Chinese Eco-cities project and the sustainable buildings of the future

The CSTB’s involvement in sustainable cities in China began in 2004 with the production of the Sustainable Design Handbook, China, published at the request of the Ministry of Housing & Urban- Rural Development. Naturally, therefore the CSTB is now involved in sustainable buildings and zero energy Eco-cities in connection with the Shanghai 2010 Universal Exhibition.

Supported by a FASEP fund advance from the French Ministry of the Economy, Industry and Employment (MINEFE), the CSTB is carrying out a series of operations on sustainable buildings and zero energy Eco-cities in connection with the Shanghai 2010 Universal Exhibition. The objective is to promote greater awareness of French know-how in engineering, systems, products and materials which can contribute to the Eco-city concept in the current context of the urbanisation of China which will result in the country building towns for 400 million inhabitants over the next 25 years.

The project covers both building and urban levels. It targets two main sites: the city of Shanghai Eco Home pavilion in the “Urban Best Practices” area and an urban site at Hu Lu Dao in the Liaoning region north of Beijing chosen by the Chinese partners. In the building section, the CSTB is partnered with SRIBS (Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences, Shanghai) which manages the Eco Home project; in the urban section, it is collaborating with the College of Architecture and Urban Planning (CAUP) of the University of Tongji in Shanghai.

Credit: SRIBS, Green Building, Shanghai

The Eco Home pavilion is a prototype housing unit of 5,000 sq m which the municipality expects to be widely replicated. The plan is to adapt the experiments already conducted to market realities and consumer needs to achieve large-scale distribution of efficient technologies. In September 2008 the CSTB organised workshops with the SRIBS on the Effinergie label and the French PREBAT programme to demonstrate the contribution that the programme and label could make to the Eco Home once adapted to the local context.

French companies are active participants at these workshops, the purpose of which is to establish an integrated French concept of technical solutions for sustainable, energy efficient homes in the Chinese context. In December 2008 the CSTB and the SRIBS organised a second workshop in Shanghai to show how a synergy of the different technologies generates a result which is greater than the sum of its parts viewed in isolation.

After this initial work which will lead to a prototype building visited by 70 to 100 million people, the CSTB’s approach will be to enlarge it to the urban level with the CAUP, which is one of the most influential institutions in China in terms of urban planning and design.

Institutional and industrial partnerships

The institutional partners of the project as a whole:

  • SRIBS (Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences, Shanghai, PRC),
  • CAUP (College of Architecture & Urban Planning) of the University of Tongji, Shanghai, PRC.

With the support of:

  • The Economic Mission of the French Embassy at Shanghai,
  • The Consulate General of the French Embassy at Shanghai,
  • The Economic Mission of the French Embassy at Beijing,
  • The French Embassy at Beijing,
  • MEEDDAT (Ministry of Ecology, Energy & Development) (DAEI) (Directorate of Economic & International Affairs.

The industrial platform consists of the following companies:

  • EDF