The University of Nottingham has signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on sustainable development initiatives in the Chinese city of Shenzhen.
The agreement was signed at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, during the recent visit of Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang to the UK. It will see the University working with the Chinese building company Shenzhen Xingcheng Holdings and British design standards agency BRE, which operates the BREEAM and EcoHomes environmental rating schemes
Collaborating on sustainable development initiatives
The partners will collaborate on a number of sustainable development initiatives in support of the Tier 1 city of Shenzhen, including master planning, green building design, energy and waste efficiency, and construction management and quality.
A key aim of the collaboration is to support the up-skilling of local professionals in Shenzhen’s construction industry through development and accreditation training courses that bring long term benefits to the trainees in terms of future career development. The partners will also create opportunities for innovation and research in green buildings.
The signing of the agreement follows on from a commitment between BRE and the Shenzhen Municipal Government to collaborate on research, standards and training as the city drives forward with its aim of being the most sustainable city in China.
A direct impact on future development
Professor Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice Chancellor at Nottingham, said: “As the first university to be invited to establish a campus in China which now has over 6,000 students, we are delighted to be involved in this new venture for the training and accreditation of professionals. The agreement will have a direct impact on all future development in this fast growing city.”
Director of Shenzhen Xingcheng Holdings ltd Quan Xing Qing, said: “China is starting to understand the significant benefits of green building and sustainable development - better long term asset value, lower operational costs, increased rental value, happier and healthier occupants. The Shenzhen government have set significant plans for green growth, and we are keen to invest in initiatives, and collaborate with leading partners, to help us achieve our goal.”
The partners are also exploring the creation of an exemplary Innovation and Research Centre in Shenzhen, which will be designed to both the local green building standard and international standard BREEAM, and will help set the benchmark for all future development in the city.
Sharing expertise and knowledge
Director of BRE China, Jaya Skandamoorthy, said: “This is a significant step forward for China-UK collaboration on sustainable development, and we are very excited about the prospect of the two-way sharing of expertise and knowledge with our valued Chinese partners to deliver exemplary outcomes not only for the City of Shenzhen, but also for mainland China and the rest of the world.”
This new collaboration follows Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to BRE in the UK in 2011 (as then the Vice Premier) at which he requested that BRE supports China’s new low-carbon city developments currently being planned and constructed.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World’s Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings