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State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Building Science  

The subtropical building science in South China University of Technology (henceforth SCUT), established at the beginning of last century, has become one of the Eight leading universities (known as the "Eight leading Universities") in the realm of architectural science in China. The Laboratory of subtropical building science was first set up in the 1950s under the guidance of Professor Xia Changshi, Chen Boqi, etc. Later, in the 1960s and 1970s, a group of noted experts returned home from the Continent, America and Japan, including Lin Keming, Feng Bingquan, Long Qingzhong, Lin Qibiao, Tan Tiansong, Fu Luohui, etc.,carried on our realistic academic tradition. They promoted the concept of design and explored methods dealing with the natural cooling techniques, dampproof techniques, ventilation,and ancient architecture protection against lightening, flood and earthquake.They contributed tremendously to the architectural education, design practice and studied intensively the formation of architectural style in South China. They helped to build up a rigorous,pragmatic and creative research concepts with unique education characteristics which exerted great influences throughout the country and helped the laboratory established its academic status in domestic architectural education.  

After decades of construction and development, our architectural department has become our nation's,especially of the southern part of China, key education and research base. It has fostered a great amount of architects with high academic proficiency, including four academicians Mo bozhi, She Junnan, He Jingtang, Wu shuoxian and nine masters of state engineering design and investigation. In 1978, under the approval of state authorities, the Subtropical Architectural Research Laboratory, Ministry of Education, was officially set up. In the year 2005, it became the Key Subtropical Architectural Research Laboratory, Ministry of Education. At the beginning of 2007, approved by Department of Science and Technology, it was nominated as the State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Building Science, and this project was officially launched later in November, and it has now become the only state key laboratory among domestic architectural institutions of higher learning. It was built upon the original Subtropical Architectural Research Laboratory, Ministry of Education. It has two A discipline, i.e. architecture and civil engineering, together with several interdisciplines, including acoustics, photology, communications,environmental science, engineering, material science, information science and urban sociology, etc. In december 2009, the Department of Science and Technology will inspect laboratory's work and make assessment of its performance. The present director of the academic committee is academician and professor He Jingtang, and laboratory chief is professor Xiao Dawei.

The laboratory has three experimental centres: architectural design science, building technology science and construction technology, under which there are twelve sub-labs: modern architecture design, ecocity and ecobuilding, digital media technology, GIS Technology, traditional architectural culture and protection, building thermal environment and building energy conservation, architectural acoustics, architectural photology, building construction, disaster prevention and reduction, construction and health monitoring, ground and underground structure. The laboratory covers an area of 11,000 m2, with 300 sets of world's most advanced instruments that amount to 60,000,000 RMB, over 50 of them value more than 300,000 RMB per set. There are 112 staff, 80 of them enjoy permanent membership, including 2 academicians, and 1 professor awarded the top and second class talents in "National Ten Million Talent Project", and 3 distinguished professors recruited by Guangdong province (also addressed Pearl Scholars). At the same time, more than a dozen of professors were nominated prospects of Guangdong province's "Qian Bai Shi Talent Project", 3 at a state-level, 2 provincial level and 11 prospects nominated by university itself.

Under the guidance "National Program for Medium-to Long-term Scientific and Technological Development (2006-2020)", the laboratory will closely focus on the requirements of state's economic and social development, at the same time, keep an eye on the most recent development in architecture and civil engineering both in and abroad. Emphasis of our scientific research will be given to its subtropical architecture features. Besides, great scientific and technological problems in the architectural science and engineering field will be studied. Superiority would be given to major areas such as subtropical urban landscaping design, architectural design, architectural physics, energy efficient technology, ancient architecture protection, environmental protection technology, building structure and disaster prevention and reduction,etc. in the hope that we could independently achieve creative outcomes at a high level, and promote technology improvement in relevant fields both in and abroad. Key research topics will include: 1) subtropical space environment and architecture design; 2) subtropical physical environment of building and building energy conservation; 3) subtropical building construction and disaster prevention and reduction.

Recently, with the tremendous support of Project 211 and Project 985, and under the leadership of academician He Jingtang and Wu Shuoxian, a large number of young scholars emerged. The State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Building Science has made rapid improvement and great progress in scientific research, personnel construction, discipline construction and personnel training. In the last five years, the laboratory has organized 1198 scientific projects of different sorts, among which 165 were at the provincial and ministrial level, or even higher. We've spent 500,000,000 RMB for research; Over 1700 academic articles were published, and 499 of them were included in the Three Index. We have also published 86 academic works and teaching materials, drafted 17 state and local architectural standards either hosting the writing of the standards or participating in the process. We have applied and authorized 65 patents, received 111 research awards: 26 tech awards, 85 design awards. We have won the second prize in National Scientific and Technological Progress Awards, two United Nations Awards for Cultural Heritage Protection, 2 National Design Gold Awards, 5 National Design Silver Awards and 3 Bronze Awards. Its social popularity and influence has been improved enormously, and its interdisciplinary developing tendency is also delightful.

Based on the principles of "innovation, openness, exchange and communication", the laboratory has undertaken researches of relevant fields and kept contact and cooperation with foreign countries since its official establishment in november 2007. In the first plenary meeting held by the first academic committee in october 2008, all together 34 open topics and 22 autonomous topics has been approved. The laboratory has encouraged and invited foreign experts to participate in its experiments. Nowadays, visiting scholars from Italy, America, Japan and other countries have been undertaking research works. Within its construction, it has hosted and held 5 large-scale international and domestic academic meetings: the third international seminar of international architectural and environmental design practice, the tenth academic meeting of Building Physics Section, China Architectural Association, the sixteenth domestic unofficial meetings, the sixteenth global urban morphology forum, International Conference of the creative and sustainable development of Civil & Engineering Structure respectively. The laboratory also invited dozens of well-known experts and scholars from Germany, America, Japan and other countries to give lectures for academic communication. It also built partnership on relevant fields with colleges and universities, such as Hong Kong University, Huaqiao Univeristy. the laboratory has also devoted to local economic construction and established different forms of cooperation with Yunfu City and local enterprises. It will strengthen the efforts to open up in the future and carry out all sorts of scientific researches and academic communication with fellow members in China and abroad, so as to establish communication and correlation among nations and turn the State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Building Science into a platform for foreign exchanges.

With strong support of South China University of Technology, the laboratory will exploit its advantage completely and serve an effective role in scientific research and personnel training. With its own duty and research program, it will accelerate the cycle of transforming scientific and technological achievements as soon as possible. It will serve state and local economic construction. After years of development, we will build the subtropical building science laboratory a state first class research base with world competence, which can also exert international influence, of architectural science and application, training for high standard scientific and technological personnel, and a academic exchange base for the inheritance and innovation of the culture of building technology.




Representative achievements:

1) Theoretical studies of subtropical cities and architectural design

Memorial Hall of Victims in Nanjing Massacre

Museum of South Yue Emperor's grave in West Han dynasty


2) Research on city noise


3) Architectural passive evaporative cooling energy efficient technology

Heat insulation roof for Fojia grass planting


Water glass roof




For more details please visit the website http://www.scut.edu.cn/skl-sbs/.