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Glumac Airship Takes Off

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Sitting atop the old Rockerfeller compound in downtown Shanghai is one of the city's most progressive office spaces. It is also one of the healthiest. Step inside for fifteen minutes and you won't want to leave.

The office is home to Glumac, the well-known MEP engineers originally from the US. It is a showcase of their capabilities as well as their commitment to improving the built environment.



Once it is fully operational the project will be the first net-zero water and net-zero energy office...

Pro Sports in China target RESET

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In the world of air quality, 2014 will be remembered as the year in which the leaders in professional sports began to emerge. Those leaders have included the Rolex Masters Cup and the World Golf Championship - HSBC Champions, part of the PGA Tour.

Despite being outdoor sporting events, players, media and staff of these week-long tournaments spend most of their time indoors: between the hotel, lounge areas and conference zones. This collection of spaces is rarely owned by the organizers and...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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 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 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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Energy Intensive Q&A

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  • Date September 17th, 2013 16:07
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Our 'Energy Intensive' panel discussion drew a large audience and generated great discussion. For those who missed the event or for those who want to review the discussion, the dialogue (and loads of expertise) can be found below. If you have further questions, or want to add to the discussion please contact us.

Answers to the Q&A are separated into 4 sections, according to the panelists:

1. JOSEPH VAN DER ELST

2. EDWIN LEE

3. PHILIP RAFAEL

4. ROLAND GUNNESCH

5. GENERAL QUESTIONS

JOSEPH VAN DER...

Start a Pilot Project, Join the Data Drive

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Since launching 2O2O VISION, designers and manufacturers have been calling to find out how to get involved. The excitement for the Green Building Challenge has been overwhelming; we've been flooded with calls and emails asking about the Data Drive, chemical requirements and how to start a Pilot Project. To answer these questions and to keep the momentum building, we took an evening to introduce the details behind the Data Drive and 2O2O VISION Design Frameworks to help Designers and Suppliers...

2O2O VISION: the Data Drive is underway

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Wednesday June 26th, 2013 will go down in history as the official launch of the 2O2O VISION Green Building Challenge. As evening fell in Shanghai, design professionals, pioneering manufacturers and international media filled Kokuyo's ultra-contemporary, award-winning Flagship Showroom to welcome the largest transition to green building the world has ever seen.



The evening marked a night to celebrate the months of research and collaboration between GIGA and the industry's top professionals who,...

New Book: Chemical Alternatives Assessment

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We are proud to announce the publication of a pioneering new book on chemical alternatives assessment co-authored by GIGA.The book is Volume No. 36 in the Issues in Environmental Science and Technology series, which is published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is a learned society (professional association) in the United Kingdom with the goal of "advancing the chemical sciences." At its inception the Society had a combined membership of 34,000 in the UK...

2O2O VISION Green Building Challenge: Special Working Session

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The 2O2O VISON Green Building Challenge kicked off in exciting fashion by pulling together opinionated industry experts from design, manufacturing, project management and construction companies to brainstorm targets and solutions needed to eclipse China's ambitious green design mandates. Hosted by Interface, the capacity audience discussed ways to fill data gaps for the four largest barriers preventing regenerative design: Energy, Chemistry, Water and Design Innovation. 2O2O VISION is...

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