Gallery: Wuhan’s Lily-Shaped Zero Carbon Energy Center Set to Bloom in ...


A new Calla lily-shaped research center for Wuhan University is set to bloom in China as one of the most sustainable buildings the world. Netherlands-based firm Grontmij, in collaboration with Soeters Van Eldonk architects, recently won the award to design and construct the new research center which will be both zero carbon and zero energy and include a slew of other green building strategies.

Located in Wuhan, the Wuhan New Energy Center (also called the Energy Flower) was designed to resemble a lily, with a 140 meter tower in the center surrounded by lower towers in the shape of flowers and covered in vegetation. The center tower expands upwards into a bowl and is coated in a large solar array facing the sun, soaking up rays just like a real plant. A vertical axis wind turbine shoots up out of the center of the tower like a pistil. Rainwater is collected in the bowl and a 120 meter solar chimney in the tower helps expel hot air from the building while pulling in cooler air below.

The energy efficient office building research center will be zero energy and help Wuhan achieve its goal of becoming the most sustainable city in China. Grontmij and Soeters Van Eldonk Architects are working together on this project and expect the building to achieve a Three-star Award in the China Green Building Evaluation System and also expect it to be the first office building in the world to meet receive the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ accreditation in the BRE’s International classification. Construction is expected to begin in November of 2010.

+ Soeters Van Eldonk

+ Grontmij

Via Ecofriend


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  1. Paul Felix Schott July 12, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Just think we could have done this in America more then 25 years ago Leaders wake up.
    The Lord’s little helper
    Paul Felix Schott

  2. Erik van Lennep March 5, 2011 at 6:24 am

    The value of a government (company, organization, individual…) making broad aspirational claims such as these, is that while they may be made for PR, at least they provide a discussion point that can be used to encourage them to actually deliver. Without them making any sustainability claims, it’s harder for the rest of us to demand delivery.

    That said, I do get weary of this “X-Factor” celebrity approach to design which keeps showing up in blogs like this. “Most Sustainable”…ever? Come on now. This just puts out the message that such achievements aren’t within reach of the majority. We should be encouraging everyone to keep getting better at both design and construction, and critically, at dwelling and use.

    Here’s an image of a serious contender for the title “most sustainable building..ever”

  3. Unconvinced August 4, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    That’s one of the ugliest buildings I have ever seen!!

    The Chinese seem to build a couple projects that are
    ‘sustainable’ for show, but then barely enforce any environmental
    policies such as air pollution on water pollution. I think it’s just a distraction. Like how they claim to invest more than anyone in the world in sustainable energy, but then build a new coal plant every week

  4. Breathless in Wuhan June 24, 2010 at 5:17 am

    I see that the smog was airbrushed out of the front of this photo when the computer-generated design of the new zero-carbon-energy-building was inserted.

    I\’m sure that the construction of this new building will make the air much better in Wuhan. I hope that it sucks in all the dirty air on the top and filters out clean air at the bottom.

    Until then I\’m holding my breath.

    \”Breathless in Wuhan\”

  5. The Refinishing Touch June 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Not only will this incredible structure attract attention due to its unique design, but it will also grab attention for its efforts to promote sustainable growth in a country still struggling with its environmental impact. We can’t wait to see the building when it’s completed. Hopefully by then there will be many more like it on the way.

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