The ZCB (Zero Carbon Building) is Hong Kong’s first net-zero energy building and it was developed to promote low-carbon living and showcase low/zero carbon design and technologies. The building and its surrounding gardens are now open to the public and expected to receive 40,000 visitors annually. The primary goal for the building was to minimize energy use and generate all power on-site (and even produce more than needed). Ronald Lu & Partners designed the building with passive design strategies including orientation, solar shading, a large roof overhang, natural ventilation that provides passive cooling in the summer, and natural heating in the winter. The building has a tight thermal envelope that can be mechanically cooled or heated, but it can also be open to the environment when conditions are right.
The site was thoughtfully considered to mitigate traffic noise, and over 50% of the area is landscaped to soak up storm water and minimize the heat island effect. The roof is covered in photovoltaic panels to generate electricity for the building. Waste cooking oil is used to make bio-diesel on-site and rainwater and grey water is collected and treated in reed beds. The entire building is managed with an intelligent building management system to ensure energy is used efficiently, and when possible energy is returned to the grid. In addition, the ZCB has implemented the Cool Biz Dress Code in order to help visitors and employees feel more comfortable during warmer seasons.
Images ©Ronald Lu & Partners