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【Daily Definition】 Carbon Neutral 碳中性

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  • Date April 11th, 2012 15:54
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Carbon neutrality refers to a system which manages the negative impacts of carbon emissions from carbon dioxide. Carbon neutrality can be achieved in two ways:
1. Emissions are managed within the system. A simple example is a building which adds vegetation to absorb and offset generated emissions.
2. Carbon offsets are purchased to invest in management strategies.

The most Common sources of carbon emissions include: fossil fuel combustion, steel production, cement manufacturing, natural gas...

Carbon Offsets 碳补偿

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  • Date April 10th, 2012 11:41
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Credits which are purchased and traded to manage carbon emissions produced from human activity. Effective management strategies include using existing forests and vegetation, planting programs, and/or rehabilitating vegetation to absorb and utilize carbon. Though investment in clean renewable energy is critical to achieve low-carbon fuel sources, it does not directly improve current carbon management problems. RESET recognizes all accredited carbon offsets though those that invest in carbon...

Shanghai Air: Part 3: IKEA unit ruins test result?

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  • Date April 10th, 2012 09:19
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After having written about air quality and the conundrum of opening windows to control pollutants, the next step should normally be to talk about air filters.

Not quite. Air filters are like applying band-aids to a cancer: they only help on the surface of things.

Far more important is eliminating chemical pollutants at the source.

Here's an example. Imagine we install a fire hose that pumps clean water into the Huangpu River. Obviously, the area right next to the fire hose will have the...

Byproduct 副料

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  • Date April 9th, 2012 11:07
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Any material that is unusable or unintentionally produced during production is a byproduct. This includes, production wastewater, production air emissions and production scraps or overruns. It is crucial that byproducts be used in other production processes or are non-toxic and biodegraded.

在生产过程中,任何不是为了生产而产生的材料称为副料。这包括生产废水、废气以及固体废料。我们需要在其他生产过程中重复利用副料,或保证副料为无毒害或可生物降解。

Note: Our aim is for transparency and clarity; we want you to know all of our methodologies and assumptions. Both are listed...

ADD a Project

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  • Date April 5th, 2012 11:47
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Nothing inspires green design better than a successful center-fold project. Each underscores what is possible, serving as a benchmark for others. The benefit of posting your projects is two-fold; precedents provide solutions and inspiration for others to build greener projects while highlighting your achievements as a driver of green design. The more you post, the more you showcase your expertise.


Who should post Projects?
Designers, Manufacturers, Service Providers, and Contractors

Why you...

Biomimetic 仿生

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  • Date April 6th, 2012 09:53
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Biomimetic refers to traits which mimic those found in nature (velcro, for example). For the past 3.8 billion years, nature has been fueling production with clean energy, non-toxic raw materials, all while increasing biodiversity with production byproducts.Our shared challenge is to create (and build a market for) biomimetic materials.

仿生是指模仿自然界已有的特性 (比如魔术贴的发明)。在过去的38亿年里,大自然一直利用清洁能源 (太阳能)、无毒害的原材料有条不紊地运作着,即使产生"废弃物"也成为其它生物的养分。大自然是我们最好的老师,我们共同面临的挑战就是创造更多的仿生材料。

Note: Our aim is for transparency and...

Leadership vs. Management

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"I want to lead, but I'm not willing to take the risk."


I've been hearing variations of this comment a lot over the past few months and it has forced me to rethink my understanding of leadership. For me, leadership and risk go together.

The comment has come from the CEOs of manufacturing companies we work with, mostly during the training and consultancy sessions we hold with them. The sessions are mostly about trends in the green building sector; which certifications will be needed to stay...

Event Review:GIGA Material Challenge- 2014 Beijing

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“Such a great event, we had a great time. Team building, learning and fun all in one! "


On March 1st, 2014 Beijing played host to GIGA's Material Challenge. Created to give Designers hands-on exposure to industry leading materials, the event challenged teams of Designers to experiment with materials to complete design problems. In the process, participants learned about and experienced the benefits of materials, building their knowledge and expertise while having fun.


The Material...

BUYING: International Green Design Firm.

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If you were asked to recommend a global design firm to purchase, which one would it be?

Last week saw the acquisition of Wilson Associates by Xian Dai / ECADI. Although it was announced as a partnership, it was a purchase estimated at just under $100 Million. When I read the news my first reaction was to wonder who would be next. In the hyper competitive world of Design Institutes it is just a matter of time until others start to follow.

Case in point. Yesterday I was catching up with a close...

The EPD Shift: History in the Making

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It always exhilarating to watch a market evolve. It's even more exhilarating to be part of it.

In 2012, lecturing on EPDs in China was a waste of time. Even the handful of companies who had EPDs had no idea what they actually were. EDPs (Environmental Product Declarations) are exactly what the name implies: a declaration of the environmental impact of products. (For more on EPDs, see the Glossary.)

Fast forward to the end of 2013 and things started to change. Although not many people in China...

GIGA Material Challenge @EXPOBUILD: Day 1!

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Strong start to the GIGA Material Challenge @ EXPOBUILD China


Working with materials can get a bit too serious... we know... we research materials every day!

So, during the GIGA Material Challenge we invite GIGA users to simply let loose and have fun with materials. Inevitably, everyone ends up learning a whole lot more.

Day 1 was a frenzy of hands-on challenges thanks to Laticrete, Dulux, Interface, Koshii Woods, Novalis, Gabriel and 3Form. Join us for Day 2 or Day 3. Have fun, learn... and...

Event Review:GIGA Material Challenge @ Expo Build China


Three days of competitions, three days of winners and three days of fun! ExpoBuild China was an incredible event and was a great setting for another exciting, informative and challenging GIGA Material Challenge.


Back by popular demand and, and for three solid days (March 31st - April 2nd) thousands of visitors from the design, architecture and construction industries flooded the Shanghai New International Exposition Center, eager to see the latest in material and design innovations....

Looking for landscape Architect

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If you are a Landscape Architect that commit to repariing the envirionment, here's a project for you... Voxfor is looking for a landsape architect and contrator to design and build a wetland on their factory site in Xinyu, Jiangxi Province, they are aiming to raise the waste water from the factory.


If you are interested, please contact: CJ@gigabase.org



Event Review: EPDs, the Next Step in Product Transparency

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March 25th was an historic date for product transparency and information quality. It marked the first public session on EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) for building materials in China. The evening brought together five industry leaders to explain EPDs, why they are significant and how they are being used. Thank you to the 111 people who were part of this event as well as Haworth who generously provided the space.


Raefer Wallis, Founder of GIGA (GIGA is a building and material think...

GIGA Material Challenge 2014 Remaining Schedule

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Want designers to experience your materials like above?


Based on popular demand from both Designers and yourselves, GIGA is planning a whole year of Material Challenges, in both Shanghai and Beijing. The event calendar is released:


Dates may differ slightly depending on the availability of venues.


INTRODUCTION: GIGA & GIGA Material Challenge

GIGA is a building and material think tank with locations in Shanghai, Beijing and Montreal. One of GIGA's aims is to research cutting-edge...

GIGA Material Challenge Shanghai: While it rained outside, Gensler reigned inside!

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Plum Rains poured down over Shanghai last Saturday, but inside, there was plenty of heated competition taking place at the Yang Design Museum.


Providing an amazingly unique backdrop, the Yang Design Museum graciously hosted GIGA's 4th Material Challenge and the industrial factory-turned-museumwas a flurry of excited architects, designers and material suppliers. True to form, the GIGA Material Challenge showcased five of the industry's truly innovative manufacturer's in a forum unlike any...

GIGA Material Challenge in Beijing (July 12), MMoser Rises Above the Heat of Competition

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Three weeks after the last Material Challenge in Shanghai on the 21st of June, GIGA held it's most recent Material Challenge in a converted Church space in Beijing. Now the CBC site (China Building Center), the former Church on Beijing's Tong lin ge Road saw 21 teams of Designers participate in a day of spirited competition. The Material providers present were VOXFLOR, SIREWALL and AURO.


The GIGA Material Challenge centers around the premise that architects and designers learn more about...

GIGA Material Challenge Beijing (Sept 20th): Inkmason are Masters of the Competition

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On the 20th of September, GIGA held it's sixth Material Challenge in Beijing's Agricultural Exhibition Center. With the support of the organisers behind the 2014 Beijing International Decoration Innovation Design Expo, the Material Challenge was undoubtedly the most exciting event at the Expo this year.


Participating Material Providers who designed tasks for the Design teams were Philips Lighting, Interface Carpets, Wilsonart Laminates, and imondi. The highest scoring and winning Design team...

Lend Lease Rolls Back CO2 to Pre-climate Change Levels.

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  • Date October 20th, 2014 22:47
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For over 650,000 years, atmospheric CO2 has never risen beyond 300ppm. Yet, in a short 65 years global levels have escalated to a frightening 400ppm and catalyzed climate change. These levels continue to rise rapidly everywhere… except inside Lend Lease's Shanghai Headquarters. There, morning CO2 levels typically hover around 280 ppm: levels unseen for over 150 years.

As a pilot project undergoing RESET certification, the office began tracking indoor air quality (IAQ) across 5 health...

GIGA Celebrates Local Manufacturers who Declare (LBC)

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At the early part of 2014, GIGA began working on the firsttwo Living Building Challenge Certified projects in China. Serving as the key material consultant forwhat is considered to be the most rigorous Certification program in the world, a large part of our role was to introduce the Certification's product labelling system to China: Declare.


The Living Building Challenge hassome of the toughest criteria for materials compliance and while listing one’sproduct in the Declare database is open to...

RESET™ Certification at the Rolex Tennis Masters

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As RESET for Projects continues to grow, requests for certification have emerged from atypical areas, the most recent of which are professional sporting events.

The news of athletes refusing to compete in China due to air quality issues is not new. However, judging by the sudden interest from sporting events, there seems to an ever increasing number of boycotts, especially in the wake of the recurring Beijing and Shanghai Airpocalypses.

Athletes need clean air in order to perform at the best of...

What A Great Day for a GIGA Material Challenge!

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Saturday Oct 25th proved to be a great day for another fun filled GIGA Material Challenge hosted by the Yang Design Museum in Shanghai. This was our second Material Challenge at the Yang Museum and the blue skies outside made for a sunny experience inside!


The GIGA Material Challenge centers around the premise that architects and designers learn more about building materials and finishes when they experience them first-hand. By pairing the design community with participating suppliers, the...

International Collaborative linking LCA, BIM and Project Calculators

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International Collaborative linking LCA, BIM and Project Calculators

Imagine if the environmental impact of building materials within projects could be automatically calculated while you worked. Imagine if you could track the carbon, water or VOC footprint of your project as you designed, with little to no extra effort.
Now, imagine if you could compare this data against your budget and project goals, such as green building certifications.

All of this would be possible if Life-Cycle databases...

Carbon Neutral Wood Construction: Creating Diversity in China

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GIGA is catalyzing research for the construction of a carbon neutral, multistory wood building in China. The project brings together two of the most influential research institutes in China and North America - SRIBS and FP Innovation - to accelerate the adoption of wood construction in China through testing and building code development. The building is to be constructed on the eco-campus of the Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences.


Signing Ceremony in Shanghai. Back: Mr. Jacques...

The Cost 'a' Coffee is Bad Air.

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Recently, a client asked to meet in a Costa Coffee. I accepted. It wasn't until the morning of the meeting that I realized it was a bad idea. Outdoor PM2.5 was 105 ug/m3 (3 times above maximum allowable health limits), which meant that inside would also be 105 ug/m3.

Over the past 10 years we've tested hundreds of spaces for PM (Particulate Matter), TVOC (Chemical Off-gassing), CO2 (Carbon Dioxide), CO (Carbon Monoxide) and several other parameters. Recently, the starlet of all these has...

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