SoftGrid (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. has been planning and realizing sustainable architecture and urban development projects throughout China since 2008. The international team has always lived by a holistic planning philosophy, implemented in milestone projects such as the BASF R&D Center II - the first laboratory and office building in China built according to German standards, or one of the first passive house high-rises in all of Asia.
The range of services in the field of architecture includes all planning phases for office and administrative buildings, residential, hospitality, mixed-use, educational and sports buildings. In urban planning, the tasks range from project-related development plans, concepts for industrial and office parks to contextual development models and designing urban visions for entire new quarters and districts.
SoftGrid Shanghai was the first international partner worldwide to join the BDA and DGNB's Phase Sustainability initiative.
All our projects are based on the principles of German sustainability standards, such as DGNB and the Passive House Standard. We also apply the tools and optimization processes developed in certified showcase projects in every non-certified project for the quantifiable optimization of functionality, user comfort and energy consumption - tailored to the specific climate at the project site.
SoftGrid Shanghai will continue to implement German expertise in Chinese projects, and to integrate innovative processes and strategies developed in China into EU projects.
Projects in China
Clients and Stakeholders
SG Shanghai plans and implements projects throughout China. Our clients and stakeholders are corporate global companies as well as local Chinese businesses, real estate developers and municipalities.
Where do we start?
One example of how we operate with German engineering philosophy in an international context is the scalability of our solutions as an integrative feature of our sustainable design approach. In a rapidly changing market, typical German "black-and-white thinking" is not expedient. Instead, we develop designs as parametric systems that combine aspects of energy efficiency, health, comfort and cost efficiency. In doing so, the individual parameters remain adaptable until realization - and sometimes beyond. This dynamic setting of goals is based on soft qualities and hard facts that manifest themselves in a convincing result.
The focus is on creating a planning environment in which clients can adapt strategies themselves as the project progresses - for example, to respond to financial, technical or political constraints or to integrate innovations.
To this end, we draw on methods and tools that we also use in the complex certification processes of the DGNB or PHI Passive House Standards. In addition, we have our own planning tools, which we have used and continuously improved in many completed projects - especially for effective communication, consensus-building and quality-assuring project management throughout the entire workflow, from the initial idea to the completed building or district.
SoftGrid works intensively with the DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council) and the PHI (Passive House Institute Darmstadt) in several projects and sees these standards as an excellent basis for developing a project-specific design with a social and ecological strategy that brings measurable and, above all, tangible added value for the owner, users and other stakeholders of any project.
Via "scalable sustainability", we bring functional aspects, social and design qualities and an ecological strategy into each of our projects - independent of a formal certification and tailored to the specific task and building requirements.
Due to the EU climate protection goals, Germany and Europe are facing a paradigm shift similar to the one China has experienced in the past two decades: first as ongoing urbanization and now additionally in terms of sustainable development.
The planning mentality we have developed in this environment can be applied very well in Europe in the coming years to achieve our client's goals reliably and flexibly.
Example Eco-City Passive House, Tianjin
The two 16-storey residential towers of the Eco-City - one of the first high-rise buildings in Asia to be certified according to the German PHI Passive House standard - are a showcase of sustainable development in a local context. For this project, SoftGrid coordinated, simulated and implemented the sustainability issues throughout the entire process from planning to quality assurance.
Only materials, products and technologies available on the local market were used in order to design the technical building equipment and the building envelope to suit cultural habits and local user behavior.
The design strategies developed by SoftGrid in this project form the basis for the soon to be published "Eco-City Design Guideline": a best practice guide by the Eco-City administration as orientation for future investors who are also aiming for highly efficient and comfortable buildings within the Eco-City development area.
The first video shows the Passive House Showroom, an essential component of the replication strategy. Here, all planning aspects are explained in detail and directly accessible to future decision-makers.
The second video explains the concrete, project-specific application of the Passive House principles. It is part of the presentation in the showroom.