People, nature and technology: net zero building design in Asia

“It’s a good time to be bold and champion the radical ideas our planet needs,” writes Dennis Ho, Director and East Asia Architecture and Urban Design Leader, Arup.

A net zero built environment is a tough challenge, especially in high rise, high density, sub-tropical cities like Hong Kong. In this perspective piece, Dennis reveals his net zero vision by drawing on the design of Taikoo Green Ribbon, Arup’s winning scheme in Hong Kong’s Advancing Net Zero Ideas competition.

Designed in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Taikoo Green Ribbon embodies green design, human experience, ecology and sustainability within a coherent and bold net zero architectural design approach. The project demonstrates innovations at every level, setting new norms for building design and operation. For example, its ‘biophilic design’ highlights the role nature can play in the design and experience of the built environment. The project is also a generator not just a consumer of energy, thanks to the use of emerging technologies such as algae-powered cells and new curved solar panels. In addition, the building underlines a strong focus on an inclusive, human-centric environment, with its green design extended out into landscaped public gardens beyond.

These important net zero ethos could lead to improved social interaction, better wellbeing and health outcomes, enhanced biodiversity and ecology while spurring many other technical innovations.

By integrating social, natural, economic, material, commercial and environmental factors, the project presents a pathway to a sustainable, net zero future of our cities and the built environment.

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