The theme of the Shanghai Expo 2010 is “Better City Better Life”, expressing the need for innovative and sustainable urban development concepts to build livable cities for the future. As a special feature of this Expo that complements the temporary country pavilions, the Urban Best Practice Area (UBPA) presents diverse and exemplary solutions for sustainable construction and urban development from cities all over the world.



In addition to the exhibition spaces in energy-efficient retrofitted former industrial buildings, to each city has been allocated a plot of land to design innovative new buildings at their disposal. Twelve cities from all over the world will presented their latest concepts in energy-saving building design. Hamburg applied to participate with an energy-efficient office building that follows strictly the Passive House approach and, thus, it is the only German city that won the bid to showcase at the Expo.



Designed in line with the objectives of sustainable construction, the building will remain and continue to be used even after the exposition is over. The Hamburg Haus will be the first Passive House in China that is planned according to German standards and certified by the Passivhaus Institut Darmstadt, the official German institution dealing with the Passive House certification system.



The concept of the building engineering is based on three aims of the project:

– Low Tech instead of High Tech, as little as possible, and under the given conditions application of suitable techniques.

– Use of simple and proven regenerative technologies.

– Minimizing the primary energy demand and the accompanied reduction of CO2 emissions



The architecture and the energy concept have been optimized to respond to Shanghai’s climate. The visitors of the Expo will experience this showcase of unique, energy-efficient construction that is also feasible in China. The design of the building is similar to the design and materials that are typically used in Hamburg—the dark red brick façade is one of those key design issues. The building is well insulated and its envelope has an optimized proportion of glazing which is an essential prerequisite for reducing energy demand, particularly to protect against overheating of the interior spaces during the summer period.



The North-facing façades will use larger glass areas for the required daylight. From the cube structure are “drawer-like” cantilever projections pulled outwards, so that the north-facing facade could be enlarged. Due to the orientation and optimization of the building envelope, the glass curtain walls are not in need for exterior sun shadings. The airtight design of the building envelope is developed by doing the “Blower-Door Test”.



The walkable roof deck is raised above the concrete roof and insulated. A system of 450 square feet of photovoltaic panels placed on the roof both provides shade to the deck and produces about 80% of the required electrical energy for operation and use of the building.




Shanghai, China




3,200 sqm






Design Development / Construction


Exhibition, Office


MUDI and Dittert & Reumschüssel Architekten


MUDI, Dittert & Reumschüssel Architekten