• At SCGZero+ in Shanghai, Decibel starts on what could be the Greenest Building

    31 May 2021

    Decibel Architecture (dB(A)) have broken ground on a new deep green demonstration office in Shanghai, designed to update the technology and approaches embedded into their Pixel Building and replace it, not only as the world’s highest LEED scoring building, but with a project designed to be rated as the Greenest Building in the World.

    In virtual offices across the globe, design and sustainability expert teams from dB(A), Atelier Ten, Landleaf, and Fabric First have worked alongside the client Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) internal design and ESD institutes, to apply the very best innovation and insight to creating the SCGZero+ project.

    After two years of preparatory design investigation, the SCGZero+ deep green demonstration building officially broke ground on 6th January 2021 and will be China’s highest rating and first “5Zero” building – Zero carbon, Zero energy, Zero water, Zero waste, and Zero formaldehyde.

    Incorporating PassivHaus Design Principles and building on dB(A)’s experience designing Melbourne’s (and the world’s) highest LEED, BREEAM and GreenStar rated building, Pixel, SCGZero+ is set to achieve a new global benchmark and take the title of world’s highest scores in LEED, BREEAM, WELL, China3Star and China Healthy Building.

    The consultant team, based in Melbourne and Shanghai, have ensured SCGZero+ is on track to achieving the world’s highest sustainability status and help China (and the world) run the race to reach net zero.

    In SCGZero+, dB(A) and SCG’s design is a demonstration of innovative, transferrable technologies that can lead the path to changing and improving the rules upon which sustainable buildings are built. Key to this is the understanding of an integrated network of ecological thinking – not simply reduction of energy and cost, rather the integration of symbiotic systems that nature has perfected over billions of years.

    Located in Shanghai, SCGZero+ utilises key approaches to improve embodied energy and operational effectiveness, including:

    • prefabricated construction methodologies in Structure and Façade assemblies,
    • embedding robotic fabrication techniques;
    • deploying innovative and experimental materials, in CLT and CLB (Cross Laminated Bamboo);
    • creating timber/bamboo routed and assembled structural framing to PassivHaus rated solar facades;
    • integrated, adaptable and finely tuned assembly of vision and solar units across the building, and incorporating ‘Living Edge’ water systems prototyped and tested in Pixel, rainwater capture and on site biomimicry to ‘close the loop’ on water quality and usage;
    • utilising recycled steel, low carbon concrete, Low VOC, and cradle to cradle philosophies on all material supplies and supply chains;
    • flexible and resilient indoor gathering and working spaces;
    • biophilia and indoor greenery and circadian lighting throughout;
    • water balanced design enabling integration to larger parkland surrounds, to demonstrate and educate about sustainable water practices;
    • integrated on-site elevated running tracks, gymnasiums, dance and yoga studios, childcare and maternity spaces, and significant end of trip facilities;
    • vegetarian kitchens looking to close the loop on food miles, through production on-site in rooftop farms of produce for staff;
    • the entire management process will be translated into educational and demonstrational technical case studies for improving the systematic procedures in green construction for the future.

    SCGZero+ represents a new way of building, of embedding technology and natural symbiosis in everyday thinking.

    By partnering with the National Development Reform Committee as part of the delivery, design and assessment process, dB(A) and SCG are looking to help change the rules by which buildings in China (and the world) are designed and built.

    This shift will create a major leverage to improving humanity’s chance of preserving our global comfort zone and hitting the circular and doughnut economy that delivers an equitable, carbon neutral future.   This building is a celebration of life in a new and challenging century.


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