Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies

The Nottingham University has opened a new campus in Ningbo, in the heart of the Chinese district of Zhijiang. The Center for Sustainable Energy Technology CSET (Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies) will be dedicated to the diffusion of sustainable technologies such as those applied to solar energy, photovoltaic or wind energy. The building of 1,300 sqm designed by MCA hosts as well as a visitor center, research laboratories and classrooms for courses. The pavilion stands in a lawn area along a stream that runs through the campus and features a design inspired by paper lanterns and fan-shape of the Chinese tradition. The facade of the building folds drastically to create a dynamic form. The building is entirely covered with a double skin of glass with screen printed patterns that evoke historical buildings in the area and shows an aspect that turns from day to night. The design employs various environmental strategies. A large rooftop opening brings natural light to all floors of the building simultaneously creating a flue effect to allow efficient natural ventilation, while the underfloor heating panels use geothermal energy to heat and cool the environment.


energy perfomance

-100% HVAC CO2

0 kg CO2 / mq y

heating 10 kWht / mq y

cooling 30 kWhf / mq y

Location: Ningbo, China

Year: 2006 - 2008

Client: University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China


Surface area: 1.200 sqm.

Budget: 5. ML €

Project: Mario Cucinella Architects

Team: Mario Cucinella, Elizabeth Francis, Angelo Agostini (architect in charge)

In collaboration with: Eva Cantwell, Richard Ceccanti (3D), Francesco Fulvi, Caterina Maciocco, Giuseppe Perrone, Natalino Roveri (modellista), Alessandro Bobbio (modellista), Luca Stramigioli, Debora Venturi (environmental strategies)


Environmental Strategies: School of the Built Environment, University of Nottingham, UK (Prof. Brian Ford, Prof. Saffa Riffat, Rosa Schiano, Mauricio Hernandez Tascon)

Project and Site Management:Chris Jagger - University of Nottingham, UK; Charles Lee - University of Nottingham, Ningbo - P.R. of China; Orlando Shi - University of Nottingham, Ningbo - P.R. of China

On-site Implementation of Energy equipments and technologies: Prof. Jo Darkwa - University of Nottingham, Ningbo - P.R. of China

Local Architect: NADRG, Ningbo - P.R. of China, Guo XiaoHui


Construction Management: WEG, Ningbo - P.R. of China

MEP and lighting design: TiFS Engineers Srl., Padova, Italy, Prof. Roberto Zecchin

Structural engineering: Luca Turrini - Bologna, Italy

Photographers: Daniele Domenicali