Beijing Green Building: Sustainable Issue

National Geographic Film Review
and Sustainable Architecture Discussion
By Gierlang Bhakti Putra

Beijing Green Building

Beijing became the hometown for the Olympic Games 2008. It was a spectacular sport show – and we also could say it exhibition – with new sport facilities and pavilions are build to support the event.

Everybody who witness the even must be remember how sensational the opening, the futuristic architecture of Water Cube and Bird’s Nest, and many admiration regarding how well Chinese government manage the event and giving its best for the best impression of the event.

The issue of green building and architecture is the key to the building of the new facilities and sport pavilion. This concept of architecture though short (as it is only temporal sport pavilion) but it left us with an everlasting concept of green architecture for the world’s next architecture.

Let’s take a look into China’s condition. We have to take a note that China’s pollution is five times higher from the permitted amount of pollution according to the health standard. This brought China into the most polluted country next to U.S. Because of this issue, the China’s government attempt to make the sport pavilion based on green building concept.


Sally Crabb
Creative Director, Imagination
“Human perspective first before design”

Samsung trust Imagination to design their pavilion at Beijing Olympics arena. Together with Prof. Li Dexia, senior architect from ADRI (Architectural Design and Research Institute), they design a building made of recycled and sustainable product to solve ecological issue. Prof. Li Dexia stated that they use ecological engineering to face global challenge.

By material, they chose steel for the structure. Steel is the most recycled material. To recycle steel is cheaper than to produce as it only used ¼ energies.

They used tree shaped column (decorative elements) to reflect China tree forest.

The green issue is also solved by the mean of technology. Dr. Zheng Rong Shi (CEO of Suntech) is responsible for the technology of solar panel. The solar panels were put in the roof to convert the solar energy into electricity to fulfill the need of electricity in the building. This solar panel, produce 6500 kWatt of energy, thus saves 7500 tons of Carbon Dioxide.

The unique things about using solar energy: the light tube. Some tubes are inserted through the roof to catch the sunlight. The sunlight then forwarded into the building provides lighting and solar charging spot for electronic appliances.

Built in 3 months, with 80-90 people work, 24 hour non-stop, Samsung Pavilion at Beijing Olympics 2008 is a successful example of green building. Short living physically, but an everlasting concept of green.

China’s Green Issue and Sustainable Architecture

China could be a model for a country to bring green issue as a real action. Their commitment to save 20% energies and reduce pollution by 10% is proven through the Olympic pavilion and stadium technology. They built wind power station that provide enough energy for the sport pavilion. The use of sustainable materials proves that architecture could be friendly to the environment.

Jalel Sager, in his article in FuturArc 2nd Quarter 2012, quotes Swedish scientist Karl-Henrik Robert opinion on sustainable issue:

“In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing:

  1. Concentrations of substances extracted from the earth’s crust
  2. Concentrations of substances produced by the society
  3. Degradation by physical means
  4. And, in that society, people are not subject to conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs.”

It’s clear now that for an architect, design is a process that solves multiple issues. It’s not only about cultural, aesthetic, and other visual issues. Architecture has growth together with technology that it should an answer to many aspects that involves social and environment. This kind of architecture is everlasting and will won much respects from the society that’s in the need of a greener Earth to live in.

Image Credits, accessed at April 22, 2012 at 11:46 a.m., accessed at April 22, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.

National Geographic Megastructures: Building Green Beijing documentary video


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