China's Greenest Building
A showcase for energy efficiency and sustainable design breaks new ground in the heart of Beijing.
In China, people joke that the construction crane ought to be the national bird. In many Chinese cities, it's not uncommon to see dozens of them silhouetted against the evening sky, necks bent like wading birds looking for fish. The cranes are emblematic of China's fast-paced building industry, which is constructing the equivalent of two New York-sized cities every year. The way these thousands of new buildings are designed will have a major impact on Chinese energy consumption -- buildings already account for nearly half of it -- as well as quality of life for China's growing urban population.
A new office tower in the heart of Beijing is helping to demonstrate how China can continue to grow while minimizing the environmental impacts of all this new construction. Created under the guidance of NRDC experts and the American-Chinese Coalition Organized for Responsible Development in the 21st Century (ACCORD21), the eight-story office tower is the first internationally certified green building in China. Since becoming operational in 2005, the 130,000-square-foot building has used 73 percent less energy and 60 percent less water than a conventional office.
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