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Energy-saving Building Unveiled at Tsinghua University
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A new building fitted with advanced energy-saving technologies opened its doors on Thursday.


The building, constructed on the campus of China's prestigious Tsinghua University jointly by China's Ministry of Science and Technology and Italy's Environment Ministry, will be used as a teaching building for Tsinghua's Environmental Science and Engineering Department.


Italian Environment Minister Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, who declared the building officially opened, said energy-saving technologies and renewable energies were essential to achieving sustainable development.


The building also represents a new platform of cooperation in environment and energy between China and Italy.


Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Xu Guanhua said that China must construct more environment-friendly and energy-saving buildings on an urgent basis to meet the demands for sustainable development and the building of a harmonious society.


The structure was designed by Italian architect Mario Cucinella.


With a total investment of 260 million yuan (US$32.5 million), the C-shaped building is 40 meters high, with a total floor space of more than 20,000 square meters.


A special sunshade on the outside can be used to adjust the intensity of the sun's rays filtering into the building so that strong light in the summer can be blocked out and more allowed in during the winter. An intelligent control system halts operation of the sunshade when the building is unoccupied.


The entire building is powered by natural gas, and the heat produced by the gas generator will be used for heating its interior in the winter and to power cooling pipes in the ceilings to maintain indoor temperatures at about 18 degrees.


Fitted with these advanced energy-saving technologies, the building could use 70 percent less energy than a comparatively sized building, Cucinella said.


China faces serious challenges in meeting rising energy consumption demands. Despite these challenges, 95 percent of new buildings fail to meet energy-saving standards.


(Xinhua News Agency July 7, 2006)

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