'Eco House' Expo exhibit completed

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Shanghai finished construction and outfitting of a 3,000-square-meter environmentally friendly renewable energy house yesterday, the host city's Urban Best Practices Area showcase for the World Expo.

The four-story "Eco House" on Puxi side of the Expo site is powered by solar and wind energy. It is geo-thermally heated so that its carbon footprint remains zero.

The house has several model rooms designed for different kinds of families - married couples, those with children and senior citizens - and features hi-tech appliances.

Its smart technology allows residents to remotely control appliances when they are absent through computers or mobile phones.

Robots play the erhu, a two-stringed Chinese fiddle, cymbals and flute at the entrance to receive visitors. Other robots clean rooms.

The "Eco House" is an interpretation of the "Better City, Better Life" Expo theme, providing a view of how people's life in the future could look like, said Huang Jianzhi, deputy director of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination.

An exhibition hall on the second floor of the house showcases the history of the development of residential building styles in Shanghai.

The building's exterior evokes the old shikumen (stone-gated) style and 150,000 recycled bricks were used in construction. It will be turned into pubs, galleries or entertainment venues after the 2010 event.

The "Eco House" was inspired by three environmentally friendly buildings constructed in the Xinzhuang Industrial Zone in Minhang District in 2004.

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