BEE & AIA – Shanghai International Finance Centre Project Tour

10 January 2018, BEE joined AIA Shanghai and JAHN Architects in hosting a tour of the New Shanghai International Finance Centre. As the LEED consultant together with Thornton Tomasetti, BEE introduced the innovative sustainability practices and achievements of the project, including 25% energy reduction and 40% water reduction.

Shanghai International Finance Centre (SIFC)

Shanghai International Financial Centre is a new landmark in Pudong, Shanghai. A 150m long sky bridge unites the three main towers, which are owned by three clients: Shanghai Stock Exchange, China Financial Futures Exchange, and China Securities Depository and Clearing Corporation Limited. The 5.5 million square foot area serves as a complement to the City Centre plaza and frames the centre of Pudong and Century Park.

SIFC LEED Practice

Being a new landmark in Shanghai, SIFC is also committed to reduce their environmental footprint and improve occupants’ health while pursuing LEED Core & Shell Gold certification. BEE worked as the on-site team along with Thornton Tomasetti – a prominent US-based LEED consulting firm – to provide sustainable design and construction consulting services. The project incorporated a range of innovative practice focusing on minimizing energy, water, material consumption and thus environmental impacts.  It is one of the top 10 largest single-building projects pursing LEED certification in Asia.

Below are some notable LEED achievements of this project:

LEED Practice

  • Reduced pollution from construction activities by controlling soil erosion, waterway sedimentation, and airborne dust generation
  • Reduced emissions related to transportation by encouraging public transportation – including access to the metro and location near many bus lines
  • Reduced construction and demolition waste through recycling and salvaging 50% of non-hazardous materials
  • Developed a formal green building education plan to educate the public about the green building attributes of the project

25% Energy Reduction

  • Implemented a combination of highly efficient envelope and mechanical systems
  • Installed energy efficient appliances
  • Applied mechanized automatic external shading as providing the best option for reducing solar gain and cooling loads inside the building
  • Installed underfloor air for better energy efficiency
  • Conducted energy models to calculate energy reduction and analyze best strategies for reducing energy including: Economizers, free cooling, variable frequency drives (VFD), underfloor air, chilled water heat recovery, CO2 based demand controlled fresh air supply, lighting controls for occupancy and daylight and renewable energy

Entertaining During the Holiday Season: Use Eco-Friendly Candles

Conventional paraffin wax candles often contain petroleum by-products, and chronic exposure to these substances have been linked to health problems in the blood, nervous system, and kidneys. To avoid exposing the guests of your holiday party to toxins, stick with eco-friendly candles.

Paraffin Alternative: Soybean Candles

In a recent study, researchers tested paraffin candles as well as vegetable-based alternatives soy candles. All of the candles were fragrance and dye free. While the paraffin candles release toxins like alkanes, alkenes, and toluene into the air, the vegetable-based candles did not. Look for soy or beeswax candles instead of paraffin.

Fragrance Free

Only buy candles that are fragrance-free. According to Dr. Stuart Agren, an allergy specialist in Arizona, USA, heavily scented candles can irritate people’s allergies. He suggests that consumers stay away from candles that list “fragrances” or “secret ingredients” on the labels.
As an alternative, buy unscented candles and look for organic ways to scent the home, such as the use of flowers or a pot of simmering spices on the stove.

Palm and Beeswax Alternatives

In addition to soybean candles, other paraffin alternatives include palm and beeswax. Palm oil candles burn longer than paraffin, with a clean burn that is free of chemicals. Beeswax is non-allergenic and toxin free. It also doesn’t produce smoke. Beeswax is a good bet as it’s non-allergenic, non-toxic and virtually smoke and soot-free.

Make the Most Of Your Eco-Friendly Candles

When you take the time to look for and purchase earth-friendly candles, you will want to draw attention to them during your party. You can do this by creating a centerpiece with several candles so that the decoration brings in focus. You can also multiply the look of a flickering wick by placing a candle in front of a mirror. Also, dim the lighting in your house so that the warm glow from the candles you have placed around the room can be enjoyed.

Your holiday party guests will appreciate your care and concern for their health. People who are highly sensitive to the fumes from candles will be able to enjoy the party without feeling sick or getting a migraine or asthma attack. Your thoughtful decor might also help to spread awareness about using eco-friendly candles. Stock up on paraffin candle alternatives, and go fragrance-free.

Alessandro Bisagni Talks about Sustainability to South China Morning Post

Alessandro Bisagni, the founder of BEE, was interviewed by the South China Morning Post, sharing his experience in establishing the sustainability consulting firm – Bisagni Environmental Enterprise, and tackling Climate Change issues.

Alessandro Bisagni, Photo credit to Xiaomen, Chen

Alessandro Bisagni. Photo credit to Xiaomei, Chen

“Time is a principal concept in sustainability. Climate change occurs over long periods of time and the choices we make now will determine the future of our existence,” says Alessandro Bisagni.

Below are some highlights from the interview:

Alessandro Bisagni first learned about sustainability while attending a lecture on environmental philosophy at Hong Kong International School. It opened up a whole new world to Bisagni and led him to pursue a university degree in the same field. His focus was laser sharp. “I knew China was the future, so I took a job at an engineering firm in Shanghai that specialises in green buildings.” He soon realised that there was a gap in the market between design and construction, and, today, his company Bisagni Environmental Enterprise (BEE) fills that niche.

BEE, founded in 2009, is a sustainability engineering consulting, sourcing and technology company specialising in the creation of green and healthy buildings. It operates out of five regional offices and is working on over 200 projects across 25 countries. 

“We work with almost every top luxury brand in the world and have been involved in some of Asia’s largest construction projects in hospitality and commercial spaces,” the founder says. These projects include advising hotel groups from the Shangri-La, Naked Stables, Las Vegas Sands and The Parisian Macao, to global retail companies including Prada, Gucci and Starbucks Roastery projects in Milan, Tokyo and Shanghai.

Shanghai is where Bisagni started his business, but Hong Kong holds a special place in his heart. “I had a great childhood experience in Hong Kong and it’s always felt like home. Since it’s an international hub it was a strategic move for me to grow the business.

Alessandro Bisagni, photo credit to Xiaomen, Chen

Alessandro Bisagni. Photo credit to Xiaomei, Chen

BEE was the first company in the world to complete a project under the new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, and – as Bisagni explains – innovation and being the first to market with new products is key to remaining ahead of the curve. “Time is a principal concept in sustainability. Climate change occurs over long periods of time but the actions we take now will dictate the future of our existence.”

The next frontier, he adds, is developing technology that tells you in real time how your building is performing and the impact it is having on your health. The development of QLEAR – a sort of FitBit for buildings – is just one example of what Bisagni is working on.

The birth of his twin girls last year has added a different dimension to regulating his schedule. “Having my girls has made the work I do even more urgent … I want [them] to be able to live in a holistically sustainable world.”

To read the original post, please see here.

Wellness & Productivity

Employees are the most valuable resource to most companies; according to World Green Building Council, they account for approximately 90% of operating cost. Thus, a small improvement in productivity can have a large impact on businesses: a 10% increase in productivity can offset the cost of rent. Wellness & Productivity has always been a popular fact in developers, investors, designers, employers, and employees.

Personnel costs significantly outweigh the costs of design, construction, operations, and maintenance of offices. Addressing employee health channels resources towards reducing the largest line item in the 30-year costs of a building – the personnel – offering a meaningful return on investment.

Wellness & Productivity

Wellness & Productivity

Employers, building owners, designers, developers, and investors throughout the world are learning, in response to an increasing body of evidence, that office design affects the health and well-being of occupants in many ways and so it is a smart business move to create green buildings that are healthy.

Statistics for Wellness & Productivity

Recent research from Global Wellness Institute indicates that productivity correlates with health and wellness, even more, doubling the health level of an office can double productivity, below some statistics might give you some insights on how health influences productivity and performance.

  • Air: Productivity improvements of 8-11% are not uncommon as a result of better air quality.
  • Water: Being dehydrated by just 2% can impair performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor and immediate memory skills.
  • Nourishment: Eating unhealthy is linked with a 66% increased risk of loss of productivity
  • Light: Focused work increased by 15% for those who had window views.
  • Fitness: Rare exercise is linked with 50% increase4d risk of low productivity
  • Comfort: 4% reduction in performance at warmer temperatures and 6% reduction at cooler temperatures. 66% drop when exposed to distracting noise.
  • Mind: 6% increase in concentration levels for those who saw the green roof, while 8% drop for those who saw the concrete roof
Body system & wellness

Body system & wellness

Green Office & Productivity

The report Building the Business Case: Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Green Offices from World Green Building Council provides practice examples of healthy, green offices, showing that employers who care about the environmental impact of their buildings as well as the health and well-being of their staff, and take action to improve the quality of the workplace, are rewarded by improved productivity and loyalty, which can be worth many times more than their investment.

Green Office

Green Office

The world’s largest and most environmentally friendly Starbucks – LEED Platinum in Starbucks Shanghai Reserve Roastery

Big news for Shanghai coffee lovers and everyone else in this world! Starbucks Shanghai Reserve Roastery, the world’s largest and most environmentally friendly Starbucks officially opened to the public yesterday on December 6! Located along Nanjing Road, the 30,000-square-foot Starbucks Roastery, which is more than twice as big as the only other Reserve Roastery in Seattle, is described as the “first fully-immersive coffee wonderland in China.”

Photo credit to: Starbucks Coffee Company

Photo credit to Starbucks Coffee Company

The Starbucks Shanghai Reserve Roastery is no doubt a revolution and innovation, it is officially the largest, and the first Starbucks Reserve Roastery outside the U.S.; it is equipped with Starbucks first-ever in-store Augmented Reality experience; and it provides unique beverage menu items that cannot be found at any other Starbucks in China. Most importantly, it is aiming to achieve the highest level of green building certification – LEED Platinum, which demonstrates the best environmental performance.

Photo credit to Starbucks Coffee Company

Photo credit to Starbucks Coffee Company

Photo credit to Starbucks Coffee Company

Photo credit to Starbucks Coffee Company

Environmental Performance – LEED Platinum Certification

Being a leader in the retail and coffee industry, Starbucks is also committed to reduce their environmental footprint and contribute positive influences. Starbucks hired BEE to provide sustainable design and construction consulting for their Shanghai Roastery. The store incorporates an array of innovative technologies focused on maximizing the health and well-being of the store’s customers and employees while minimizing energy, water, material consumption and thus environmental impacts. The store is aiming to achieve LEED Platinum certification – the highest level of LEED certification. LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design), created by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the world’s most widely recognized green building rating system.

Photo credit to Starbucks Coffee Company

Photo credit to Starbucks Coffee Company

Starbucks Shanghai Reserve Roastery’s Sustainability Practice:

  • China’s first Starbucks Teavana Bar, a reimagined tea experience supported by the world’s only bar made entirely from 3-D printed recycled materials
  • Real-time air quality monitoring to ensure the air quality at the store
  • High-efficiency water-saving appliances realizes 45% Water Use Reduction
  • High energy efficient appliances contributes to 40% Lighting Power Reduction
  • Recycled and/or salvage 75% of non-hazardous construction and demolition
  • Low-VOC materials and GREEN LABLE PLUS certified vestibule carpets to ensure healthy environment
  • Green education workshops for employee and customers
  • Social impact contributions include creating opportunities for groups facing barriers, and improving lives of Yunnan coffee farmers and their families
Photo credit to Starbucks Coffee Company

Photo credit to Starbucks Coffee Company

Photo credit to Starbucks Coffee Company

Photo credit to Starbucks Coffee Company

Air Quality Monitoring in Starbucks Shanghai Reserve Roastery

In addition to providing sustainable consultancy for the Roastery, BEE incorporated the QLEAR Intelligent Building Management system to monitor the store’s indoor air quality in real-time at the store. The system provides live PM2.5, CO2, TVOC, Temperature and Relative Humidity monitoring and reporting which ensures a healthy and pleasant environment, and positive customer experience.


Photo credit to Starbucks Coffee Company

Photo credit to Starbucks Coffee Company

Starbucks LEED Stores

In addition to the Shanghai Roastery, BEE is also working closely with the Starbucks team to pursue LEED certification for their stores in:

  • Hefei, China
  • Shanghai Expo, China
  • Kobe, Japan
  • Tokyo Roastery, Japan (Third Roastery in the world)
  • Milan Roastery, Italy (Fourth Roastery in the world)

Note: all the photos in this blog credit to Starbucks Coffee Company.

Sleeping with Fido: Tips on Improving Your Sleep Cycle

71 percent of pet owners frequently sleep with their pets. However, a recent study by the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center found that 53 percent of pet owners said their pet disturbed their sleeping every night. This disruption leads to a break in the human sleep cycle and can create other problems such as depression, anxiety, decreased alertness, memory impairment, high blood pressure, and heart disease. If you’re constantly interrupted by your dog during the night, but can’t seem to kick him out of bed, check out these tips to help the both of you improve your sleep.

Sleeping with Fido

Sleeping with Fido

FitBark Activity Monitor

When humans have trouble sleeping, we can go to a sleep doctor or monitor our sleep through activity trackers. Dogs can do the same. The FitBark Activity Monitor tracks the quality of your dog’s sleep and can even monitor their activity level and overall health. You can also sync your Fitbit or Apple Healthkit to your dog’s FitBark to see both of your sleep charts side by side. From here you can work with a trainer or veterinarian to determine when your dog is restless and what you can do to improve their sleep. By improving their sleep, you can improve yours too.

Prevent Snoring

One reason why your pet is influencing your sleep may be because of their snoring. Dogs with broad skulls and short muzzles such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Boxers, and Shih Tzus, tend to be more prone to snoring. Other dogs with allergy or obesity issues can also be more inclined to snore during their sleep. In order to relieve dogs from their snoring, you can give them pillows to raise their head during their sleep. Adding a rounded pillow or bed can also encourage them to sleep in a curled position and expand air passages to reduce snoring vibrations. Moisture can also reduce snoring, so add a humidifier in your room, and also vacuum regularly to reduce the amount of dust in the air.

Make Sure the Bed is for Sleeping

Your dog might be disturbing your sleep because he’s restless at night, or simply wants to play. Therefore, it is important that you establish your bed as a place of rest rather than a place to play. You should never have dog toys or treats in your bedroom, and instead, keep those items in a designated play area. Your bed should only be used for sleep and therefore, Fido should not be in the bed at any other time of the day. Before going to sleep, you might also want to take him out for a walk so that he can get tired and ready for bed.

Getting a dog to sleep through the night can be as hard as getting a newborn baby to sleep. However, with the right patience and training, you and your dog can enter the same REM cycle and enjoy a well-rested night.

BEE Presents at Greenbuild Boston

The world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, Greenbuild, took place this year 8-10 November in Boston, Mass. At Greenbuild Boston, an attendance of 25,000 was anticipated from across the green building sector, spanning commercial and residential professionals, architects, building owners and operators, students, advocates, and educators.

Francesca Galati – LEED for Cities, Greenbuild Boston

Francesca Galati, BEE’s General Manager for Europe and the Middle East, presented at the conference on LEED for Cities. Francesca worked with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), creators of the LEED green building rating system in the first city in Europe that registered for LEED for Cities program – Savona Italy.

LEED for Cities combines sustainability, social equity and human experience with technology and analytics and is based on LEED – the world’s most widely used program for green buildings and communities.

Francesca said, “LEED for Cities represents a unique opportunity to grow awareness about health, wellness, and sustainability at the urban scale, and Savona will become the case study for the European Region.”

Francesca Galati "LEED for Cities" at Greenbuild Boston

Francesca Galati “LEED for Cities” at Greenbuild Boston

Francesca Galati "LEED for Cities" at Greenbuild Boston

Francesca Galati “LEED for Cities” at Greenbuild Boston

Shawn Jang – Powering Performance, Greenbuild Boston

Shawn Jang, BEE’s General Manager for South Asia, was invited as a guest presenter at the Masters Series Session “Powering Performance: How Connecting Actions is Accelerating Global Market Transformation.”

The session covered how today’s digital world, the intersection of data and technology, is helping building and operation project teams make more informed decisions that drive continuous improvement. Arc is a performance-based platform. With Arc, LEED-certified buildings can benchmark against themselves and other similar buildings locally and globally.  From a single building to an entire city or community, data is driving change.

Shawn Jang at Greenbuild Boston pic

Shawn Jang at Greenbuild Boston

About Greenbuild International Conference & Expo

Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building. The ideals and passion of the green building community come alive at Greenbuild. Greenbuild brings together industry leaders, experts and frontline professionals dedicated to sustainable building in their everyday work, and a unique energy is sparked. Participants are invigorated. Inspired. They find themselves equipped to return to their jobs with a renewed passion and purpose.

BEE interviewed by LEED in Motion China & USGBC Plus China

Today, China has assumed a tremendous leadership position in stemming the tide of climate change and protecting its citizens and precious natural resources. As mandated in China’s 13th Five Year Plan, an important part of this role involves improving the efficiency and sustainability of its infrastructure. In the most recent USGBC China special publications: LEED in Motion China and USGBC Plus China, BEE was featured as one of the leaders in the China green building industry.

LEED in Motion: China

A new report from USGBC, LEED in Motion: China, covers the many leaders in China who are working to build a sustainable country and planet. BEE was featured in an interview about the application of LEED in China. The reports also summarizes data on LEED certification in various industry sectors, as well as geographical locations and highlights how the global rating system works in the region through profiles of green buildings and project teams, as well as owner testimonials.

BEE - LEED in Motion: China

BEE – LEED in Motion: China

Below are some highlights from BEE’s interview:

Could you please share your company’s green and sustainability vision and strategy?

  • “LEED aligns with our company’s vision because LEED encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable and green building and neighborhood development practices through the creation and implementation of a universally understood and accepted benchmark encompassing new and existing standards, tools, and performance criteria.”

How are your LEED buildings performing?

  • “Our LEED buildings consume less energy and water, produce less waste, and have better indoor air quality. To further evaluate the building performance of our projects, we are implementing an intelligent building management system called QLEAR to provide real-time monitoring and analysis of air quality, energy/water/gas consumption, lighting quality, and acoustic performance. QLEAR helps our projects to maintain efficient building operations and provide for healthy indoor environments for the occupants.”

BEE also shared four of our notable projects:

To read the full report, please visit here.

USGBC Plus: China

Published six times yearly by the U.S. Green Building Council. USGBC+ Magazines share international expertise and perspectives while contributing to the body of knowledge on green building practices. In the recent special publication USGBC Plus China, BEE shared its experience implementing LEED in China as green building experts:

“In China, a knowledge gap exists between the engineering and design teams introducing sustainable solutions and the construction teams in charge of bringing these solutions to life. During the implementation process, the sustainable goals of a project often get lost. At BEE, we bring together design and engineering know-how, construction expertise, and materials specialization to provide the missing link that enables a project to truly achieve its sustainability objectives. BEE’s ultimate goal is to improve a project’s social, environmental, and economic impact— thus making the venture a quality investment.”

BEE - USGBC Plus China

BEE – USGBC Plus China

To read the full report, please visit here.

Greenbuild China: BEE Awarded as Top 15 LEED Service Provider

Last week on the 17th and 18th October, Greenbuild, the world’s largest conference and expo for green building was held successfully in Shanghai, China. During the two-day Greenbuild China conference, industry leaders, experts and front-line professionals dedicated to sustainable building gathered together to discuss current research and best practices, innovative technologies and products for the future industry.

Top 15 LEED Service Provider

As one of the leaders in China’s green building industry, at Greenbuild, BEE was awarded by USGBC as one of the top 15 LEED service providers in China. It was a great honor, and also a recognition of the pronounced work BEE has achieved in the past seven years. We have worked on more than 200 green building projects with more than 30+ million sqf GFA in 25 countries, including the first LEED V4 project in the world (Haworth Beijing Showroom). BEE has also been recognized by USGBC as a LEED Proven Provider – the only company based in China to achieve this for LEED ID+C and participates in the LEED User Group for Retail and LEED Steering Committee. BEE has noteworthy experience working with all the sectors, and will continuously contribute innovative work to the sustainable building industry.

BEE - Top 15 LEED Service Provider

The BEE team together with Mahesh Ramanujam, CEO of USGBC

“Live Monitor Everything!”

Mika Kania, BEE’s Director of Business Development, was invited to speak Greenbuild and presented the education session “Live Monitor Everything!

In the session, Mika discussed how live monitoring provides the data needed to make changes for health, well-being and building performance, and how standards play a critical role in ensuring resulting data isn’t dumb data.

"Live monitor everything!" - Mika Kania, BEE

“Live monitor everything!” – Mika Kania, BEE

“Cloud-based real-time intelligent building management can pull meaningful data together to help analyze, communicate, and derive strategies that ensure a project optimizes its performance and maximizes occupant health. “ Mika mentioned, “Benchmarking capabilities incorporated in intelligent building management tools, such as QLEAR software, can provide owners and occupants with meaningful comparisons across their portfolio and locations and any point in time. Programs such as LEED, WELL, RESET, and Arc can also provide valuable frameworks for benchmarking, assessing building performance and strategies for making meaningful improvements.”

Greenbuild China

Founded in 2002, Greenbuild started in the U.S. and brings together every year industry leaders, experts and frontline professionals dedicated to sustainable building. This October, the event made its debut in Shanghai, China.

China is a leader in green building, ranking first among the Top 10 Countries for LEED green building with 35 square meters of LEED space certified per person in 2016.

 Greenbuild China 2017

Greenbuild China 2017

Cleaning Drains the Safe and Responsible Way

Conventional drain cleaning solutions usually contain sodium hydroxide, also known as soda lye or caustic soda. While not considered a pollutant, it does have adverse effects on the human body such as skin and respiratory irritation as well as hair loss. Additionally, sodium hydroxide is corrosive to metal, which means it can damage pipes causing water damage and draining other hazardous chemicals and metals into the ground. However, several alternatives exist which contain safer, more natural ingredients and are less likely to harm the user and the environment.

Drain Cleaning

Drain Cleaning

Mechanical Cleaning

In the event that a plunger fails to unclog a pipe, there are more intensive and effective ways to clear a pipe mechanically. Drain snakes are long pieces of plastic that can reach down into pipes to pull out clogging materials. Drain augers require more work and power but are more effective at clearing blockages and, as a last resort, professional services provide industrial grade unclogging. While these methods are reliable, they can be damaging to old or already compromised pipes.

Home Made Remedies

A common homemade recipe requires a few materials that most households already have or can easily obtain. The recipe calls for two cups of baking soda, four cups of boiling water and one cup of vinegar. The process begins by pouring half the baking soda down the drain and following it up with two cups of boiling water. Next, the rest of the baking soda is added, then the vinegar is poured down the drain, and the drain is immediately plugged. The ingredients will react and fulminate and are washed down with the remaining boiling water when the reactions cease.

Baking Soda Drain Cleaner

Baking Soda Drain Cleaner

Eco-Friendly Drain Cleaning Solutions

With the rise of the green movement, many companies have created alternative drain cleaning products made with more natural and safe ingredients. Some manufacturers make drain cleaners that are made from natural enzymes that break down solid waste and are readily biodegradable. Others make a natural drain and septic cleaner that uses bacteria to break up blockages. The bacterial enzymes are not harmful to humans and do not corrode pipes after prolonged exposure.

Another Step Towards a Safe and Green Future

Caustic drain cleaning methods are not a threat to the ecosystem on the level of climate change or plastic pollution in the oceans, but it is an easily preventable risk. Technology and mass production has opened the door for affordable and accessible environmentally responsible solutions. There are enough alternatives that everyday people can easily do to keep them and their environments safer.