Photo by Daniele Domenicali
Situated in Ningbo, China, the University of Nottingham’s new Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (CSET) is a welcome addition to the landscape as well as the air above Zhejiang province. Inspired by Chinese lanterns and traditional wooden screens, Mario Cucinella Architects packed CSET with a variety of sustainable attributes to make it the the first zero-emissions building in China.
Located in a country that relies heavily on coal power to support a population nearing 1.5 billion, CSET‘s sustainable attributes are are vigorous as its environmental curriculum. The building is powered by a large array of photovoltaic cells and geothermal energy (which cools and heats the five story floor slabs). Any additional energy collected is stored in batteries that can provide up to two week’s worth of electricity for sunless days.
CSET‘s double-glass skin reduces solar radiation, and the large rooftop opening creates natural ventilation while allowing daylight to illuminate the interior spaces. The building also makes extensive use of locally sourced materials in its construction and boasts an onsite rain and gray-water recycling center.
The 1300 sq. meter building includes a visitors center, research laboratories, and classrooms, and has been estimated to reduce coal use by 448.9 tons and carbon emissions by 1081.8 tons over the next 25 years. The University’s graduates will be educated in topics that include energy-efficient technology, sustainable transportation, hydrogen systems, renewable energy technology, low-energy high-rise buildings, and low-energy housing.
Photos by Daniele Domenicali