Responsibility #4: Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant

  • Designer: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
  • Work: Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plant
  • Infrastructural System: Energy | Solid Waste
  • Type + Intervention: New Construction of a Waste-to-Energy Plant
  • Location: Shenzhen, China
  • Year: 2016 (Competition: winner)
  • Reference 1:
  • Reference 2:
  • Video:

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects have won an international competition to design the world’s largest Waste-to-Energy plant on the outskirts of Shenzhen, China. The new Shenzhen East Waste-to-Energy Plan will be capable of incinerating 5000 tonnes of waste per day, one third of the waste generated by Shenzhen’s 20 million inhabitants every year. In addition to incinerating waste and generating power, the plant will serve as a place to teach residents about its purpose. Detailed design work is due to begin in early 2016, and the plant is scheduled to start operating in 2020.

The winning design organizes the entire plant, including auxiliary buildings, into one circular building – breaking with the traditional rectangular layout of industrial facilities. By proposing a clear circular form, the footprint of the plant is minimized and it reduces the amount of excavation required to build on the site.

Public visitors are invited into the plant through a landscaped park, via an entrance bridge that rises between the stacks to an entrance lobby and visitor centre overlooking the plant machinery. An internal circular path and walkway circle the plant explaining each process, before leading up to a 1.5-kilometer panoramic public walkway on the roof overlooking the surrounding landscape and the city of Shenzhen.

The 66,000-square-meter roof is designed to be covered by up to 44,000-square-meters of photovoltaic panels providing the opportunity for the plant to not only provide a cleaner way to deal with the city’s waste but also contribute to the renewable energy provision for the city.

The plant is intended to showcase the waste-to-energy production as an important technical process that is geared to deal with the issues of growing waste, as well as the issue of finding more environmentally friendly ways of generating electricity. At the same time visitors become informed on the challenge of the growing amounts of waste we produce every day and are also educated on initiatives on how to reduce their own amount of daily waste.


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