‘zero e’ – pilot project along the yangtze river in chongqing, china

international companies – architectural firm woods bagot and multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy buro happold – have developed a ‘zero emissions design’ (zero-e) – a new model for large-scale sustainable development that significantly advances the construction industry’s contribution to realizing a zero carbon economy by 2050. the announcement was made at the 2010 bloomberg businessweek global green business summit in shanghai.

woods bagot and buro happold: 'zero e' ‘zero -e’ tower

involving the expertise of multi-disciplinary teams, underpinned by cutting-edge parametric technologies and based on a comprehensive approach to sustainability, ‘zero-e’ was created to deliver on the promise of zero carbon and zero emissions development. while current approaches to sustainable development reduce the environmental harm caused by the construction and operation of new buildings, ‘zero-e’ goes beyond reducing the impact of new development to creating buildings that contribute to the healing of compromised human and ecological systems.

woods bagot and buro happold: 'zero e' ‘zero -e’ tower

the joint initiative represents an emerging, revolutionary approach to sustainable design and challenges the industry to fulfill its leadership role in support of the UN compact on climate change and china’s commitment, made last november, to reducing carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45% by the year 2020, compared with 2005 levels.  as their ‘test case,’ the joint team has chosen a typical development type for china.

woods bagot and buro happold: 'zero e' ‘zero -e’ tower facade

the ‘zero-e’ pilot project examines the development potential of an industrial site on the yangtze river in chongqing, china. the study scheme proposes a 450,000-square-meter mixed-use development, featuring an 82-storey office and hotel tower, which will continually monitor and react to internal and external climatic conditions for maximum performance. a ‘holistic resource system’ integrates photovoltaics, solar thermal panels, absorption chillers, a bio-gas fuel cell and an anaerobic waste digester into a closed-loop system that greatly improves the building’s operational performance while minimizing resource consumption and waste production. beyond the technological advancements, zero-e’s systems approach encompasses the human dimension of sustainable development, seeking to create socially and economically thriving communities that:

– produce zero emissions – create more energy than they require on an annual basis – process their own waste and release only beneficial output – release cleaner air than they takes in – heal compromised sites and ecosystem – restore natural habitat – reconnect humans and nature – increase occupant health – build financial value with ecological value – exhibit material integrity – delight and beautify their surroundings – supply 100% of their water needs using collection and closed loops

woods bagot and buro happold undertook extensive research, including the development of new parametric modelling, tools to design and test zero-e concepts. in the pilot project’s next phase, the partnership will collaborate with development partners in the application of zero-esolutions.

woods bagot and buro happold: 'zero e' ‘zero -e’ tower

woods bagot and buro happold: 'zero e' ‘zero -e’ living systems tower air + water filtration

woods bagot and buro happold: 'zero e' ‘zero -e’ living systems tower air + water filtration