Broad Group

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Broad Group
Energy services
FounderZhang Yue
Key people
Zhang Yue (Chairman & CEO)
ProductsAbsorption chiller
Sustainable building
Air purifier
ServicesEnergy services
RevenueUS$900 million (2007)[1]
SubsidiariesBroad Sustainable Building
Broad Air Conditioning

Broad Group is a private manufacturer of central air conditioning non-electric absorption chillers that are powered by natural gas and waste heat based in Changsha, China. It is also the parent company of Broad Sustainable Building, a prefab building company. The company was established in 1996 and exports products to over 60 countries.[1][2] It was Shanghai Expo 2010's only global official partner that was a Chinese private enterprise and the exclusive supplier of central air conditioning, ventilation and air purification products for the event.[3]

Broad is one of the few Chinese manufacturing companies that has been widely recognized for its green policies and commitment to countering climate change. It has expanded its business in recent years to include other energy saving products and sustainable buildings through its subsidiary Broad Sustainable Building, and achieved the feat of building a 15-story tall hotel in six days, which received two million views in the first ten days after being released on YouTube.[4] More recently, the firm succeeded in erecting a 30-story hotel in 15 days.[5]


1988–1992: The early years[edit]

Born in Changsha in 1960, Zhang Yue was unable to attend school until he was nine years old thanks to the Cultural Revolution, which temporarily shut down most schools in the country.[citation needed]

He worked as a librarian and teaching drawing at primary school.

He founded Broad in 1988, registering the company in Chenzhou, Hunan province. Using his savings of $3000, Broad developed industrial boilers based on Zhang's patented design.[6] In the 1980s, most domestically manufactured boilers were of poor quality and had high risk of exploding, while Broad's did not.[7]

His current wealth is estimated at $1.5 billion.[citation needed]

1992–2005: Move to Changsha and rise[edit]

In 1992, the company was moved to Changsha and began manufacturing absorption chillers. At the time, the government provided incentives for non-electric chillers to relieve strain on the national electricity grid, contributing to the company's rise as it became the global leader in absorption chiller by sales in 1996; it entered the international market in 1998 and today, its sales in domestic and international markets split evenly.[7]

2005–present: From manufacturing to sustainable construction[edit]

While absorption chillers remain Broad's largest source of revenue, it now offers other environmentally friendly products including air purifiers and air conditioner terminals, with the BSB (Broad Sustainable Building) its latest invention in sustainable building technology, receiving more attention.

2012: Sky City One[edit]

BSB, the building construction subsidiary of Broad group, announced plans to build Sky City One, the world's tallest tower, with a height of 838 m.[8] The announcement made headlines not only for the size of the tower, but also for an audacious construction plan that involved completion[9] in just 90 days.[10]

In 2015, BSB built a 57-storey Mini Sky City that stands at a height of 204 m.[11] The construction of the tower took just 19 days.[11] The Tower was built using pre-manufactured steel modules which are also going to be used in construction of the Sky City One.[11]

2016: SkyCity Challenge[edit]

In 2016 SkyCity Challenge a biannual architectural design Challenge is formed by the support of Broad Group. The series started by launching “SkyCity Challenge 17” with over 400 registered teams from around the globe. The aim of the challenge was to design the interior atriums of the 57-storey Mini Sky City.


Invented in 2009, the BSB achieves high energy efficiency and carbon reduction primarily through thermal insulation, preventing cool air from leaving indoors and hot air from coming in from outdoors when the weather is hot and vice versa when the weather is cold, and requires short construction time since parts are pre-fabricated in factories and assembled onsite.[12] At the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference, President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, called the BSB technology "a practical, imaginative, creative & bold endeavor and a new revolution of world's architectural and housing industry", which is bound to be transferred to developing countries leading to reduction in carbon emissions.[13] BSB has also been tested to be able to resist a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and was recommended in a United Nations Environment Program report on the rebuilding of Sichuan after its catastrophic earthquake in 2008.[12][14]

Broad Sustainable Building[edit]

So far, Broad has built four demos of BSB, including the six-story Broad Pavilion in Shanghai Expo 2010 in one day,[14] the 14-story New Ark's Hotel in Broad's headquarters in six days,[4] the Broad Pavilion in 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference in eight days,[13] and a 30-story hotel prototype near Dongting lake[15] in 15 days.[16]

Environmental record[edit]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In May 2011, Broad's founder and chairman, Zhang Yue, was awarded the Champions of the Earth Award (Entrepreneurial Vision Category) by the United Nations Environment Programme for Broad's commitment to climate change.[2] It was one of the ten companies to be recognized by the BusinessWeek Greener China Business Awards in 2009.[17] It was also named one of the "20 Most Admired Companies in China" in 2001, ’02, ’04, and ’05 by China's Economic Observer and Peking University.[18]

Refusing to invest in electric chiller market[edit]

In 2000, amid temporary company sales drop, and huge demands for cooling equipment of all kinds in China, Zhang was urged to enter the much larger market for electric air conditioners. Zhang refused, citing that after successfully challenging himself to create wealth when the company was started, his current only motive was to "save energy and reduce greenhouse emissions."[2][7] A Carnegie Council article cited a 2004 Peking UniversityRichard Ivey School of Business case study on Zhang's decision and reports "the authors argue that Broad would likely have gained 'a significant market share' and earned '10 times' its production cost in this product area—but in doing so it would not have been able to 'stay true to the company's environmental protection principles.'"[7]

Global involvement[edit]

Broad has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact since 2001.[2] In October 2008, Broad formally joined The Climate Group, being among the first group of Chinese global members.[19]


  1. ^ a b KPMG (2008). "Changsha Investment Environment Study" (PDF). {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d "Champions of the Earth Official Site". UNEP. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  3. ^ "NATIONS: The sayings of Chairman Zhang, a clean-tech entrepreneur's life in China". E&E Publishing LLC. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Video: China builds 15-story hotel in six days". CNN. Archived from the original on 16 August 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2012-06-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Company Summary". Broad. Archived from the original on 27 November 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d Haffner, John. "Zhang Yue: A Call for Discipline in a World Out of Control". Carnegie Council. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-15. Retrieved 2012-06-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Sky City: Chinese Company BSB to Build the World's Tallest Building... In Just 90 Days?!". Retrieved 2020-09-29.
  10. ^ "800 meters in 6 months | (J220) Sky City". Archived from the original on 2013-05-27. Retrieved 2020-09-29.
  11. ^ a b c "Chairman Zhang's flatpack skyscrapers". BBC News. Retrieved 2020-09-29.
  12. ^ a b "Building China" (PDF). UNEP. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  13. ^ a b "Speech Delivered by Mexican President Felipe Calderón at COP16 BROAD Pavilion (excerpt)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  14. ^ a b "Broad Pavilion Built under 24 hours". Phoenix Television. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  15. ^ "Location of T30 hotel".
  16. ^ 30-story building built in 15 days
  17. ^ "Businessweek Greener China Award". Businessweek. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  18. ^ Fallow, James. "Mr. Zhang Builds His Dream Town" (PDF). Atlantic Online. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  19. ^ "The Climate Group Official Website". The Climate Group. Archived from the original on 15 August 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2011.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°12′46″N 113°07′15″E / 28.212676°N 113.120792°E / 28.212676; 113.120792