When it comes to energy efficiency, if we want to have a concrete impact on the reduction of harmful emissions, the turning point must be on a large scale but in the end it is the small realities that form the masses. L'energy efficiency is a milestone ofsustainable building; among the challenges of this sector is the savings of resources seen at 360 °: saving of energy, raw materials and soil. L'sustainable building it should aim at the conservation of natural areas. What better place to start than crowded Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is one of the most populated cities on the planet. More than a metropolis, we are talking about a Chinese megalopolis made up of over 1,367,000 inhabitants (data updated only to 2001). Well, if each of these inhabitants adopted a more virtuous behavior ... the reduction of harmful emissions it would be tangible!
The Hong Kong Construction Sector Council, to set a good example and show how muchbuilding can be a friend of the environment, has started and concluded a very interesting project. It's called ZCB, Zero Carbon Building, the inauguration has already taken place and the building produces more energy than it uses!
Zero Carbon Building, the construction can boast a huge photovoltaic panel on the roof and a system that uses waste to produce energy. As for the conservation of green spaces, the building Zero Carbon Building it is surrounded by a huge garden which expects to attract 40,000 visitors a year.
It was created by the Ronald Lu & Partners studio, the architects have focused attention onpassive architecture, taking advantage of high techniques energy efficiency so as not to waste even a kilowatt hour of energy. The building boasts an area of 1,580,000 square meters, features a heat-tight envelope to ensure maximum insulation both in summer and winter. During the hot period, the windows open wide allowing for maximum natural ventilation.
The orientation of the building also takes into account the prevailing winds in the area, an attention that will allow big savings on the cooling and ventilation system. Overhangs have been set up on the roof to create shaded areas, while the wooden slits on the windows make the most of the solar radiation.
Estimates predict that the building Zero Carbon Building can produce 99 megawatt-hours of energy annually. The evident energy surplus will be fed into the city electricity grid. The savings is also realized with the water supply: the sloping roof will help storerain water in special tanks. The water will then be used for irrigation of the large garden. This is not the only concern to guarantee the water saving: there is no lack of a system for the treatment of gray water.