Australia’s biggest steel maker’s new building in China is the first industrial building in the country to earn the country’s highest environmental rating.
Bluescope Steel's new production plant, situated in the Shaanxi province capital of Xi'an, is the first industrial building in China to obtain a three-star green rating, which is the highest currently awarded within the country.
The $64 million project is also one of the largest steel plants situated in inland China, capable of manufacturing 120,000 tonnes of pre-engineered steel building frames per annum.
The plant itself is situated in the Xi'an High-Tech Industries Development Zone - an area set aside by local government to foster the growth of specific industries which covers an area of nearly 13 hectares, encompassing 50,000 square metres of floor space.
The three-star rating was awarded based on the facility's performance with respect to energy, water and material usage, as well as economic employment of land resources.
The plant was built using high performance environmentally-friendly products which Bluescope also plans to manufacture at the site itself in future, while all of its technologies and intellectual property are Australian-owned.
Bluescope is currently pushing to expand production levels in the Middle Kingdom, with the new Xi'an plant adding to operations of considerable scale in the country already, including several building systems and manufacturing facilities, and 57 sales and marketing offices.
In tandem with its ongoing drive to lift operations scope and steel output in China, Bluescope has also focused on the adoption of green development method in order to reduce its impact on the environment and satisfy corresponding efforts by the central government.
"The Chinese government has increased its interest and promotion of green buildings and sustainable development," said Stewart Dellar, president of Bluescope Steel's Asian Buildings Business. "We see it as critical in terms of China's future development."
Bluescope chief executive Paul O'Malley said at the opening of the plant that it could very well herald the beginning of a "green building boom in China and the region."
China is already in dire need of improved efficiency with respect to its building stock, particularly given its rapid rate of expansion the country's belated urbanization drive continues.
According to figures from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, China will add a further 10 billion square metres of commercial and public building space by 2020, which will lead to a 70 per cent increase in energy usage unless building efficiency measures become more commonplace.