China’s most eco-friendly escalator plant
energy concepts | future of production | Smart factory | Sustainability and climate protection | In the Chinese city of Zhongshan, thyssenkrupp has built an escalator plant that takes eco-friendly production to a whole new level – with wind-powered lighting thrown in.
New York’s iconic ‘Hearst Tower‘ has it. The new ‘7 World Trade Center‘ in the city that never sleeps has it. So do Toronto’s ‘Bay Adelaide Centre‘, the ‘Deutsche Bank Twin Towers‘ in Frankfurt – and now the thyssenkrupp escalator plant in Zhongshan, China has it too. What are we talking about? “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” certification, or LEED for short.
LEED: seal of quality for sustainable buildings
First introduced in 1998, LEED certification is awarded by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council to buildings with exceptional ecological credentials. The buildings are classified according to strict international standards of environmental protection, resource conservation, and sustainability.
And thyssenkrupp’s complex in Zhongshan is no exception: While the factory building attained ‘LEED Silver’ certification, the office building was awarded ‘LEED Gold’.
Sustainable in every way
The green factory in the city on the right bank of the Pearl River Delta didn’t come by the distinction by chance: The planners developed an eco-friendly, integrated sustainability strategy for the site – from energy-saving ideas to environmental protection measures through to planning for future growth.
For instance, a hybrid wind-solar system was developed for the street lighting. To tap into energy from renewable sources, each street lamp at the site features both a solar panel and a mini wind turbine. So the lamps store energy in the day time for use after dark.
Wind power? Solar power? No need to choose: the eco-friendly lighting systems at the Zhongshan plant use both.
Smart energy savers
Another of the many examples of eco-friendly design at the plant is the ‘tubular skylight’ for the basement garage. This innovative lighting system features energy-saving long-life LEDs which light up at night. But in the daytime it directs natural light into the garage from outside. This not only extends the life of the lamps but above all saves valuable energy.
All of this works – since the plant in the South Chinese province of Guangdong was opened in 2006, the employees have significantly improved its sustainability rating. For example, the office building’s energy consumption has been reduced by 13 percent, while the factory’s annual water usage will be cut by 3,028 cubic meters in the future.
Eco-friendly and cost-efficient
Proof that eco-friendly architectural design doesn’t come at the cost of productivity is impressively provided by the plant’s workforce: At the 195,000 square meter site, around 800 employees produce up to 4,000 escalators and moving walks and 200 passenger boarding bridges for thyssenkrupp every year.
Valuable aids that are urgently needed in the rapidly growing megacities of China to get people in the countless skyscrapers quickly and comfortably from A to B. After all, time is money and that’s not set to change.
And there’s more: As well as the LEED-certified escalator plant, visitors to thyssenkrupp in Zhongshan will find another architectural highlight – a 248 meter tall elevator test tower, specially designed for high-speed tests and rope-free elevator systems. Both plant and tower exemplify thyssenkrupp’s ambitious plans in China.