British and Chinese partner on green buildings research

Updated: 2015-10-22 20:51

By Cecily Liu(

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British and Chinese partner on green buildings research

A pilot project energy-efficient building on the campus of Tsinghua University. [Photo/Zhang Wei]

Chinese developer Evergrande and Tsinghua University are partnering with British environmental consultancy BRE to set up a joint research platform to develop green building techniques in a 200 million agreement signed in London Wednesday.

BRE helps government, industry and business to meet the challenges of addressing a green agenda for buildings. It developed Britain's green building standards, known as BREEAM.

The joint project will focus on the development of green standards and systems for construction and procurement, research on new green materials, and low carbon products and technologies. It will also feature better processes for planning, design, procurement, construction and management and how to evaluate the results.

The announcement came as a part of a package of deals signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the UK. The research platform will be funded by Evergrande.

Jaya Skandamoorthy, Director of BRE China, said that the deal is very significant because of the scale of the investment in green building standards.

The research results will be applied initially to two of Evergrande's projects in Hainan Province. One project is on an island off Hainan Province - a tourism project known as Ocean Flower Island. The second is an eco-city in Hainan to be called Danzhou City.

Ocean Flower Island is scheduled for completion in 2017, and Danzhou City has a three-year construction timeline.

Skandamoorthy said the projects will involve a lot of cutting-edge water based technology, smart sensor technology and smart cities technology. If these prove successful in China, they could create export opportunities.

The research platform will look at improving China's three star green building standards and unifying these standards across different cities and regions.

Skandamoorthy said he had seen rapid growth in China's green building sector in recent years and that many new "smart" building technologies were for the first time coming out of China.

BRE has already developed a working relationship with Tsinghua University, and the two organizations are now working on a joint research program for green and low-carbon urbanization. It is designed to support the Chinese government's priorities for sustainable development and air quality improvement.

They have also partnered to deliver an innovation park in Gui'an New District in Guiyang and its adjacent city Anshun, Guizhou province, that will showcase Chinese homes and buildings of the future.

BRE, looking to further develop its presence in China, is preparing to set up a subsidiary in Shenzhen. Last year, it announced an agreement with the Shenzhen government to help the city adopt more green building standards after it was chosen to pilot a number of cutting-edge policies on sustainable development.

Shenzhen now requires all new buildings to achieve at least a one-star level in China's national three-star rating system and BRE will work alongside the Shenzhen government to achieve its goals through research and professional training.

"We are excited by the collaboration with Tsinghua University, Shenzhen government and many other Chinese partners, and to support some of the greenest achievements and outcomes in China," Skandamoorthy said.

"We hope our international BREEAM standards, research and training program will provide a platform for leading companies, British and Chinese, to collaborate on green products, technologies and buildings," he said.