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'Grass House' highlights environmental concern
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A cube-shaped building coated with a brushy, green layer of real grass emerged recently as the Olympic Exhibition Hall for China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China's Largest Oil Producer, near the Olympic Park in northern Beijing, the Beijing Evening News reports.

This photo, published on July 7, shows the CNPC 'grass house' near the Olympic Park in northern Beijing. [Photo: Beijing Evening News]

This photo, published on July 7, shows the CNPC "grass house" near the Olympic Park in northern Beijing. [Photo: Beijing Evening News]

"The 'grass house' is the first architecture in the world that adopts a "full scale" dimensional grass canopy decoration and will serve as the venue for an exhibition in August heralding CNPC's achievement in the field of environmental protection," said Mao Yu, who is in charge of its construction program.

The hall is 50 meters long, 20 meters wide and 10 meters high. It is covered by 2,400 pieces of grass canopy measuring one square meter.

"Now there are gaps between each green square, but it will grow into a perfect condition in a matter of weeks," Xu Yang, a field manager at the construction site told reporters.

Mao said the grass plantation is nurtured with pesticides to resist insects and high temperature. Workers water the grass twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

Despite not being fitted with air-conditioning systems, the "grass house" can do a decent job keeping visitors cool. "The temperature inside the 'grass house' is an average of 10 centigrade lower than it is outside," said Liu Chuang, who is in charge of the exhibition hall.

Besides echoing the "Green Olympic" theme, the "grass house" also excels in saving energy with its natural cooling ability. "On gross calculation, electricity for the hall will only cost us 150,000 yuan during the exhibition, less than one-tenth the money compared with other buildings." said Liu.

"In the night, with the illumination lights, the architecture is like flowing oil. It is so beautiful!" A constructor said.

The "grass house" will be demolished in September.

(CRI July 8, 2008)

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