Eco-House in Shanghai

By Liu Qiong
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Today, July 13, 2010
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A century ago, American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1995) envisioned buildings that rose out of the ground towards the sun. The Shanghai pavilion in the Urban Best Practices Area (UBPA) of the Shanghai Expo has realized this dream.

Eco-friendly Building "Eco-House in Shanghai" introduces a model for the future city of Shanghai: an enormous framework props up a slanted roof that is covered by crystalline metal plates. Window shades adjust their levels automatically according to the movement of the sun. When it pours, you cannot see water rushing out of rainspouts - a scene typical with a conventional building - because it is recycled within the dwelling. This house in Minhang District is China's first prototype eco-residence.

In September 2004 the original eco-building - an office complex - was erected in the sci-tech park affiliated to the Shanghai Research Institute of Building Science. The construction integrated a dozen internationally advanced eco-friendly technologies of the time. For example, when the number of people rises and carbon dioxide density increases, the sensor will activate the ventilation system automatically. The huge glass skylight above the lobby of the building alters its opening angle in response to the daylight, in order to optimize illumination in all directions. These features enable the building to cut its use of air-conditioning by two to three months a year.

The energy consumption of this exemplary office building is only one-fourth of that of a regular building of its size, and the contribution of renewable energy accounts for 20 percent. What's more, as many as 60 percent of its building materials came from reclaimed construction garbage, such as concrete and plaster from dismantled buildings, and solid industrial waste as well. Such innovations are both environmentally friendly and economical: the per square meter construction cost was RMB 4,000 (exclusive of the land cost), well below the average rate for a regular office building.

"The technology and concept represented by the Eco-House in Shanghai has been applied successfully in this case. We hope to elaborate on this green renaissance and promote the healthy living in future architectural designs and urban planning," says Cao Jiaming, chairman of the Architectural Society of Shanghai.Cao believes that in the long run eco-houses are the most effective solution to saving natural resources (energy, land, water and building materials), protecting the environment and providing healthy, comfortable and highly efficient living spaces for human beings.

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