While architects over the globe are coming up with designs of eco friendly buildings that consume less power and generate a part of the electricity they use with the help of renewable energy generating technologies, there are only a handful of buildings that are zero carbon in nature and generate all the energy they need on-site. Working to give Hong Kong its first truly green building, Ronald Lu & Partners have developed the ZCB, short for Zero Carbon Building.
The green building makes use of solar energy and innovative passive design principles to generate energy while also making sure that energy generated is put to good use and conserved wherever possible. Designed to promote low-carbon living, the HK$240 million building is a joint project by the Construction Industry Council and the Development Bureau.
Built on a site area of 147,000sqm, the three-story building has seven zones, one of which educates visitors on how to maintain a green lifestyle at home. The building, which is expected to receive about 40,000 visitors annually, minimizes energy use and generates more than the energy it needs using a large array of rooftop photovoltaic panels.
Along with solar energy generation, the eco friendly building includes passive design strategies including solar orientation, solar shading, natural ventilation and natural heating in winters. Inhabitat notes that the building has a light thermal envelope that is mechanically cooled or heated and can be opened when the conditions are right. Apart from clean energy, the architects have also included system to make use of waste cooking oil to produce bio-diesel. Moreover, the building also harvests rainwater and the entire structure is managed by an intelligent building management system.