centre_for_sustainable_1.jpg“Sustainable” and “construction” don't often appear next to each other, and rarely in China.

So its good to see that there is one organisation trying to promote environmentally friendly building materials and methods in the PRC.

Green Ideas Green Action (Giga), a Shanghai-based non-profit foundation, has launched a system to allow architects and builders in China to source with a cleaner conscience.

As the organisation points out, China has the highest numbers of building sites, building materials manufacturers and graduating designers in the world.

That should make the PRC a fertile territory for green building practices, but those who want to build more sustainable buildings are often held back by the day-to-day challenges of green sourcing.

Raefer Wallis, founder of Giga says:

Materials pour in from around the world with different labeling systems covering different aspects of sustainability, leaving much space for confusion and “green-wash”. Often, finding competent suppliers that can actually install these products is even more challenging.

Giga has developed a free, online system that allows all materials, local and international, to be measured against the same set of standards.

The site aims to not only help source objectively but in time will grow to include a directory of service providers and database of case studies.

Interest in green building in China has grown considerably in recent years and today there are about 150 Leed-registered projects in China. Leed is the international standard for green building developed originally in the US.

However, the lack of a green supply chain, encompassing parts, materials and knowledge, has long been a big stumbling block for architects and designers in China. Giga's website aims to address that.

More info on Giga's website. There's also a blog dedicated green buildings in China, called imaginatively, China Green Buildings.

Pic shows the Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies (CSET) in Ningbo, designed by Mario Cucinello Architects, which this year won the MPIM Green Building Award.

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