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GIGA Green Design Training Sessions


8.7 Trillion RMB. In 2020, 8.7 Trillion RMB are expected to be spent on Green Building. This unprecedented 30% market shift challenges the entire construction industry - green designers, builders, developers, and material suppliers are all needed to meet the ambitious (and mandatory) goals that have been set by the Central Government.

How is your design firm positioned for this transformation? GIGA has developed green training sessions to help keep design firms at the cutting edge of this...

GIGA / AIA Shanghai Special Working Session


Partake in the draft of 2020VISION Green Building Challenge
(Please note that an RSVP is required for this session)

Date: April 24th (Wednesday), 7:00PM

Location: Shanghai

By now, most of us have heard of Central Government's green building targets: by 2020, 30% of new buildings must be green.

These targets only reference public and residential buildings and exclude projects and building types that have already adopted systems like LEED.

Although these targets are only mandatory for...

Manufacturers are walking the Talk


LEED project certifications are important not only to designers, but to manufacturers as well. More and more manufacturers are building their own offices and headquarters to LEED specifications. Haworth and Kokuyo are two good examples.

Haworth Shanghai Organic Showroom

Located in Eco City on Shanghai's West Nanjing Road, Haworth's Organic Workspace is certified LEED gold. Haworth picked building materials with their environmental performance in mind: low VOC content, recyclable, and from...

C2C Competition: $250,000 in prize money


In 2010, GIGA teamed up with the C2C Products Innovation Institute in order to help advance research in the green building industry. We are now extending a competition opportunity to China: 250,000 USD (1,560,000 RMB) in prize money for building materials that can be pioneered in projects of the Make It Right Foundation .

Founded by Brad Pitt in 2007, the Make It Right Foundation has as its mission "to build safe and healthy Cradle to Cradle (C2C) inspired homes, buildings and communities for...

Halogen vs. LED: comparing lamp surface temperature and its influence on room temperature

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  • Date September 28th, 2012 17:02
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The Chinese government made waves by requiring that 30% of all new construction be built green by 2020. Since, subsidies have been released to incentivize the market to respond. On September 15, 2012 RMB 6,000,000 subsidies became available for energy efficient projects. We recently ran a test pilot at our office to measure the impact that lighting has on room temperature, and thus energy consumption. It is easy to calculate the energy saved when using lamps, though the heat produced by...

Material boards just launched

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  • Date September 26th, 2012 23:13
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Building on designer feedback, we have just launched a better, more powerful way to organize materials for your projects: Say hello to material boards:

1. Under 'Create', select Boards

2. Give your board a name: Boards can serve to organize materials for an entire project or a space within a project. It could be Lujiazui Tower or Conference Room A... the sky is the limit. Enter notes and select a mood image.

3. Once the Board is set-up, click on 'Materials' in the top bar.

4. On the materials...

New Brand pages just launched.

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  • Date September 26th, 2012 18:50
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Building on feedback from design companies, manufacturers and suppliers, we've significantly overhauled the brand pages. Not only do they better show the culture of these brands, the pages are now easier to edit.

As a material provider:
1. Upload a mood / inspiration image that represents your company culture.
2. Post and link your materials (and projects).
3. Manage and edit your company contact(s).

As a design company:
1. Upload a mood / inspiration image that represents your company culture.

Answering your questions: GIGA New Features

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  • Date September 26th, 2012 10:42
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GIGA has been growing rapidly over the past few months. With new users coming in from all directions, we've been asked over and over again, "What are all the things I can do on GIGA?"

To help our new users (non-logged in), we've added a left sidebar that explains our tools.

We've also added an FAQ section...

As well as made it easier to contact us...

And we've provided a feedback button so that we can build around your comments and ideas.

Finally, we've increased site security in order to maintain...

Foreign design offices in China are shrinking.

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  • Date September 6th, 2012 08:18
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Every week I lecture on green design in 2-3 design offices, both foreign and local. Over the past six months I have been hearing the same news at an increasing frequency: foreign offices are shrinking. Recently, this topic has also appeared in online forums as well as professional gatherings.

Although many attribute this to the general market slow-down, particularly due to the upcoming change in Government, a growing number of foreign firms are attributing the losses to local firms, in...

LEED Adapting to Me

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  • Date August 20th, 2012 23:26
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Actually, LEED is adapting to the world, but how does this affect us Internationally?

Around the world, much of the grief about LEED is that it is so American centric. This makes sense for an American organization, but the reality is that in the near future non-US projects will likely surpass US ones. According to the USGBC, about 40% of newly registered are already non-US.

In response to this, LEED is finally providing new guidelines for international projects. The integration of International...

GIGA New Features v.3.1.12

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  • Date August 20th, 2012 23:16
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Community, community, community and more materials. This has been the focus of our latest features. We hope you like them. And please... keep the feedback coming!

Quick Material Entry
Sooo simple. Submitting a material now takes just a few seconds. All you need are 2 points of information: brand name and material name... and we'll do the rest.

Community, community, community...
Invite: Looking to include someone in the conversation? Invite them.

Follow: Found a designer who's work you like and...


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  • Date August 10th, 2012 14:41
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TED invited us to introduce GIGA's vision, tools and progress made towards regenerative design, all within 4 minutes. In 3:45, GIGA Founder, Raefer Wallis, delivers GIGA's visionary approach to green design and introduces GIGA's Architectural Genome Project which aims to collectively and incrementally move towards regenerative. Watch to be inspired and become of the movement.

If you're interested to hear more, leave comments. Videos with the most traction will be invited to present a full 20...

China Green Building Trends


China’s green building future just got a huge boost. On April 27th, 2012 the Chinese Government released a report that will revolutionize green building both in China and across the globe. By 2020, 30% of all new construction (and 100% of all government buildings) built in China must meet or exceed green building standards.

By 2020, China will be home to more green buildings than the combined total of all current global green buildings. With this unparalleled experience, China will be both a...

Green Building Pioneer in China: An Interview with Zhang Hongru (Dennis Zhang)


Zhang Hongru (Dennis Zhang) is one of the fathers of green architecture in Shanghai and China. Amongst many other projects, he is the architect of the SRIBS research centers, the first of which was completed in 2004. He is also one of the authors of China's green building code and green building certification system. Based on 10 years of pioneering work in China, Mr. Zhang recently shared his insights and opinions in an interview with GIGA.

GIGA: What is most difficult about designing green?


GIGA v. New Features


We can't say thank you enough to the users who are pushing the database. We have a feeling you'll find this week's new features exciting.

Material Search Filter: We've made searching for materials far more fun and intuitive. Start with the Material Categories, choose a filter and speed up your searches. If you've picked too many categories, just delete the categories you don't want from the filter bar.

Green Features Search Filter: Next, add green features (such as low VOC, rapidly renewable,...

HBCDD Infographic


Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD or HBCD) is used mainly as a flame retardant in polystyrene-based insulation products. What is of particular concern is this lipophilic and persistent organic pollutant’s capacity to accumulate in the food chain – leading to progressively increasing levels in human tissues and in wildlife. The extent of accumulation correlates directly with its evermore prevalent use. Despite this alarming trend, only limited toxicological information is available to assess its...

How can you catalyze change for greener materials?


The most common question we are asked after lectures and trainings is, 'as an individual what can I do to help.' If you're like most designers, your client or your firm doesn't prioritize green design. Though this might exclude you from using state of the art conditioning systems, you can still drive green design with every project.

How? By demanding healthy materials. Though often overlooked, materials massively dictate the ecological impact of projects. All materials are made by combining...

GIGA Ranked (Rated) Material


Why GIGA Rankings?
With a growing abundance of global certifications differentiating their meaning and relevance is murky. Our users have expressed confusion in understanding all of the different tests and standards which are leveraged by each certification. GIGA Rankings exist to help alleviate confusion by making certifications comparable. Rankings are based on research deriving from approved certifications and test reports. Our research team collects and verifies data and susses results...

GIGA v. New Feature


Once again, many thanks to all of you for the constructive feedback. Here is what is new, based on what you told us:

Privacy: Sensitive projects can now be made private and shared only with assigned team members. This new feature allows you to work on projects that no one else will see other than those you choose to. Look for the 'privacy' option within the 'edit project' page.

Give Power: Previously, it was only possible for one user to control project information (add materials, add members,...

The Science of Sustainability: New Drivers of Change


As the head of sustainability for Haworth, my responsibilities are to reduce the impact our projects, as well as shifting our business to prepare for a world lacking in natural resources.

My motivation and passion to create changes at Haworth does not come from news headlines nor carbon disclosure targets. It comes from having spent years in Chinese manufacturing before Haworth, exporting goods for the world’s largest brands from the heart of the then Chinese economy – factories manufacturing...

Reclaiming History


What materials can help you earn Green Building Certification points? Today most designers know a handful of keywords that can contribute to certification: recycled content, local, energy efficient, sustainably harvested, and waste materials.

Reclaimed Wood has enjoyed the limelight thanks to the likes of LEED, 3-Star, BEAM, and a host of other building certification systems. When we built our first projects in Shanghai, Reclaimed Wood was easy to find. Ten years ago, with green building in...

Benzene Series (Part C)


In the 1920's, benzene was frequently used as an industrial solvent. As its toxicity gradually became known, its role as a solvent was replaced by other chemicals such as Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylenes (with similar physical properties but very little carcinogenic potential).【1】 BTEX (Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylenes) are made up of naturally-occurring chemicals that are found mainly in petroleum products such as gasoline. Refineries will change the amounts of these chemical...

ADD a Material


Fact: green design starts with green materials. There are heaps of green materials in the market today but designers don't have time to find all of them. We solve this problem by allowing users to add, share, and collect an exponential number of materials. Add materials to share new solutions and showcase your green expertise.

Who should post Materials?
Manufacturers, Designers, Vendors, and Contractors.

Why you should post.
- highlight your brand and create a following
- help build a useful...

Sustainable business


Sustainable businesses seem to be everywhere. What makes them so isn't always apparent. Below is a graphical look at the range of sustainable businesses.

Model 01: Sustainable businesses are profitable.
By standard definition sustainable businesses at least break even. Below is a sustainable business when only profit is considered. Society and ecology are not considered and might be increasingly damaged as profits grow. This could be a cigarette company.

Image 1: Sustainable business - Model...

GIGA v.3.1.7, New Features


We just launched our most recent round of updates. Version 3.1.7 includes these new features:

Projects. Find completed projects, construction projects, and projects on the boards to inspire your next design. Save projects you want to follow or add your own. For the next few weeks we'll be featuring a new green project, every day. Keep this page bookmarked to see when the new projects roll in.

Materials. Easily find materials and add them to your projects. Bigger material images make them...

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