Constrained availability and increased costs of raw building materials and energy
- Broad enriched its traditional expertise in sophisticated heating and cooling technology with expansions into the use of renewable resources such as biofuels, solar and waste heat
- Limits on development opportunities due to reduced land availability; waste and air pollution
- Through its BSB division, Broad developed its energy, water and waste efficient vertical sustainable building methodology based on the use of prefabricated modular building elements for the development of tall buildings on small land surfaces.
Due to climate change and other environmental trends, the building and construction sector in China is today facing important challenges such as the cost and constrained availability of energy, water and construction materials; stricter limits on the generation of waste; and a growing concern about building in water-scarce and bio-diverse areas. The Broad construction company, however, was able to change these risks into opportunities and created a new business around its sustainable building concept.
Broad accepted the challenges of going green and developed a unique building concept
The Broad Group, established in 1990, shaped its business strategies around an acute awareness of the dwindling availability of resources, including energy shortages. This triggered an interest in heating and cooling technologies. Heating and cooling consume 30 to 40% of the world’s energy, and much of this is wasted through poorly insulated walls.
Out of growing
concerns around energy, water and land availability, all factors that would
limit the future expansion of China’s building industry to which Broad is a key
contributor, the company started doing research on environmentally friendly
building technologies and founded Broad Sustainable Building Co Ltd (BSB) in
2009, focusing on the development of sustainable buildings, including
skyscrapers. From this base, Broad developed a sustainable product range based
on renewable resources such as biofuels, solar and waste heat.
Sustainable strategy based on vertical building technology
It soon became clear to the organization, that the issue of energy was only one element of a vast range of sustainability issues that challenged society in China, including dealing with massive population growth and urbanization. Broad’s sustainability approach then shifted from its extensive experience and knowledge of cooling and heating energy management to a new business focus on the provision of sustainable housing and workspace.
It adopted the concept of vertical sustainable buildings that are energy, water, and waste efficient, while at the same time optimize the little land available for new development. The company developed its own unique methodology of prefabricated (modular) building techniques for tall buildings. Its new vision opened the doors to the integration of a bolted assembly technique with triple glazing, automatic blinds and air filtration systems as a way of fundamentally rethinking tall green building construction by using less building and construction materials.
The modular framed structures that serve as components (boards) are manufactured in its factory, tailored to include window and door frames, wiring and piping, including plumbing. Broad’s construction process reduces building costs through the minimization of material resources and labour time. It goes on to optimize land usage as the modular system and its structural support base allows for much higher and safer buildings to be constructed on smaller land surfaces. Broad’s approach creates a worker-friendly on-site environment that does not require any welding, uses no water and contributes to a dust-free construction site.
Construction and energy costs down
In its approach to business, Broad implemented numerous environmentally friendly principles in its operational business to curb costs, increase output, save time and reduce waste. Broad’s sustainable modular construction costs are down between 10% and 30% compared to conventional buildings, mainly due to time efficiencies that can partially be ascribed to its building techniques that consume less building and construction materials. The company uses local construction materials that have a high-recycled content wherever this is possible. All material used for the different components can be reused after decommissioning of their buildings. As the components for their buildings are all factory-made, there is no construction material waste, and on-site idleness is cut to almost nil.
Broad continually strives to reduce energy costs. The energy efficiency of its sustainable buildings compared to conventional buildings of the same size is five times greater. Its sustainable flagship 30-story T30 Hotel on average utilizes 20 cm insulation layers (three cm of thermal insulation is standard in China), four-paned glass windows, depending on the microclimate, LED lighting, auto power-generated lifts, and external solar shading that automatically adjusts to sun conditions to achieve up to 80% energy savings in summer. Given that China is a very large country with extremes in weather conditions and temperatures, the system has been designed to adapt itself to all weather conditions across all seasons. A chute recycling system for 8 different kinds of waste delivers additional advantages to owners and residents.
A new market created
Broad has seen its business model deliver the results it had hoped for, and its vision has not changed. The company believes that the future will validate that its sustainability approach in the building and construction sector is the solution to many of China’s problems around land and resource shortage in the face of ever-increasing urbanization.
Having developed and refined its modular technology used in constructing over 30 sustainable buildings, Broad developed the Sky City concept, changing the way people experience skyscrapers and living in tall buildings. Once completed, this project will offer its residents a full life experience within one building. This includes growing up, going to school, receiving advanced education, working and relaxing, etc. This will be achieved with the planning and provision of hospitals, schools, office space, exercising facilities such as gymnasia, restaurants, etc. all within one building that will be able to resist magnitude 9 earthquakes. The construction of Sky City has not commenced yet.
With its vision and its exceptional business model based on technology that is not used anywhere in the world, Broad believes that it is within its ability to capture at least 30% market share of the international building industry within the next 20 years.
BROAD Group is a construction company, with a clear vision on the development of unique building technologies that are sustainable and preserve life. All BROAD products and services are essentially optimizing human life and the environment. Headquartered in Changsha (Hunan Province) in China, the Broad Group employs 12 000 employees. It’s wholly-owned subsidiary Broad Sustainable Buildings Co. Ltd (BSB), focuses specifically on sustainable buildings, including skyscrapers.
Quote Zhang Yue, Chairman
“Broad has changed all traditional practices in the Chinese Building Industry. We developed a sustainable strategy with a clear YES for environmental protection and conservation and a clear NO for environmental pollution. This strategy is entirely embraced by all aspects of our business”