New Energy Tools to Assist in China's Rapid Urbanization


A new set of tools have been developed by researchers at MIT in collaboration with China’s Tsinghua University that will evaluate the performance and energy consumption of large-scale projects. Led by Dennis Frenchman and Christopher Zegras from MIT’s School of Architecture + Planning, these new set of guidelines and tools are a proactive response to the rapid urbanization of China and its ever-increasing development and infrastructure projects. The main goal is to introduce sustainable methods of implementation and construction, and responsible energy patterns one neighborhood at a time.

The two part tool package includes a book of neighborhood patterns that illustrates sustainable and highly successful typologies from across the globe. The second tool is called Energy Proforma, which utilizes a single number to evaluate the total lifecycle energy consumption of a neighborhood. This number is arrived at through a process that involves the calculation of 3 different types of energy components; the first relying on the how the neighborhood affects the use of transportation within its vicinity, the second being the amount of energy consumed for heating and cooling, and lastly the energy required for construction.


The end goal is that these tools and guidelines will assist in the evaluation of development proposals and become an adopted standard.

© MIT & Tsinghua University

These tools were recently utilized for a proposal for a town on a new high-speed rail line, with the assistance of five teams from MIT and Tsinghua.

Photographs: MIT, Tsinghua University References: MIT,

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Cite: Tim Winstanley. "New Energy Tools to Assist in China's Rapid Urbanization" 13 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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