Green Building in China


This post is a slight diversion from what most of this blog will cover, but I feel it’s important. And, in so far as this site is about innovative ideas about meeting stated and unstated needs, this idea is right on the mark.

Today I attended a small showing for a video entitled Green Dragon. The premise was centered around the massive amounts of new buildings going up in China, the great migration of their population to urban zones and their impact on the worldwide environment. (Did you know around 25% of the smog over LA is from particles produced in the Middle Kingdom?) More importantly, however, the film spoke about the great opportunities there are to make this process “green.”

In many ways China is already more green than the United States. Nearly all lightbulbs in their urban centers are compact flourescent. (I’m only about halfway in my own house. The whole city of Shanghai has me beat.) They have an extremely effecient privatized recycling system in which private citizens peddle around neighborhoods buying recyclable trash and bringing it to processing centers. And they’re building the first carbon-neutral city in the world. Developer’s site. Consulatant’s site. Here’s a BBC excerpt on the city. The senior architect is one of the folks interviewed for this video.

In many more ways, however, China lags far behind the rest of the world in environmental awareness and activity. Rivers run brown, forests are cut down for chopsticks and nearly every urban center is surrounded in thick, horrible smog. The opportunity to do significant good exists there, and the people, government and builders are smart, educated of the problem and willing to be part of the solution — that was a major takeaway for me from this film.

This project was done by a friend of mine, Max Perelman (bio), with Caroline Campbell (bio) and River Lu (bio) both of whom I’ve also had the great pleasure of meeting. Cool cats. The video is currently being shopped to various distributors but I’ve been promised that a YouTube trailer would be available soon. I’ll be sure to make that available once I have access to it.

One response to “Green Building in China

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