Green credentials

Awards showered on city as a direct result of sustainable development plan.

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2012, 10:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2012, 10:00am

A new wave of green buildings, including many commercial projects, have emerged in Wuhan as it embraces the central government's policy of making it a model city of sustainable development.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection recommended Wuhan to join the global Sustainable Cities Programme in 1997.

The Sustainable Wuhan Project has subsequently been developed to promote environmentally sustainable development in the city. In 2009, a general plan was unveiled for the ecological construction and environmental protection of an eco-city cluster to be centred in Wuhan.

Several buildings under the project have been completed and received environmental certification from international and Chinese bodies.

These include the Corporate Centre Five of Business Cluster Phase One in the Wuhan Tiandi Business Cluster, which has received the Core and Shell Project Gold Precertification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design of the United States.

The commercial projects, A1, A2 and A3 of Business Cluster Phase Two, have been certified by Britain's Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), while the Wuhan Lingjiaohu Wanda Plaza, a mixed-use development by Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties, has also received the Green Building Label issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in China.

Construction of several landmark commercial projects with grade A offices in the city is scheduled for completion in the next few years. They include the Wuhan Greenland Center, designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, and Thornton Tomasetti Engineers, both of the United States.

Scheduled for completion by 2016, the Greenland Center features energy recovery using an enthalpy wheel integrated into the ventilation system, a grey water recovery system, a high-efficiency lighting system and water-conserving low-flow plumbing fixtures.

The Poly Cultural Plaza was jointly designed by the Central-South Architectural Design Institute in Wuhan and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of the US. The building is due for leasing by end of next year.

The focus of the city's sustainable building drive is likely to be the Wuhan Energy Flower designed by Grontmij and Soeters Van Eldonk Architects of the Netherlands. The building, which began construction in 2010, will be the world's first office complex to meet the standards for the highest sustainability class, "Outstanding", in the BREEAM rating, and the highest award of three-star in the China National Green Building rating system.

Slated to become a research and development centre for new energy technologies, the building integrates concepts of new energy application, advanced technology, with energy saving, low-carbon, efficient and unique artistic design.

Developed by Shui On Land, the grade A office spaces at the 30-storey Corporate Centre Five of Wuhan Tiandi's Business Cluster Phase One were launched last year. "By the end of May 2012, 80 per cent of the development is occupied," says a spokesman for Shui On Land.

The Business Cluster Phase Two of Wuhan Tiandi features the 350-metre Tower A1, 130-metre Tower A2 and 160-metre Tower A3.

The development will include a five-star hotel, upscale shopping centre and a 72-storey grade A office building, the spokesman says.