How green tech is revolutionizing China’s real estate industry

20150109060044575

In February, Shanghai-based company WinSun (盈创) made waves in global media by creating the world’s first 3D printed villa. According to WinSun, the villa was printed using a mix of “glass fiber, steel, cement hardening agents and recycled construction waste.”

The villa took just three hours to assemble, and company believes that 3D printed buildings can reduce mining residuals and construction waste. In addition to recycled material, WinSun is exploring other eco-friendly printing materials like sand from northern China.

China’s multi-billion real estate industry is entering a new era of green building. Government policy is one factor helping to drive the green movement in China’s real estate industry. In the past decade, China has passed numerous policies to promote energy conservation and reduce air pollution, like the 2007 “Green Credit” policy, which requires banks to stop lending to companies that are on the MEP blacklist for environmental violations.


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The government is also investing heavily in green technologies that impact the real estate industry like smart meters, which measure energy consumption and improve energy efficiency. Last February, China spent $4.3 billion USD on its smart grid market, with part of the investment going towards the installation of 60 million smart meters. On Tuesday, China announced at the Paris climate talks that it would commit to producing 150 to 200 gigawatts of solar energy by 2020.

“Chinese officials are adaptable,” says James Hu, a business manager at Glumac, a consulting firm that specializes in sustainable design and engineering. “They welcome innovative and creative ideas.”

In particular, government entities like the China Development Bank are “leading the way” in sustainability, he says. In 2014, the China Development Bank shelled out 1.4 trillion RMB ($216.8 billion USD) in loans for “green credit projects”, according to their 2014 Sustainability Report.

“It’s all about health,” says Johnny Browaeys, co-founder and executive chairman of Seeder, a Shanghai-based startup that provides building owners with green tech solutions and financing options.

“Developers will need to meet the requirements of the masses,” he says.

Green tech solutions can help developers address changing needs from tenants, who are gradually moving towards greener buildings. For example, adding air purification systems can give developers an edge in the real estate market, as air pollution in cities like Beijing continue to draw attention and alarm.

Businesses are also seeking greener offices to boost work productivity, says Daniel Shwartzer from CBRE, a real estate service company. Air pollution can make employees sick and some multinational companies require LEED-certified offices as a company standard, he says.

“More tenants want greener buildings,” says Amy Wang from Shui On Land, a property development company that partners with consulting firms like ARUP and AECOM to build LEED-certified buildings. “And building greener is a way to differentiate from competitors,” she says.

Green technologies like solar panels and smart meters are also encouraging Chinese real estate developers to go green since they lower the cost of energy and make buildings more energy-efficient. For example, building owners can enter solar power purchase agreements (PPA) with investors to save money on electricity. The investor covers the cost of buying and installing solar panels in return for a guaranteed buyer of electricity – the building owner. According to Alex Shoer, a co-founder of Seeder, the returns for investors are 10 – 12 percent.

“Buildings are looking at how to optimize,” says Mr. Shoer. “It used to be buy, sell, but people are starting to see that [they] need to become more efficient with operations and lower operating costs. You can make just as much money by spending less as you can by making more.”

In the future, Seeder will explore more cutting edge technology, like using probiotics to clean and filter air, says Mr. Browaeys. Some buildings in China, like the Glumac headquarters in Shanghai, have already implemented composting toilets and rainwater collection, and are working towards net zero energy, water, and carbon certifications.

This story originally appeared on TechNode.










How green tech is revolutionizing China’s real estate industry

20150109060044575

In February, Shanghai-based company WinSun (盈创) made waves in global media by creating the world’s first 3D printed villa. According to WinSun, the villa was printed using a mix of “glass fiber, steel, cement hardening agents and recycled construction waste.”

The villa took just three hours to assemble, and company believes that 3D printed buildings can reduce mining residuals and construction waste. In addition to recycled material, WinSun is exploring other eco-friendly printing materials like sand from northern China.

China’s multi-billion real estate industry is entering a new era of green building. Government policy is one factor helping to drive the green movement in China’s real estate industry. In the past decade, China has passed numerous policies to promote energy conservation and reduce air pollution, like the 2007 “Green Credit” policy, which requires banks to stop lending to companies that are on the MEP blacklist for environmental violations.


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The government is also investing heavily in green technologies that impact the real estate industry like smart meters, which measure energy consumption and improve energy efficiency. Last February, China spent $4.3 billion USD on its smart grid market, with part of the investment going towards the installation of 60 million smart meters. On Tuesday, China announced at the Paris climate talks that it would commit to producing 150 to 200 gigawatts of solar energy by 2020.

“Chinese officials are adaptable,” says James Hu, a business manager at Glumac, a consulting firm that specializes in sustainable design and engineering. “They welcome innovative and creative ideas.”

In particular, government entities like the China Development Bank are “leading the way” in sustainability, he says. In 2014, the China Development Bank shelled out 1.4 trillion RMB ($216.8 billion USD) in loans for “green credit projects”, according to their 2014 Sustainability Report.

“It’s all about health,” says Johnny Browaeys, co-founder and executive chairman of Seeder, a Shanghai-based startup that provides building owners with green tech solutions and financing options.

“Developers will need to meet the requirements of the masses,” he says.

Green tech solutions can help developers address changing needs from tenants, who are gradually moving towards greener buildings. For example, adding air purification systems can give developers an edge in the real estate market, as air pollution in cities like Beijing continue to draw attention and alarm.

Businesses are also seeking greener offices to boost work productivity, says Daniel Shwartzer from CBRE, a real estate service company. Air pollution can make employees sick and some multinational companies require LEED-certified offices as a company standard, he says.

“More tenants want greener buildings,” says Amy Wang from Shui On Land, a property development company that partners with consulting firms like ARUP and AECOM to build LEED-certified buildings. “And building greener is a way to differentiate from competitors,” she says.

Green technologies like solar panels and smart meters are also encouraging Chinese real estate developers to go green since they lower the cost of energy and make buildings more energy-efficient. For example, building owners can enter solar power purchase agreements (PPA) with investors to save money on electricity. The investor covers the cost of buying and installing solar panels in return for a guaranteed buyer of electricity – the building owner. According to Alex Shoer, a co-founder of Seeder, the returns for investors are 10 – 12 percent.

“Buildings are looking at how to optimize,” says Mr. Shoer. “It used to be buy, sell, but people are starting to see that [they] need to become more efficient with operations and lower operating costs. You can make just as much money by spending less as you can by making more.”

In the future, Seeder will explore more cutting edge technology, like using probiotics to clean and filter air, says Mr. Browaeys. Some buildings in China, like the Glumac headquarters in Shanghai, have already implemented composting toilets and rainwater collection, and are working towards net zero energy, water, and carbon certifications.

This story originally appeared on TechNode.










Google backs new wind farm in Kenya as its investment in clean energy tops $2B

wind turbine

Google is expanding its investment in green energy through a new wind project in Kenya. In total the company has invested $2 billion in clean energy initiatives.

Today, the company pledged to purchase a stake in the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project. Once the wind project is up and running, Google says it will deliver power to more than two million homes throughout Kenya and could account for 15 percent of the current grid.

Vestas, which makes wind turbines, will donate equipment to the project, garnering it a 12.5 percent stake in the Lake Turkana endeavor. After the Lake Turkana Project goes live, Google will take over Vestas stake. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation as well as a development institution from the U.S. government are also contributing resources to the project.

This is the second project in Africa that Google has invested in. In 2013, the company announced a $12 million investment in a 96 megawatt solar photovoltaic plant in South Africa. The solar plan is supposed to be the biggest on the continent. However, it powers substantially fewer homes than the Lake Turkana Project promises to — 80,000 at last count.

This latest investment in Kenya is supposed to help generate further innovation in the region via a 266 mile transmission line that will connect the project to Kenya’s main grid. The new line will hopefully allow more clean energy to flood Kenya’s grid.










Google equips Street View cars with Aclima sensors to map California air quality

Google Street View car equipped with Aclima's air pollution sensing platform

Google wants to help measure air pollution while also mapping air quality in our communities. The company announced that it will be using its Street View cars to traverse through California to understand how safe the air is. It will be using sensors provided by Aclima to collect the data which will be transformed into visual information for scientists to assess how our health is being impacted.

Starting today, as Google’s Street View cars roll through the streets of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the Central Valley region, they’ll have Aclima sensors embedded on them to sense air pollution. Google says these three major metropolitan areas were selected because with nearly 30 million registered vehicles, managing the air quality in the state is a big challenge, even with all the environmental policies put in place by Governor Jerry Brown’s administration.

Although San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the Central Valley region are named, it appears that other areas within California may be targeted so don’t be surprised when you see the funny Street View car come by.


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This is the second time Google has worked with Aclima on this type of project. In July, it announced a pilot program in Denver, Colorado using Google Street View cars. So it’s likely that more cities and metropolitan areas will be added in the future.

All of the data collected by the Aclima sensors will be available on Google Earth Engine to anyone who wants to help analyze and model the data.

Why help measure air quality? By having this data, scientists will be able to determine how safe it is and its long-term impact on our health. As Google’s Earth Outreach Program Manager Karin Tuxen-Bettman wrote, “at high concentrations, particulate matter, black carbon, ozone, and other pollutants can trigger asthma attacks and make COPD worse. Worldwide, these pollutants lead to millions of premature deaths each year. These are the pollutants our cars will be measuring.”

Google’s Street View cars give it an incredible opportunity to collect a lot of data from our communities. Not only are these vehicles navigating through neighborhood and city streets, but they’re going to be able to provide specific information by location, not just in general terms. So perhaps we might be able to visualize that a particular block of downtown San Francisco has much cleaner air than, say, the area right near Fisherman’s Wharf.

This isn’t the first environmental-based project that Google has done. Last year, it worked with the Environmental Defense Fund to map methane leaking from natural gas local distribution systems

More information:

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Google equips Street View cars with Aclima sensors to map California air quality

Google Street View car equipped with Aclima's air pollution sensing platform

Google wants to help measure air pollution while also mapping air quality in our communities. The company announced that it will be using its Street View cars to traverse through California to understand how safe the air is. It will be using sensors provided by Aclima to collect the data which will be transformed into visual information for scientists to assess how our health is being impacted.

Starting today, as Google’s Street View cars roll through the streets of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the Central Valley region, they’ll have Aclima sensors embedded on them to sense air pollution. Google says these three major metropolitan areas were selected because with nearly 30 million registered vehicles, managing the air quality in the state is a big challenge, even with all the environmental policies put in place by Governor Jerry Brown’s administration.

Although San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the Central Valley region are named, it appears that other areas within California may be targeted so don’t be surprised when you see the funny Street View car come by.


From VentureBeat
Got translation? You got problems. We’re here to help. Localization and translation tips from the best minds in marketing.

This is the second time Google has worked with Aclima on this type of project. In July, it announced a pilot program in Denver, Colorado using Google Street View cars. So it’s likely that more cities and metropolitan areas will be added in the future.

All of the data collected by the Aclima sensors will be available on Google Earth Engine to anyone who wants to help analyze and model the data.

Why help measure air quality? By having this data, scientists will be able to determine how safe it is and its long-term impact on our health. As Google’s Earth Outreach Program Manager Karin Tuxen-Bettman wrote, “at high concentrations, particulate matter, black carbon, ozone, and other pollutants can trigger asthma attacks and make COPD worse. Worldwide, these pollutants lead to millions of premature deaths each year. These are the pollutants our cars will be measuring.”

Google’s Street View cars give it an incredible opportunity to collect a lot of data from our communities. Not only are these vehicles navigating through neighborhood and city streets, but they’re going to be able to provide specific information by location, not just in general terms. So perhaps we might be able to visualize that a particular block of downtown San Francisco has much cleaner air than, say, the area right near Fisherman’s Wharf.

This isn’t the first environmental-based project that Google has done. Last year, it worked with the Environmental Defense Fund to map methane leaking from natural gas local distribution systems

More information:

Powered by VBProfiles