Everything You Need to Know About China’s Pioneering Nearly Zero-Energy Building

Image of China's innovative super high-rise building, a pioneer in Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings with a 61% energy reduction.

Exciting News: China’s First Super High-Rise Achieves Nearly Zero Energy Status!

The China Construction Fourth Engineering Bureau Science and Technology Building project recently made history by gaining approval for its near-zero energy building technology plan. This remarkable project has the distinction of being China’s inaugural super high-rise with near-zero energy consumption.

What’s even more impressive is that it met the rigorous standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and clinched the prestigious LEED Gold Level Pre-certification.

What’s the secret behind this groundbreaking achievement? The project has harnessed cutting-edge energy-saving and low-carbon technologies designed specifically for super high-rise buildings. These innovations have resulted in a remarkable 61% reduction in energy consumption, placing it at the forefront of international advancements in sustainable construction.

This project now stands as a shining example, showcasing the potential of super high-rise near-zero energy consumption buildings. Its success holds immense significance in our journey toward achieving the “double carbon” goal, marking a major milestone in sustainable construction practices.

Embracing a Green Vision: Transforming Guangzhou’s Skyline

In the picturesque backdrop of September’s Pearl River, where glistening waters meet soaring seagulls, a remarkable transformation is underway in the East District of Guangzhou International Financial City, Tianhe District, Guangzhou City. Here, a cluster of cutting-edge high-tech R&D facilities is taking shape, with the China Construction Fourth Engineering Bureau Science and Technology Innovation Building project leading the way.

This project is unique because it marks the first venture of China Construction Fourth Engineering Bureau to encompass investment, development, survey, design, construction, and operation, all under one roof. It serves as a pivotal showcase for China Construction Fourth Engineering Group’s commitment to exploring energy conservation and carbon reduction within its operations, aligning with the broader goals of carbon peak and carbon neutrality in the construction sector.

At the heart of this endeavor lies an unwavering commitment to sustainability, epitomized by the project’s pursuit of prestigious certifications such as three-star green building, LEED Gold, WELL Gold, and near-zero energy building standards. This unwavering dedication to eco-friendly principles encapsulates the essence of green development.

The project aspires to be hailed as a “model of architectural technology” and a “benchmark for innovative headquarters.” Its design philosophy, symbolized by the concept of “rising steadily, soaring into the clouds,” gives rise to a towering architectural masterpiece that seems to touch the sky. The entire construction process embodies a commitment to sustainability, with “green design, intelligent production, assembly construction, and information management” practices adopted throughout. Impressively, the assembly rate reached an impressive 93.5%, exceeding the AAA assembly rate standard set by Guangdong Province. Project manager Zhang Teng, Secretary of the Project Party Branch of China Construction Fourth Bureau Real Estate Company, proudly attested to this achievement.

From conception to construction and through to operation, the China Construction Fourth Engineering Bureau Science and Technology Building project remains steadfast in its dedication to a “low-carbon, green, humanistic” development ethos. Leveraging the strengths of its entire industry chain, spanning “design, investment, construction, and operation,” the project consistently integrates green principles and energy-saving measures across its entire lifecycle. The result is the creation of high-quality, environmentally conscious buildings that offer top-notch products and services to the residents of the Bay Area.

Pioneering Research and Innovative Green Design Transforming Construction

In our pursuit of the ambitious “double carbon” goal, the spotlight shines brightly on high-quality, energy-efficient green buildings. These structures represent a pivotal step in advancing the cause of high-quality urban development. Over the past two decades, Fourth Bureau Real Estate Company has been on a relentless journey of innovation, pushing the boundaries of green design, and championing the ideals of sustainable development.

Design is at the heart of green building evolution–the soul and vanguard of these eco-friendly marvels. The China Construction Fourth Engineering Bureau Science and Technology Building project, inspired by the rich architectural heritage of the Lingnan region and traditional architectural wisdom, embarks on a remarkable journey from the initial planning and layout to volume modeling, envelope structure, natural ventilation, sunshades, heat insulation, and natural lighting. It harmonizes these elements with the unique solar patterns and regional climate features, giving rise to a tapestry of ingenious design features. These include solar chimneys, cold alleys, arcades, and three-dimensional greening, all of which seamlessly integrate a spectrum of passive energy-saving methods to deliver exceptional efficiency and energy conservation.

In an inspiring breakthrough, the project boasts the pioneering use of a solar chimney in a domestic super high-rise building. Employing adjustable opening and closing floor ventilators and top skylights, it enhances natural ventilation within office spaces during transitional seasons, significantly reducing the need for air conditioning. Li Hangyu, manager of the project design department, beams with pride as he explains this innovation.

Taking a page from the playbook of traditional Lingnan architecture, the podium features north-south cold alleys with a height design spanning 1-7 stories, complemented by operable skylights at the pinnacle. This clever configuration maximizes natural ventilation during transitional seasons, harnessing outdoor airflow to whisk away indoor heat and moisture, thereby achieving substantial energy savings.

The ingenious integration of solar chimneys and cold alleys ensures that the primary functional areas of the building bask in abundant natural light. A remarkable 96.37% of the rooms enjoy a daily lighting duration of 4 hours, with an average illumination of 6.68 hours. In the tower’s lofty zones, illumination extends beyond 8 hours per day in most areas. Smart lighting controls, coupled with daylight sensors, further reduce energy consumption, championing sustainability.

The project doesn’t stop there; it embraces the power of sunshades. Three layers of sunshades grace the southeast facade of the podium and the east, west, and south facades of the tower, boasting a sunshade depth of 700mm. These shading innovations slash the building envelope’s cooling load by an impressive 17.9%, consequently curbing air conditioning energy use, lowering wall surface temperatures, and enhancing the building’s overall thermal comfort.

This project’s ingenious research and innovative green design not only exemplify the future of sustainable construction but also serve as a beacon for green building excellence, driving us closer to our “double carbon” aspirations.

Crafted with Dedication: Pioneering Energy Conservation and Carbon Reduction

Gazing across the sprawling landscape of Guangzhou International Financial City’s eastern district, one can’t help but be captivated by the meticulously designed buildings that have transformed what was once barren land into a hotbed of technological innovation. This urban metamorphosis has ushered in a more captivating city skyline. Behind this burgeoning ‘Guangzhou skyline’ lies the unwavering commitment of Fourth Bureau Real Estate Company to technological innovation and their tireless exploration of green development.

As pioneers in Guangdong Province’s inaugural smart construction pilot projects, this endeavor has introduced an array of cutting-edge technologies. From cloud-based smart construction factories to BIM-driven design applications, assembly simulation analyses, and construction robots, the project has evolved into a beacon of technological innovation. The China Construction Fourth Engineering Bureau Science and Technology Innovation Building stands tall as a model project in this realm.

Picture this: Eight intelligent robots operate within the ‘Building Artifact’ cloud construction factory, seamlessly executing tasks like steel bar handling, three-dimensional transportation, wall formwork installation, precise distribution, automatic vibration, and safety inspections. This orchestra of innovation accelerates the project’s overall construction pace, with one floor of the core tube being completed in a remarkable four days. Moreover, it mitigates the adverse effects of noise, dust, and light pollution during construction, offering a more tranquil environment for surrounding residents while reducing material and energy waste.

The project boasts a self-developed dual carbon management and control platform, which diligently tracks and monitors carbon emissions throughout the construction journey. Smart water and electricity meters are strategically placed to provide real-time data on consumption, while construction waste is systematically measured and material consumption is dynamically recorded. Carbon emissions are continually assessed, allowing for timely adjustments in carbon reduction strategies.

Furthermore, the project champions low-carbon building materials such as high-proportion double-mixed low-carbon concrete, harnesses low-carbon energy through modular photovoltaic systems, and employs intelligent equipment like elevator control systems, air-conditioning automatic induction control systems, and intelligent induction lighting control systems. These innovations have culminated in the project earning its green construction credentials, successfully achieving energy efficiency and carbon reduction goals, culminating in the creation of a near-zero energy consumption building.

Witnessing the towering structure rise before him, Bian Songwei, the design director of China Construction Fourth Engineering Bureau Real Estate Company, expressed his excitement: “Through meticulous energy-saving design, energy system enhancements, and harnessing renewable energy, we have finally charted a path toward near-zero energy consumption in super-tall office buildings.”

The roof of the tower and the podium building host photovoltaic power generation high-voltage grid connection technology. This innovation prioritizes self-consumption of photovoltaic power generation and uploads excess production to the grid. In its inaugural year, the project generated an impressive 650,000 kWh of power, boasting a renewable energy utilization rate surpassing 25.4%, thus comfortably meeting the requirements for nearly zero energy consumption building standards.