With China’s 2020 announcement to hit peak carbon emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, ‘carbon’ has become the country’s environmental protection buzzword. How can architects and designers play a leading role under the prevailing trend?
On 12 August, LWK + PARTNERS Design Research Unit worked with Beijing General Municipal Engineering Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd. (BMEDI) to organise a seminar in Beijing titled Architecture’s New DNA towards Carbon Neutrality. Officially launched by noted Design Master and BMEDI General Manager Yun Zhang and hosted by BMEDI Architectural Design Institute Principal Architect Xinhua Zhao, the event had LWK + PARTNERS GBA studio’s Design Research Director Professor Stephen Lau as a key speaker, while BMEDI Planning Design Institute Planning Director Xuezheng Wu and other professionals also share insights during the discussion session. The seminar was also livestreamed.
In 2019, Chinese authorities launched the Technical Standard for Nearly Zero Energy Building, which proposes the technical approach of ‘Passive first, active enhancement, maximise renewable energy use’. Our Design Research Unit proposed a fourth element, which is to conduct ‘human-oriented post-occupancy evaluation’ to review building performances and the use of space for improving energy efficiency, facilitating carbon reduction and net carbon zero.
Professor Lau took a few real-life examples to illustrate the design strategies, elements and technologies involved in developing nearly zero or zero energy buildings. He then discussed the opportunities and challenges this new typology brings for the industry in responding to China’s emissions target as part of global sustainable development.
About LWK + PARTNERS Design Research Unit
LWK + PARTNERS Design Research Unit was set up in 2019 with Professor Stephen Lau, Honorary Professor of The University of Hong Kong and Design Research Director of GBA studio, as the leader. In accord with our mission to bring about sustainable development, the team explores how architecture and design can facilitate the realisation of eco-cities, focusing on the impact of buildings on its occupants and surroundings.