AbuBakr S. Bahaj
A Comparison between Mature EU Cities and the New Ecocity of Dongtan, China
The built environment accounts for approximately 40% of the EU’s energy requirements, split almost equally between commercial and domestic/residential activities. Addressing this energy consumption is rightly seen as one of the key ways to reduce carbon emissions. The European Commission has recently brought into force its directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (COM 2002/91/EC) which will lead to a tightening of building regulations within member states and energy certification of buildings. However, the churn rate of buildings within mature cities such as London is very slow at around 1% of total usable floorspace per annum. This problem is exacerbated by the climate within many European cities which appears to be changing at a far quicker rate leading to heat island effects and a drive for air-conditioning. Building refurbishment combined with appropriate use of microgeneration technologies are key to reducing energy and ‘beating the summer heat’ which threatens mature European cities. In contrast, China’s built environment is undergoing dramatic expansion and is not affected by the legacy or planning issues of European cities. This talk will consider Dongtan, a new ‘carbon-neutral’ Eco-city being developed by Shanghai Industrial Investment Corporation on a ‘green field’ island site close to Shanghai. The strategies adopted by Arup; the consulting engineers for Dongtan; to achieve a carbon neutral city are discussed and compared with the far more restrictive options that exist for the existing built environment of mature EU cities.
AbuBakr S. Bahaj is Professor of Sustainable Energy at the University of Southampton and Head of the Sustainable Energy Research Group (SERG) The aims of the Group are to promote and execute fundamental, applied research and pre-industrial development in the areas of renewables and urban energy studies. SERG resides in the 5 top rated (UK Research Assessment Exercise in 2001) Schools of Civil Engineering and the Environment) at The University of Southampton. Prof Bahaj is an electrical engineering graduate and has extensive experience in design, construction, operation and monitoring of large-scale experiments and field studies related to renewable energy and energy in buildings. His main research interests encompass urban energy studies (including energy efficiency, micro wind and photovoltaics) and marine energy conversion technologies. He is author/co-author of more than 150 publications and leads various major projects on urban energy and marine renewables. He is also an Associate Editor of Renewable Energy and edited the Special Issue of Renewable Energy dealing with Marine Energy (Nov 2005). He is a member of the British Standards Institute (BSI) Committee GEL/82 on PV Energy Systems and sits on various UK Government assessment panels related to renewable energy.