The project is the result of the collaborative efforts of UK-based building science centre BRE, Tsinghua Holding Human Settlement Construction Group (THHSCG – part of Tsinghua University in Beijing) and Gui’an New District Area’s local government. Its aim is to support the Chinese Government’s drive for sustainable community development and air quality improvement.
The project has been inspired by the original Innovation Park in Watford, created by BRE in 2005 to give UK architects, developers and their supply chain the chance to try out innovative approaches to sustainable design and construction. The Park has had a significant impact on the way construction is delivered in the UK and around the world and has hosted visitors from Prime Minister David Cameron, HRH The Prince of Wales and the Premier of China Li-Keqiang.
Governor Ma and Sir Michael also opened the Park’s first demonstration green building – its visitor centre called ThE Studio – which was designed and built by the THHSCG.
Sir Michael Bear said, ‘I am delighted to be opening ThE studio, a magnificent visitor centre designed to meet both BREEAM and China’s 3-Star standards. This partnership, which brings together academic, policy and commercial expertise, is exactly the sort of thing we are keen to encourage more of between the UK and China. I’m sure that the Gui’an Innovation Park will provide an excellent foundation for even greater collaboration between our two countries.’
Modular and BIM designed, ThE Studio will act as a platform for green building research and education delivery, and as an international exhibition centre for low carbon technologies. Its design to 3-Star and BREEAM standards supports a mapping exercise that will help to benchmark China’s national standard with international standards, so that building performance can be understood by a range of end users.
ThE Studio has an innovative passive cooling system, so it is not reliant on air conditioning in the hot, humid climate of the region. Its energy-saving sensors and building management system enhance energy and cost efficiency without compromising user experience. The sensors also gather data to help adjust the building’s functions and features according to the temperature, humidity and other factors. Once these technologies have been trialled on the building, they can be applied nationally and exported worldwide to help projects globally to conserve energy, improve green building standards and reduce carbon emissions.
Speaking at the Park’s launch, BRE China Director Jaya Skandamoorthy said, “Li-Keqiang, now the Premier of China, visited the original Innovation Park as part of a trade mission in 2011. He was inspired by the volume and quality of innovation in the buildings, and their materials and technologies. The Gui’an project is a direct result of that visit and will help to inform the urbanisation strategy for both the Gui’an New District and western China – it is a very significant project.”
Following completion of ThE Studio, work will begin on a number of other demonstration buildings, including the 88 Kilometer House, a project that aims to source all of its construction materials from within an 88 kilometer radius of the building. This will not only reduce transport emissions, but also help to develop a local supply chain that benefits the community. A further ten demonstration buildings are planned for the 35-acre site, and organisations are invited to participate in these projects and support the knowledge exchange and further strengthen the partnership between China and the UK.
For further information please contact Linda McKeown, BRE email firstname.lastname@example.org