibility research analysis, coordination and discussion with external institutions, handling of procedures and documents;  
  • 3 months; carry out energy-saving scheme demonstration for existing buildings, including technical scheme, progress plan, implementing control flow.
  • 2 years; construction of regional public buildings, designedly implement energy-saving retrofitting for different buildings, including 20 public buildings and 1 million square meters of old communities; 
  • 5 years; operation maintenance and energy-saving revenue recovering investment capital stage, by achieving maximum energy-saving, carbon-reduction and consumption-reduction, achieving the target of energy-saving revenue.
The EU Sets Recovery Sights Beyond Climate Change

The European Union’s economy, infrastructure and ambition is going through a paradigm shift. The bloc’s seven-year budget and recovery programme looks beyond jump-starting its economies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 27 nations have set their sights on a 2050 target for a net carbon neutral economy to transform its energy, transport, agriculture and healthcare. The implications and opportunities for investors in the decade ahead will be profound.

While the pandemic has cost the lives of more than 700,000 and infected millions, undermining economies and challenging health systems globally, it has also concentrated the minds of EU leaders. As governments worldwide look for mechanisms to jump-start the economic recovery, the EU has used the Covid-19 pandemic as a catalyst to rally political support around a three-decade commitment to a cleaner future, and the technologies that make it possible.

Source:

https://www.lombardodier.com/contents/corporate-news/investment-insights/2020/august/the-eu-sets-recovery-sights-beyo.html

Building A Green Economy, Brick by Brick

In Uruguay, thousands of families earn a precarious livelihood making bricks, using traditional methods that are often inefficient and harmful to the environment. A UN project, in collaboration with the Uruguayan government, aims to make the industry less polluting, whilst preserving jobs for the many artisans who depend on it. 

When Eduardo Romero was 40 years old, he was fired from his job as a bricklayer. It was 1992, in the city of Durazno, Uruguay. With his few belongings on his shoulder, Eduardo headed for the north of the country and stopped only when he found work. It was in the city of Tranqueras, and his new source of income came from land, fire and water: Eduardo started making bricks.

Today, five jobs, two ventures, three children and 28 years later, Mr. Romero is still linked to this insecure industry, which is both an easy source of employment for those who need it most, but where people work without social security or insurance, and with their labour rights continuously violated. “It is a precarious sector,” says Mr. Romero. “We are always on the edge of town, wearing dirty clothes.”

Source: https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/08/09/building-a-green-economy-brick-by-brick/

Why Is Building Renovation 'Cinderella' Of EU Green Deal?

It's unfortunate that it took a pandemic to see something so obvious. Energy efficiency is the Cinderella of climate solutions: virtuous and unassuming, but too often overlooked. Most people focus on her glamorous siblings – renewables and electric vehicles. Is it finally time for her glass slipper moment? 

The EU calls it the Renovation Wave, one of the central pillars of the European Green Deal. The ambition is to massively accelerate the rate of improvements to private and public sector buildings: going faster and deeper than ever before, in an effort to support the economic recovery from Covid-19. 

This is because energy efficiency is a jobs machine, making it one of the most attractive forms of economic stimulus. According to recent estimates from McKinsey, €1 invested today will add over €2 of value for a large European economy. Governments can double their money. 

Source: https://euobserver.com/opinion/149065 

It’s Time to End Our ‘Dirty’ Concrete Addiction

Sustainability has always been at the mercy of market forces, with stakeholders often preferring cheap and traditional rather than new and innovative.

As building work recommences, these market forces risk stifling the sustainable innovations that the construction industry desperately needs. Right now is an especially important time to keep green building principles at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

The need to ‘build back better’ has been addressed by prime minister Boris Johnson and the Race to Zero campaign as well as by the Construction Leadership Council in its Roadmap to Recovery. Specific details however have been sparse, and there are a multitude of materials that need to be properly governed if vital green benchmarks are going to be achieved.

Source: https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/agenda/opinion/its-time-to-end-our-dirty-concrete-addiction-16-07-2020/

AESG Predicts “The Perfect Storm” For the Building Sector

Whilst it is impossible to predict the future, it is clear that the sector is set to go through its greatest transformation since the technological revolution of the late 1800’s that spurred the boom in high rise construction.

So why is this so? When you look at the components that have sparked major transformations to a sector it effectively boils down to 2 factors; the necessity and the means.

If I look at the building and construction sector today, never before have these two forces been as prevalent and I would even go so far as to say the ingredients are in place for a ‘perfect storm’.

Source:

https://www.constructionweekonline.com/business/266230-aesg-predicts-the-perfect-storm-for-the-building-sector 

Building Back Better in Albania: UNECE Supports Housing Sector Reforms And Urban ‎Resilience

Albania has made considerable progress in the recent years in the provision of affordable adequate housing to all. Notably, the national government has been providing support to municipal programmes for housing construction; supporting investments into construction of affordable housing, including through public-private partners; and legalizing informal settlements to improve the living conditions of the population.

However, multiple challenges remain due to the lack of available public funds for housing construction and insufficient capacity of some of the municipalities to implement housing programmes. Moreover, natural disasters created new economic and financial challenges: the earthquake in Albania in November 2019 left 14,000 people or 2 per cent of the Albanian population homeless. Another earthquake struck Albania in January 2020, which brought  damage to both public and private properties  amounting to EUR 844 million. The cost of their reconstruction is estimated at EUR 1.07 billion:  about EUR 800 million is needed to rebuild homes while the remaining amount is for repair of damaged infrastructure, such as schools and health centres.

Source:

https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/06/21/building-back-better-in-albania-unece-supports-housing-sector-reforms-and-urban-%E2%80%8Eresilience-%E2%80%8E/ 

Green Building Advocates ‘Underwhelmed’ By EU Recovery Plan

When the European Commission unveiled its proposed €750 billion recovery fund two weeks ago, green activists were expecting a detailed spending programme, with billions of euros allocated to clean mobility, renewables, and an upcoming EU-wide building renovation wave.

What they got in the end was an elaborate plan to borrow hundreds of billions of euros on financial markets that would later be redistributed to hard-hit regions in the form of loans and grants.

To be sure, the recovery plan sent plenty of signals to ecologists. First, the EU executive promised that 25% of the money would be spent on climate-friendly technologies. And a “do no harm” principle applying across the entire EU budget means the most polluting fossil fuel projects should in principle be excluded from receiving EU recovery money.

Source: https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/green-building-advocates-underwhelmed-by-eu-recovery-plan/

Climate Change: Green Building Practices For A Sustainable Future

Over the past several months of lockdown, most of the world has been confined to a major source of emissions: our buildings. They account for more than 40 percent of global energy use and one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UNEP Buildings and Climate Change Report. When closely associated factors like infrastructure and transportation are included, this number continues to rise. And while transportation will undoubtedly begin to increase our carbon emissions once lockdown is lifted, the infrastructure we build and invest in can make all the difference for our future.

Through green building design and construction, we have the opportunity to reduce our impact on the climate and improve the resilience of our communities against climate risk. And India is already a leader at this as the fourth largest market in the world for green building, with significant increases expected in the next three years.

Source: https://www.financialexpress.com/lifestyle/science/climate-change-green-building-practices-for-a-sustainable-future/1993130/ 

“Construction Fever” Responsible For One Fifth Of China’s CO2 Emissions

The world’s largest emitter has seen building rates soar as existing structures are torn down and replaced with skyscrapers to house the nation’s rapidly urbanising population.

All of this comes with a significant carbon footprint, both to produce the cement, steel and other materials required and from the emissions produced once the project is underway.

The researchers behind the new study, published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, say this has not received enough attention in China, despite being an “unignorable and critical” component of the nation’s emissions.

Source: https://www.carbonbrief.org/construction-fever-responsible-for-one-fifth-of-chinas-co2-emissions 

Europe's Moment: Repair And Prepare For The Next Generation

Today, the European Commission has put forward its proposal for a major recovery plan. To ensure the recovery is sustainable, even, inclusive and fair for all Member States, the European Commission is proposing to create a new recovery instrument, Next Generation EU, embedded within a powerful, modern and revamped long-term EU budget. The Commission has also unveiled its adjusted Work Programme for 2020, which will prioritise the actions needed to propel Europe's recovery and resilience.

The coronavirus has shaken Europe and the world to its core, testing healthcare and welfare systems, our societies and economies and our way of living and working together. To protect lives and livelihoods, repair the Single Market, as well as to build a lasting and prosperous recovery, the European Commission is proposing to harness the full potential of the EU budget. Next Generation EU of €750 billion as well as targeted reinforcements to the long-term EU budget for 2021-2027 will bring the total financial firepower of the EU budget to €1.85 trillion.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_940 

The Case For Green Buildings In The COVID-19 Recovery

Europe’s buildings are mostly old and inefficient, and the way we use them is changing as our economies and lifestyles shift in a world recovering from COVID-19.

They are also a huge store of wealth: our homes are worth an estimated €17 trillion – more than the EU’s GDP. It’s time to translate some of these savings into investments and modernise where we live and work.

We can cut down energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions, improve comfort and health, and support Europe’s 18 million construction workers by building a green recovery.

Source:

https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/the-case-for-green-buildings-in-the-covid-19-recovery/ 

The Planet Has A Problem With Buildings: Here's How Smart Ideas, Tech And Design Can Change That

Whether it's a creaky old house or a brand new, state of the art office block, the buildings we live and work in have a big impact on the environment.

The challenge to reduce this footprint is sizable. According to a recent report from the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, International Energy Agency and the UN Environment Programme, building construction and operations were, globally, responsible for 36% of final energy use in 2018. 

Published in December 2019, the Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction also stated that, worldwide, the sector accounted for 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2018.  

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/22/we-have-a-problem-with-buildings-ideas-and-tech-can-change-things.html 

EU Building ‘Renovation Wave’ Set For Launch in September

The European Commission’s energy chief, Kadri Simson, has flagged the upcoming building renovation wave, rooftop solar, and offshore wind as key priorities for the energy sector in the recovery phase from the coronavirus crisis.

How Europe responds to the recession caused by the coronavirus “in the next few months will come to define the next few years, and even decades,” Simson told participants at an online debate on Tuesday (5 May).

The EU economy will shrink by 7.4% this year, according to the European Commission, which published its spring economic forecasts the day after. And the pace of the recovery will be uneven across the 27 EU countries, the EU executive warned, saying the return to growth will be conditioned by the speed at which lockdown measures can be safely lifted.

Source: https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/eu-building-renovation-wave-set-for-launch-in-september/ 

Why Green Building Is Just Good Business Sense

Green buildings are great for the environment, but there are also economic and health incentives for construction businesses and developers that invest in it.

Client demand is one of the top triggers driving green building activity in North America, even more so than environmental regulations. Those who own these properties tend to attract better tenants, secure longer leases and experience fewer vacancies. They also enhance their public image by promoting eco-friendly initiatives.

The demand for green buildings stems from their value, too. There has been steady growth since 2012 in the number of owners who see a 10 percent or greater increase in asset value for new green buildings. Investors who buy now and sell later will likely secure a substantial profit.

Source: https://emagazine.com/green-building-makes-sense/ 

The Green Road To Post-Crisis Recovery

Even for rich countries, the road to economic recovery from coronavirus will be a steep one. For emerging markets, it will be steeper still. High debt, disruptions to foreign investment, and weaker social safety nets will make them more vulnerable. Increased unemployment and a fall in remittances from migrant workers will add to the pressure. 

Given such headwinds, it may seem only reasonable for developing countries to set aside their plans to reduce carbon emissions. Isn’t survival the priority — and shouldn’t advocates of environmental sustainability discreetly step aside? On the contrary: recovery and, for that matter, long-term prosperity go hand-in-hand with sustainability.

Source: https://www.ft.com/content/16d84fbc-74fe-11ea-90ce-5fb6c07a27f2 

Building Renovations Can Unleash Future-Proof Jobs For A Green Recovery

The world is facing an unprecedented crisis with the coronavirus pandemic and the immediate focus is rightly on saving lives and slowing down the spread of the virus. But it doesn’t mean that we should forget our efforts to stop the climate crisis. The impacts of climate breakdown continue to be felt all over the world and, as is the case with the health crisis, the most vulnerable are hit the hardest.

In times of extraordinary emergencies such as the one we are living through, all efforts must be focused on mobilising resources at a pace and magnitude needed to tackle multiple challenges. In the EU, the European Central Bank has announced a €750 billion Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program and national governments are preparing stimulus packages worth billions of euros. On 9 April, EU Finance Ministers agreed on unlocking a €540 billion support package, while the European Commission will soon propose a recovery strategy.

Source: https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/building-renovations-can-unleash-future-proof-jobs-for-a-green-recovery/ 

Construction Sector Calls on The EU to Delay Regulation on Engines’ Emission Limits Due To COVID-19 - But Climate Action Can’t Wait

Six industry associations representing the non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) sector called on the EU to postpone the deadlines for emission limits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their request should be considered carefully, as a delay in the implementation of the NRMM regulation may pose a risk to climate targets.

CECE, CEMA, EGMF, EUnited Municipal Equipment & Cleaning, Europgen and FEM sent a joint letter to the European Commission asking for a moratorium on the application of 2020 and 2021 deadlines.

According to the European regulation, machine manufacturers have until June 30 this year to complete the production of engines in power ranges <56kW and ≥130kW complying with the emissions’ limits. Then, they’ll have until December 31 to place these machines on the EU market. Similarly, machines in power ranges from 56kW to 130kW will need to be ready in summer 2021.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/emanuelabarbiroglio/2020/04/04/construction-sector-calls-on-the-eu-to-delay-regulation-on-engines-emission-limits-due-to-covid-19but-climate-action-cant-wait/#6b4fd8e32a9e 

Orchestrating the Energy Transition: Tuning into Buildings

The transition to clean energy is akin to the entire world participating in a symphony. Each player has a critical role, timing is essential, and all parts must come together deftly in order to execute this masterpiece. 

But this is no idle exercise in orchestration. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has declared that this transition must occur within the next 10 years to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and avert a global climate catastrophe. Many sectors will have a role to play, including an evolving building sector and, in particular, a growing energy services company (ESCO) industry.

The building sector contributes 39 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions. Rocky Mountain Institute’s assessment is that for the buildings sector, playing its part in the energy transition means achieving a 50 percent reduction in global building emissions by 2030 and achieving zero-carbon emissions from buildings by 2050.

Source: https://www.greenbiz.com/article/orchestrating-energy-transition-tuning-buildings 

Financing Architecture for Green Buildings in India

India has the second largest urban population in the world and this is expected to double by 2050, with the addition of 416 million people. Concurrently with 70 percent (IFC estimates) of the buildings (housing, retail, commercial, hospitality and health) needed by 2030 still to be constructed, India’s construction sector is at an inflection point – an opportunity for energy efficiency expansion by building green.. Residential and commercial buildings in India account for 30 percent of the energy consumption. This is expected to increase to 48% by 2042. Given that certified green buildings can deliver energy savings between 20-30 percent and water savings of up to 30-50 percent, India should attach greater importance to high-performing green buildings, as it strives to reduce green house emissions by 33-35% (from 2005 levels).

Source: https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/financing-architecture-for-green-buildings-in-india-63650/ 

EU bank lends €250m for green homes in Paris

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a new €250 million (£230m) loan to in’li, the Action Logement Group’s subsidiary, to accelerate the construction of 2,580 affordable energy efficient new homes in Île-de-France.

It says the project aims to address the needs of middle-income households and will see around 6,000 residents benefit from these homes – they will meet the strictest environmental criteria and construction is expected to generate 5,000 person-years of employment during the implementation phase.

Ambroise Fayolle, EIB Vice-President, said: “In this context, supporting the housing and construction market in Île-de-France via this loan to in’li addresses three priorities: improving the job situation, reducing the energy consumption of homes and providing SMEs in the building sector, in particular, with enough business to facilitate their recovery.”

Source: https://www.energylivenews.com/2020/03/24/eu-bank-lends-e250m-for-green-homes-in-paris/ 

What Singapore Can Learn from Europe's Green Building Journey

RISING buildings and skyscrapers mark the era of modernisation. However, buildings are responsible for nearly 40 per cent of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. The world cannot reach its ambitious climatic targets if energy use in buildings is not drastically reduced.

While Singapore has a relatively high penetration rate of green buildings at 30 per cent compared to other Asian cities, there is room to catch up with European cities like Paris and London, at 64 per cent and 68 per cent respectively. Europe has been the most competitive region globally for green buildings since the beginning due to its strong political leadership role.

Source: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/real-estate/what-singapore-can-learn-from-europes-green-building-journey 

“Affordable Housing Can Be Green Too”

At the Paris Climate Conference, India pledged to reduce the greenhouse emission (GHE) intensity of its gross domestic product by 33-35% over 2005 levels by 2030. One of the key sectors that need to be factored in to meet this target is the real estate. India’s building stock is expected to double in the next 15 years and buildings are expected to emerge as the largest electricity consuming sector in the country. It is crucial that new buildings in the country are designed to be energy efficient and thermally comfortable.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Sanjay Seth,CEO of GRIHA Council, speaks on why buyers and developers are still shying away from building and buying green homes, how to make affordable housing green; and what makes the GRIHA rating tool different from others.

Source: https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/affordable-housing-can-be-green-too/story-ExfLvlMMOAFfBWFykTXfXJ.html

Navigate EC Link's Knowledge Centre: Sector Specific Position Papers and Guidelines Available For Free Download

EC-Link Project has its focus in sustaining the development of sustainable urbanization and the dialogue among European and Chinese municipalities. It aims to assist Chinese and European cities in implementing energy and resource-efficient measures by sharing European cities’ experiences in sustainable urbanisation. 

In order to support such dialogue, and to provide a better understanding of the sustainable urbanization sector, EC-Link has been working for years compiling a set of publications “EC-Link Knowledge Center” meant to be seen as a platform of experience for easy accessible exchange between Chinese and European cities on low carbon/eco city development issues.

EC-Link project is mostly focusing its attention towards 7 main sectors: compact urban development, green buildings, green transport, water management, solid waste management, green energy and municipal finance.

For each of above sectors, EC-Link has drafted a set of “Position Papers”; each Paper offering an overall outlook on the specific area, proving a testing ground for innovations in specific low-carbon policies and technologies’ application.

Together with the Position Papers, EC-link Project has developed a set of “Guidelines”; the objectives of this Eco-City Implementation Guideline are to provide guidance, and to ensure compliance. The documents are meant for all Chinese and European cities which are supporting eco-cities programme. Besides guidance, the document will help to ensure compliance of cities with the normative part proposed under this guideline.   

All EC-Link Publications can easily downloaded at the following links: 

Investing in Public Spaces to Achieve Livable Cities for All

Many cities around the world are missing out on significant development opportunities by ignoring, under-leveraging, or mismanaging public spaces. There is an enormous opportunity for smarter use of public spaces, to unlock the “hidden” value they create for communities, neighborhoods, and entire cities, according to a new World Bank publication launched today at the World Urban Forum (WUF10). 

The publication, The Hidden Wealth of Cities: Creating, Financing, and Managing Public Spaces, says that well-conceived, people-centered urban public spaces have vast potential to become assets that cities can leverage to transform the quality of urban life and improve city functioning.

“Globally, about one-third of a city’s land area is covered by public spaces–ranging from city streets, neighborhood squares and parks, to public facilities, such as libraries and markets. This is significant,” said Sameh Wahba, World Bank Global Director for Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience, and Land.  “Sustainably planning, financing, and managing public spaces with a focus on people is key to unleashing cities’ potential for building livable, resilient, and competitive cities for all.”

Source: https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/02/12/investing-in-public-spaces-to-achieve-livable-cities-for-all/ 

Canada Needs an Ambitious Energy-Retrofit Plan for Buildings

Canadians voted in October 2019 for strong action to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Energy efficiency is a tool in our climate action toolbox that was featured in the platforms of all political parties represented in Parliament, and one that Canadians can unite behind. Twenty-two percent of our end-use greenhouse gas emissions comes from warming, cooling and powering our residential and commercial-institutional buildings — the places we live, work, gather and play. We have a substantial opportunity in the next few decades to slash the pollution our buildings create, while creating jobs and making our lives more comfortable.

Specific energy-retrofit commitments — such as free energy audits, interest-free loans and mobilizing private capital to pursue deep retrofits of office towers — are featured in the mandate letters to federal ministers. A massive scale-up of energy retrofits is needed to meet the government’s commitment to achieve a net-zero emissions future by 2050.

Source: https://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/february-2020/canada-needs-an-ambitious-energy-retrofit-plan-for-buildings/ 

Zero Carbon Buildings Are Possible Following These Four Steps

With increasing numbers of countries, states, cities and organizations committing to carbon neutrality by mid-century, zero carbon buildings are finally getting the attention they deserve as a critical climate solution. Buildings are responsible for nearly 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The good news is that both interest and investment in zero carbon buildings are growing along with the launch of public commitments and global initiatives. In the 2018 Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator Study, 50% of 1,900 global organizations in 20 countries plan to have at least one zero carbon (or net zero energy) building over the next 10 years. Additionally, 59% of organizations plan to increase investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart building technology next year. These investments are key to decarbonizing both new and existing buildings.

Source: https://europeansting.com/2020/01/27/zero-carbon-buildings-are-possible-following-these-four-steps/ 

The Number of Green Buildings to Increase with the Domestic Green Certificate System YeS-TR

Turkey at the national and local levels of energy efficiency, will be developed for the dissemination of environmentally friendly buildings and settlement practices local National Green Certification Scheme (YES-Tor is) completed, the certificate will be given certificates to buildings and settlements by the competent authorities. The reasons such as global warming and climate change, decrease in water resources, environmental pollution and rapid consumption of natural resources make it necessary to build green buildings in the building sector. Within the scope of sustainable development, since 1990, various green building certifications have been created to support the construction of buildings that consume less energy, use less natural resources and pollute the environment in many countries, especially in developed countries. In this context, the protocol for the development of a “National Evaluation Guide” between the Ministry and Istanbul Technical University (ITU) on February 26, 2016 in order to evaluate and certify buildings and settlements suitable for climate data and the region, consuming energy and water as much as they need, using renewable energy sources.

Source: https://www.raillynews.com/2020/01/the-number-of-green-buildings-will-increase-with-domestic-green-certification-system-yes-tr/ 

Asia Should Respond To Climate Change By Building Green

Climate change is the defining issue of our future, and already the greening of agriculture, energy and transportation -- transforming the sectors so they become more sustainable in the face of environmental challenges -- is at the forefront of new policies and investments. But we also need to look at how and where we live. The building, construction and renovation sectors, which make up the backbone of residential and commercial housing, contribute almost 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In every crisis, however, there are opportunities. Efficient and environmentally friendly green buildings are one such opportunity -- and a massive one at that. In emerging markets alone, by 2030 green buildings will offer up to $24.7 trillion in investment opportunities. Much of this growth will occur in east Asia Pacific and South Asia, where more than half of the world's urban population will live within a decade. In a recent report, the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, estimated that by 2030, residential and commercial green buildings will represent a $17.8 trillion investment opportunity in Asia alone.

Source: https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Asia-should-respond-to-climate-change-by-building-green

The Facts about Architecture and Climate Change

As we enter a new year, and indeed a new decade, the "Climate Emergency" continues to embody a renewed worldwide focus on tackling climate change. While there is no "one solution" to the multifaceted challenges brought about by this crisis, there is an onus on every citizen, in both a personal and professional capacity, to apply their skills and actions in addressing the profound pressures on the natural world.

For those involved in the design of buildings and cities, be they architects, urbanists, or citizens, there is a deep responsibility to be aware of, and design for, the impact of climate change. With 36% of global energy devoted to buildings and 8% of global emissions caused by cement alone, the architectural community is deeply entwined with the flows of materials, energy, and ideas that relate to climate change, both causes and solutions.

Source: https://www.archdaily.com/931240/the-facts-about-architecture-and-climate-change 

EC-Link Project at the Workshop on Finance for Low-Carbon Urban Infrastructure in China

The EC-Link Project was invited to attend the Workshop on Finance for Low-Carbon Urban Infrastructure in China, held in Beijing on December 11, 2019.

The workshop was organized by FELICITY (Financing for low-carbon investment – city advisory facility); the Project is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU and implemented by the GIZ in collaboration with the European Investment Bank (EIB). Felicity aims to make low-carbon urban infrastructure projects bankable and increase access to climate finance at the subnational level by providing technical assistance and advisory services, especially to projects developers and municipalities.

The Workshop saw the participation of European and Chinese stakeholders interested in supporting the development of municipal green finance in China and in supporting Chinese cities in implementing green urban projects. During the event, the participants shared multiple views in analyzing the sustainable development of green and sustainable cities, particularly in China, such as: the urgency to provide tailored services according to cities needs, the urgency to develop transport systems in line with cities’ requirements, and also the importance to sustain such important development with integrated green finance support.

Indeed, Green finance plays a fundamental role in sustaining Chinese ambitious urban development program; in upcoming years Chinese municipalities will develop more and more urban projects, they will need to move out from traditional finance solutions and to get closer to the many opportunities provided from green municipal finance.

EC-Link project was invited to provide a general outlook of green municipal finance sector in China and moreover, to show how practically it is supporting Chinese cities in such process. EC-Link Key Expert presented on-going cooperation in Qingdao. Currently, the Project is supporting Qingdao in developing two green municipal finance projects. The Qingdao Green Public Transportation system demonstration project is designed to be implemented in terms of developing low carbon and green traffic. The Comprehensive energy efficiency improvement project is designed to retrofit public buildings and residential buildings in Qingdao city, for reducing energy consumption and improving the energy efficiency for existing buildings. 

EC-LINK Project is actively engaged in city-level cooperation and communication work in China and providing green finance assistance. It will continue its work in sustaining an effective dialogue between Chinese Municipalities and main Chinese and International Banks and Funds.

The Top Sustainable Developments Interfacing Between Green And Smart

New World Development’s K11 Atelier office building on King’s Road has received three of the highest sustainable building certifications. In the Chief Executive’s 2019 Policy Address, the plan to improve the energy efficiency of government buildings and to encourage bureaus and departments to show their commitment to low-carbon growth has focused attention on sustainability in the real estate sector again.“The discussions around green buildings are not new, but we are now seeing greater commitment than before from the government and developers,” says Alex Katsanos, director and head of business advisory for Hong Kong and Macau at natural and built assets consultancy Arcadis. The group’s Sustainability Vision 2030 (SV2030) references the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and steers NWD to curate business offerings and initiatives revolving around green, wellness, smart and caring.

Source: https://www.scmp.com/special-reports/special-reports/topics/luxehomes-2019-annual-edition/article/3040548/top 

$13 Trillion: China's Expected Construction Spending By 2030. Will Some Go To Zero Carbon Buildings?

China is in the midst of a construction mega-boom. The country has the largest buildings market in the world, making up 20 percent of all construction investment globally. And it’s set to grow: China is expected to spend nearly $13 trillion on buildings by 2030 (PDF).

This unprecedented level of construction has tremendous implications — not just for the Chinese, but for everyone. Building operations are responsible for 28 percent of global energy-related carbon emissions (PDF). How China constructs its buildings either will fuel dangerous climate change or help create a more sustainable future for everyone.

Zero carbon buildings would allow countries such as China to keep pace with current construction rates while still lowering their greenhouse gas emissions. By relying heavily on efficiency and renewable energy, zero carbon buildings are consistent with the goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a trajectory scientist say is necessary to avert the worst climate impacts.

https://www.greenbiz.com/article/13-trillion-chinas-expected-construction-spending-2030-will-some-go-zero-carbon-buildings

Creating A Sustainable Tomorrow at XJTLU

We are living through the era of the “Sustainable Revolution,” with developments in green engineering and construction as relevant as the technological innovations of the Industrial Revolution.

This is how Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University’s Dr Konstantinos Papadikis describes the importance of sustainability on the eve of the Second International Conference on Sustainable Buildings and Structures that is due to take place at the University in Suzhou.

The ICSBS conference will bring together scientists and engineers from across the world to present and share the latest research outcomes, innovative ideas and engineering practices under the theme: “Building a Sustainable Tomorrow.”

With sessions on sustainable materials and design, smart construction and construction management and green and low-carbon buildings, Dr Papadikis says the conference will highlight new and best practices in the construction industry and planning sector.

https://www.xjtlu.edu.cn/en/news/2019/10/creating-a-sustainable-tomorrow-at-xjtlu

How Cities Are Decarbonising

Cities around the world are taking action, even in the US where 30 cities now have stringent energy measures in their building codes. Now we know that an investment of $1.83 trillion a year in 16 low-carbon measures in cities – about 2 per cent of global GDP – could reduce global urban emissions by 90 per cent by 2050.

Zero carbon cities offer a powerful lever to secure economic prosperity and boost living standards across a country. Such cities can both drive economic prosperity and effectively play their part in addressing the global climate emergency.

https://www.thefifthestate.com.au/urbanism/infrastructure/how-cities-are-decarbonising/

Leaders Launch Initiative to Decarbonize Buildings by 2050

At the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, high-level officials from government, business and civil society launched the ‘Zero Carbon Buildings for All Initiative,’ which unites leaders across sectors in an international coalition to decarbonize the building sector and meet the Paris Agreement on climate change. Multilateral development banks (MDBs) and private financial institutions also committed to aligning their financing of buildings with the Paris Agreement and national climate policies, which could lead to a potential USD 1 trillion in “Paris compliant” buildings investment in developing countries by 2030.

The Zero Carbon Buildings for All Initiative responds to the need of making all buildings net zero carbon by 2050 to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, while fewer than 1% of buildings are today.

https://sdg.iisd.org/news/leaders-launch-initiative-to-decarbonize-buildings-by-2050/

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.

Source: https://www.opengovasia.com/building-construction-authority-gets-additional-s20-million-for-green-building-innovations/

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.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-27/smart-buildings-buildings-key-to-net-zero-emissions/11446862

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.

Source: https://blueandgreentomorrow.com/environment/how-green-buildings-are-essential-to-our-well-being/

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.

Source: http://www.changzhou.gov.cn/ns_news/160155952359861

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 - https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3012190/hong-kongs-harbourfront-commission-approves-plan

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 - https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/28/climate-change-can-pose-big-risks-to-real-estate-investments.html

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 - https://www.euractiv.com/section/climate-strategy-2050/news/european-cities-target-net-zero-carbon-buildings-by-2050/

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 - https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/334184

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.

Source: http://sjw.qingdao.gov.cn/n28356047/n32561134/n32561154/190522165453338017.html

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 - https://www.greenbiz.com/article/china-joins-world-green-building-council-community

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 - http://ethicalcorp.com/scramble-put-ceiling-spiralling-building-emissions

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 (http://www.eclink.org/eclink/en/frontpage).

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, ISA-designLtd.co; 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 - http://www.ethicalcorp.com/building-sector-takes-concrete-steps-address-hidden-emissions

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 - https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/electric-vehicles-eu-emissions-co2-plug-in-hybrids-transport-environment-a8845516.html

“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.

Sources: http://www.hefei.gov.cn/xwzxdt/csbb/201903/t20190326_2742284.html

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 - https://facilityexecutive.com/2019/02/china-top-country-global-green-building/

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 - https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/2185432/chinese-developers-new-years-resolution-diversify-robotics-green

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 - https://sdg.iisd.org/news/investment-in-renewable-energy-is-clean-but-in-transmission-and-distribution-technologies-not-necessarily/

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 - https://www.eco-business.com/opinion/green-buildings-must-do-more-in-fixing-climate-emergency/

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 - https://www.epo.org/news-issues/technology/sustainable-technologies/green-construction.html

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 - https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/01/31/1708210/0/en/Green-Building-Materials-Gain-Adoption-as-Investment-in-Sustainable-Solutions-Grows-Fact-MR.html

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 - https://www.eco-business.com/news/national-university-of-singapore-welcomes-its-first-net-zero-building/

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 - https://www.arabianindustry.com/construction/news/2019/jan/28/first-green-building-inaugurated-in-ajman-6031792/

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 - https://phys.org/news/2019-01-people-smart.html#jCp

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.

Source: http://www.zznews.gov.cn/news/2018/1217/303592.shtml

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

Background

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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