Sky City and Broad Sustainable Building get taken seriously by the BBC

Sky City
Screen capture Sky City flatpack

Since I first started writing about Broad Sustainable Building and its chairman Zhang Hue, people have thought I was nuts. The consensus everywhere appears to be that it has to be lousy quality, it is unsafe and people must be getting killed by the day building it. Meanwhile, nobody has died, the energy efficiency and air quality is unmatched and the quality is high.

Now the BBC has done major coverage of Broad and Sky City titled Towering Ambition: The rise of Chairman Zhang's flatpack skyscrapers, with a lavish accompanying web piece.

It's the most complete coverage I have seen yet and gets it mostly right, although like most journalists they feel that they have to quote a skeptic:

An engineering professor from Beijing’s Tsinghua University, Zhang Jun, has been widely quoted in the Chinese media arguing that modular buildings have an Achilles heel - a tendency for water to seep in between the modules over time.

Except that it's not modular- it's flatpack, and the cladding on the building goes up after the structure, exactly like in any conventional building.

Lloyd Alter/ On the dinner table/CC BY 2.0

The BBC also goes into detail about Chairman Zhang Hue, and his green obsessions, like the handbook called "Life Attitudes of an Earth Citizen" that all employees have to read, full of tips for green living. The Chairman explains why he works so hard:

It's all about the details. Engineering serves the people. You ask yourself: ‘What does society need? How can we make products which interfere as little as possible with the environment?’ This needs an unlimited amount of work.

Outside of TreeHugger It is among the most thorough and thoughtful coverage I have seen yet and worth a look.

Tags: China


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