The project comprises landscaped theme gardens with a total area of approximately 180 hectares and a variety of buildings, including tropical, desert and aquatic greenhouses, a research center with offices and laboratories, a natural museum and restaurants. Taiyuan is located at 37.5 °N and 780 m above sea level, approx. 500 km south-west from Beijing. A major challenge is achieving tropical and desert climate conditions in the greenhouses in the climatic context of Taiyuan, where wintertime temperatures fall to around -12 °C. The building envelope is optimized with regard to light transmission, solar gains and heat loss and is composed of individual modules, which are specified according to their specific position in the envelope, particularly regarding their orientation to the sun. The degree of transparency gradually changes along the north-south axis of the building, varying from highly transparent on the south facing areas to completely opaque on the north side and including different degrees of transparency and translucency in-between. Transparent photovoltaic modules are integrated in those parts of the dome envelopes, which face south at an appropriate angle. Other energy design strategies include optimal building orientation, specially developed climate control systems which are integrated into the façade design, automatically controlled natural ventilation,
evaporative cooling, high efficiency sensible and latent heat recovery systems, thermal rock stores for energy storage and biomass fueled combined heat and power plant (CHP).