Design team Woods Bagot and Buro Happold are hoping to achieve a new level of sustainability with their striking new development model -Zero Emissions Design’ (ZERO-E). This new program is, as you might suspect, zero energy and carbon neutral, but it goes beyond merely lessening a building’s impact and actually contributes to the healing of compromised human and ecological systems. The design team has since created a ZERO-E pilot study project for a typical development in China to put their sustainable theories to the test.

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Some might actually call “sustainable development” an oxymoron, but Woods Bagot believes that their new model can actually make its surrounding environment better. Their system can model building performance and help architects understand how existing technology, like photovoltaics, geothermal systems, daylighting and more, can correctly be put together to achieve zero emissions.

While there certainly are other modeling programs in place as well as green building programs like LEED, the Zero-E system combines the work of the architect and the engineer into a 3D model, allowing parameters to be dialed in and optimized. Woods Bagot and Buro Happold, who designed the modeling program, tested it on on a hypothetical mixed-used complex on the Yangtze River in China. The development creates more energy than it uses annually, processes its own waste, releases only beneficial byproducts and supplies 100% of its water needs through “closed loop” collection and recycling systems.

Via Fast Company