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Westlake 66 Featured in ULI Publication for Innovative Low-Carbon Materials

The Materials Movement: Creating Value with Better Building Materials explores how real estate developers, architects, and others are using healthy and sustainable building materials, citing KPF’s Hangzhou development as a prime example.

Every architect and developer knows that building materials matter, but in the context of climate change, construction materials take on a new level of significance. It is estimated that nearly 11% of global carbon emissions stem from the production of building materials, and many common ones have deleterious effects on human health and ecosystems.

The Urban Land Institute’s 2024 report, The Materials Movement: Creating Value with Better Building Materials, demonstrates how real estate owners, developers, and investors can leverage healthy, low-carbon building materials to maximize financial returns while delivering on their social and environmental commitments, citing KPF’s Westlake 66 as an example.

Designed for developer Hang Lung Properties, Westlake 66 is a major mixed-use development spread over 2.1 million square feet in Hangzhou, China. Part of the project’s sustainability strategy includes employing innovative, low-carbon concrete bricks developed by CLEANC02, a carbon-capture startup, for part of the structure. Formed with a mixture of cement, fly ash, and other solid waste that is combined with CLEANCO2’s carbon dioxide mineralization process to achieve embodied-carbon emissions 87.5% below traditional clay bricks, this material demonstrates the possibilities of a low-carbon future.

“The materials and their details at Westlake 66 respond to layers of use, location, and most importantly environmental impacts.” said Jeffrey Kenoff, AIA Design Principal.  “To create an eclectic, human-scale assembly across multiple blocks, the design team looked to the historical walls and materials of Hangzhou that fluidly guide pedestrians through local urban environments. Collectively from massing to materiality, the project establishes new levels of sustainability through local craft and detailing, echoing the city’s making heritage.”

In addition to a selection of case studies, the ULI report offers an outline of the sustainable building policy environment, introduces lifecycle analysis for embodied carbon, and offers best practices for integrating better building materials into projects across scales and typologies. Read the full report here.