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Skyline in Shanghai Two young children walking across cracked, dry land with a city skyline behind. Shanghai Skyline Visualisation of the proposed plaza sitting in front of other buildings on Shanghai's skyline Visualisation of the eco-city

Wishing you a Happy New Year of the Rooster !

We're continually adapting and strengthening our business in China to make sure we provide the services our clients want, when and where they want them. Mott MacDonald's global and technical footprints combine to make us a powerful partner to our Chinese clients.

The project team
Close collaboration
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Close collaboration The team for the EU-funded Decentralised Water Reuse in Northern China project including Mott MacDonald team leaders.
Visualisation of the city from above
Chengdu Great City, China
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Chengdu Great City, China We’re supporting architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill and Developer Vantone City Logic in developing the green transport plan for the groundbreaking Great City plan.
Illustration of a smart grid
Smart grid
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Smart grid A simplified schematic of how a smart grid system can be applied at a town or city level.

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Energy network
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Energy network A simplified schematic for integrated energy networks for a smart city project in China

Every project, no matter what its scale or location, benefits from the same ingenuity, expert knowledge and collaborative working. As we're both truly global and local, our clients get the best of both worlds – international insight and understanding of specific needs, goals and challenges, all backed by decades of experience and learning from work undertaken in mainland China.

125 years of history

Renowned British engineer Sir Murdoch MacDonald formed his engineering consulting company in 1890 and in 1888 Basil Mott and David Hay formed a consulting partnership. Soon the two companies collaborated and later combined. It is 125 years of history that makes the global management, engineering and development consultancy, Mott MacDonald, as it is known today. Here is a brief cross-section of the service areas we are supporting our clients in China with.

Building engineering

We offer a full range of building engineering design services for China’s commercial office, mixed-use, retail buildings, hotel, stadium and sports and industrial buildings. We design, complete due diligence, act as design reviewers or help our clients refurbish and refresh their existing investments.

MEP (building services) engineering

Our MEP team add value for clients from the outset. It is with design input at the earliest stages that we can work with our clients, architects and design institutes to develop efficient MEP systems that are economic, reliable and provide a service of an international standard.

In commercial development, net GFAs viability and return on investment. By applying innovative engineering solutions we can make a real difference.

Façade engineering

We provide a premium consultancy service that boasts a wealth of experience in façade selection and design across Asia. We understand the value added in material selection, sustainability design, fire safety engineering and architectural facade design. Our team combines experts in facade design, structural, mechanical and production engineering, energy and acoustic performance, materials science, consulting and contracting knowledge plus government approval submissions – all essential services for developing a facade as an integrated component of a building's design. We develop facade systems of all scales and sizes. One key example of our projects includes the Peninsula Hotel, Shanghai, which features a tower curtain wall including an aluminium framed window-wall and stone cladding system integrated with podium facades of stone cladding, copper framed window-wall and skylights.

Structural engineering

We work in collaboration with our team in Hong Kong to offer the full range of structural engineering services in mainland China, such as due diligence, design review and design services.

Building information modelling (BIM)

Mott MacDonald is at the forefront of harnessing BIM as a means to improve quality, efficiency and innovation in construction design and operations. We can deliver adaptations of our BIM processes to fit the Chinese construction process and interface between the designer, architect, design institutes and others.

Project management and cost consulting

We've been providing specialist project and cost management to clients in the country for over 20 years. We have delivered over 250 projects providing project and cost management services to many companies as they develop their presence in China. We have often provided a full energy procurement construction management (EPCM) house engineering team.

Our services are fully independent and transparent and follow the same systems and procedures that we use globally. Over many years we have adapted our systems to match the special requirements and style of construction in China, so our clients can remain fully informed, aware and in control throughout a projects delivery.

Power systems and renewable energy

Mott MacDonald has been working in the power sector across the region since the 1980s engineer, energy planning and project management to a wide range of Chinese clients and inward investors.

Transport pioneers for 125 years

2012 marked 110 years of achievement in transport for Mott MacDonald. Since our formation we've been involved in some of the world's best known transport in the early 1900s speed Heathrow Express, the SMART road and storm water tunnel in Kuala Lumpar and new Hong Kong International Airport in the 1990s.

Key examples of projects include London's Crossrail, Hong Kong's satellite terminal, Heathrow Terminal 5, and metros in Taiwan, Delhi, Bangkok and Salt Lake City.

Water and environment

We've helped property developers minimise the environmental impact of what they build and government improve water governance. Our team has also supported rural communities in improving water use efficiency and in bringing agriculture into urbanised smart cities.

Smart cities and green buildings

We drive to decarbonise the economy and cut emissions.

We use our skills in building energy and performance simulation to help our clients understand the realistic energy saving strategies that they can adopt. We work closely with architects to maximise the impact of passive measures and with MEP and other designers to develop active solutions. We also provide expertise in LEED and GBES, the China Green Building guide and wider energy planning.

Supporting Chinese investment

Increasingly, government and many creative entrepreneurs are taking businesses out of the country. Mott MacDonald has a truly global presence and experience of project delivery in many of the places where Chinese inward investment can be found.

In the oil, gas and petrochemical sector, our local team is helping Chinese business with substantial teams in the Middle East. In the rail sector, we’re assisting Chinese construction companies and suppliers to deliver services in South America and Eastern Europe.

We have also helped many inward investors into China, from Fortune 500 multi-national corporations to aid agencies like the Asia Development bank. We have acted as technical advisors in the preparation of IPOs in the power and water sectors.

As project managers and engineers help international clients and architects in understanding Chinese codes and correlating them with international standards and we often provide one-off due diligence studies in the water, power and buildings sectors when China-based assets change hands.

In the nuclear industry, we are helping to build strong cooperation between UK and Chinese technologies and energy providers.

Education in rural China

Our education experts are providing services to 20 schools in the Haidian district on an innovative education reform project for Haidian District Education Committee.

Over five years, the number of girls attending school increased by 24%, 1000 schools introduced development planning and the number of female head teachers doubled. In Gansu year project to improve the access and quality of basic education.

Our UK-China Academy initiative is now looking to build on interest in modern teaching and learning techniques by offering UK study visits to Chinese educators.

Smart cities

Designers of smart cities are facing major challenges in providing sustainable, reliable, efficient, affordable and clean infrastructure, particularly in China, where there is a drive to decarbonise the economy and cut emissions. We provide highly specialised technical and cost advice on implementing infrastructure for smart cities, such as smart grids, on-site renewable energy sources, green transport planning, solid waste management including waste-to-energy, water resource and water quality, storm water collection, grey-water systems, cost-benefit, risk assessment of smart city technologies, environmental planning and sustainable site grading.

Smart grids can go a long way towards meeting the challenges of energy planning by applying the latest information, communications and control technologies to operate electricity networks in an adaptive, predictive and interactive manner. We help power providers and developers implement all types of smart grids intelligently, coordinating the behaviour and actions of all users including generators and consumers.

We cover all aspects of smart grid development, from initial ideas to implementation of control, monitoring, information and communications technologies. This includes planning and design of networks, integration of renewable energy and distributed generation, demand management and monitoring of real-time system operation.

Sustainable infrastructure

We work with architects, masterplanners and clients to develop smart city solutions for energy guidelines and infrastructure systems. The depth of our teams based in the country and beyond in the water, power, transport planning and building sectors enables us to provide robust solutions backed by real application – not just dreams.


For function sports and leisure facility in Suzhou Industrial Park, we are providing building services, energy planning and LEEDre defining design and energy saving strategies and mechanical, electrical and public health services for the campus infrastructure and buildings. We are also the accredited consultant to support SIPSID and the design team in achieving LEED certification. Our work will enable the client to achieve good energy performance and save money during operational life building.

Green transport planning

Our transport planning and green transport strategies are connecting local communities in a more responsible and efficient way. Our services include traffic modelling.

Pedestrian movement

We can provide pedestrian modelling in-house, enabling professionals such as transport planners, fire engineers and architects to evaluate building designs and operational processes in a robust and scientific manner. The software is capable of simulating pedestrian movement and behaviour in a wide range of buildings and built environments including evacuation, normal crowd movement for transport interchanges, hotel, retail and entertainment venues.

Carbon emissions calculation and reduction planning

With construction projects facing growing pressure to reduce emissions, legislative drivers are growing and evidence is mounting that buildings, and other assets in the built environment, are more desirable when they have green credentials. We have sufficient evidence to know that cost and carbon are linked – if we save carbon emissions, we are also very likely to reduce construction costs.

Carbon and other green house gas emissions are produced though the life cycle of the building and estimating these and quantifying reduction are a prerequisite for carbon trading and gaining benefit from the increasing tax breaks and grants that are available globally, some from the government.


Following a four-year research study our experts have linked carbon into our cost estimating, enabling us to manage carbon and costs in an even more efficient way. This means we can effectively assess the impacts of both cost and carbon in the selection of designs, specifications and even in the use of manufacturers. We have published this research to help the wider construction industry measure their impact in the CESMM Carbon & Price Book, the first ever price books to include estimates of carbon emissions for common activities of construction work.

Water and environmental management

We've helped property developers minimise also supported rural communities in improving water use efficiency and in bringing agriculture into urbanised smart cities.

Our input to water regulations

We assisted the government in implementing reforms created by the 2002 revision of the water regulations, which we helped draft, by providing institutional strengthening, promoting awareness programmes and introducing improved systems for integrated water resource management as part of the Water Resources Demand Management Assistant Project.

Environment and water management

Key roles include delivering wastewater facilities for Shanghai and resolving environmental problems in urban centres across Chongqingre and also rehabilitating watercourses, a wastewater collection system and solid waste management in Nanning as implementation consultant of the Asian Development Bank loan project.

Our specialist team is involved in tackling water scarcity and quality and helping organisations respond to climate change influence and risk. For instance, our study into decentralised wastewater treatment with effluent reuse, funded by the European Union, will investigate all alternative approaches to centralised sewerage for suburban as well as semi-rural locations.

In the private sector, we're advising on the acquisition of assets for inward investors and offering due diligence services for water and wastewater treatment plants.

Our water engineers and environmental scientists contribute to the development of sustainable infrastructure for smart cities, adopting best practice and the latest technologies to recycle water and waste to save resources and costs for investors.

High speed rail

Mott MacDonald has helped to deliver more than 3,500km of successful high speed lines with design speeds over 200km the 8 billion, 345km speed rail link, which has a design speed of 350km/h.

We're also contributing to the high speed rail development across China, bringing international expertise to help deliver quality, durability and safety in construction design. For example, in Jianxi Province our team is working on a section of the Hefei-Fuzhou High Speed Line. With our local partner CEC our team is providing construction supervisory services to three sections of the scheme, with a total combined length of 284km, alongside principal contractor, 11th Bureau, China Railway Construction Consortium.

Taiwan High Speed Rail

Our team in Taipais Centres for systems and controls in railway design. We can provide design, verification and validation, testing and procurement services for track work design and alignment, rolling stock, power and traction supplies, signalling and train control, passenger information systems and fare collection, communication systems and data transmission, risk management (RAMS) and financial analysis.

Hong Kong –Zhuhai Link

Our experts are supervising design and construction of the 30km China section of the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai link bridge, including a major cable-stayed bridge, two man-made islands and a 6km long immersed tube tunnel across the Pearl River estuary. We are also providing designs for the Hong Kong section.

Project management and cost consulting

We’ve been providing project and cost management to our clients in the country for over 20 years, with our first presence as Franklin and Andrew, which became part of the Group in 2002. Since then we have delivered over 250 projects, providing project and cost management services to a number of global companies as they develop their businesses in China. For many clients we have provided a full EPCM service.

Our services are fully independent and transparent and follow the same systems and procedures that we use globally. Over many years we have adapted our systems to match the special requirements and style of construction in China, so our clients can remain fully informed, aware and in control thoughout a project's delivery.

Project management

We provide professional project management services to a range of organisations operating in the country. We deliver value for money by providing a world-class standard of project and cost management, utilising our experience and local knowledge to realise business benefits and deliver projects to time, cost and quality.

Our projects are diverse and our service covers strategic projects, for large blue chip organisations off projects. We pride ourselves on providing a tailored project management service that assists clients in establishing their options, defining their project needs and managing project delivery - we become their trusted advisor.

Construction in China will always follow a fast-track programme so inclement weather can cause significant delays in construction. We understand how to develop work sequencing so that the impact of this risk is minimised.

Effective management of project risks in the industry sector

We have delivered many projects in the industrial sector in China, ranging from pharmaceuticals to heavy automotive plants. We provide a huge range of services backed by our proven track record in delivering demanding projects globally.

We take care of the entire project development cycle from business strategy to operation and maintenance. We provide a full suite of integrated, multidisciplinary services including feasibility and front end design, facilities engineering, process design, project management, containment engineering and validation.

Our management services include business process and organisation change advice, safety, risk and reliability studies, due diligence studies, human resources, ethical risk management and operational advice including energy audits. Project management, design and site supervision services cover all aspects of asset and site condition surveys, site selection with planning and environmental requirements, procurement and cost control, detailed design and commissioning works. We also offer qualified expertise in the highly specialised area of regulatory compliance and licencing.

We’ve not only amassed vast knowledge of international and local regulations and standards, in many different provinces, we’ve also gained a deep understanding of the pressures facing industry – not least maintaining a competitive edge.

Cost consulting

Cost certainty skills are fundamental to our total project delivery capability backed by a 125-year track record. We won the QS Firm of the Year Award two years continuously running (201; 2012). Costs tend to change frequently so we rely on a vast cost database which is continually updated and tested against knowledge gathered daily from projects we’re undertaking across our multidisciplinary business.

Our experienced quantity surveyors, cost managers and cost engineers bring our clients the benefit of cost in all sectors of the economy covering industry, commercial property, hotels, infrastructure, energy, utilities and property. We do this by offering a comprehensive range of cost prediction advice, negotiation and account closure services – for asset owners and end-users as well as property developers and financiers. We can help you at any stage of a project. We focus on accurately predicting the capital cost of asset investment programmes life.

Power systems and renewable energy

Since the 1980s engineer, energy planning and project management services, among many others, to a broad range of Chinese clients and inward investors.

We work with power system planners, investors, state owned enterprises, financial institutions supporting IPOs and suppliers. Our team based in Beijing works hand-in-hand with our other experts around the world and can advise on all aspects of the power industry, including power transmission, power market research, electricity supply policy studies, smart grids, smart city energy planning, distributed energy production, coal-fired and gas-fired generation, regional tri-generation, CHP and CCHP, solar power, biomass power, wind power, hydropower, ocean energy, thermal power plant pollution control and environmental impact assessments.

A key example of our work includes providing specialist services to the clients of an Blue Bird Biomass Power Plant, Pingyuan Huanyuan Biomass Power Plant and CRE Siziwangqi wind farm Phase II Project.

Investors and IPOs

We support investors in the early stages of their project development using our detailed understanding of the market, policy, natural environment, advanced technology, the speciality of construction, equipment reliability, cost, operating performance projections, operation and maintenance. We can advise on and analyses inputs and financial modelling to maximise revenue and minimise risk.

For clients wanting to acquire assets or initiative public offering in the global stock market, our team offers a transparent service that is ethically sound and aware and that offers the view of an independent third party as what we have provided for Longyuan, Huaneng and Huadian, among others. We offer objective and fair advice about the Chinese and international market including policies, environmental standards, risk management, human resource and skills quality as well as organisational structure. We provide professional assessment on the assets from technical aspect, including the engineering condition, equipment level, technology advancement, compliance of standards and codes, operation performance, maintenance records, accident hazardous and operations and maintenance scheme.

Operation and inspection

For operational projects we provide our clients with strategic advice to running, repair and maintenance programs, repair and maintenance cost estimates, technical recommendations for improvement, cost management and decommissioning recommendations, including land re-use.

We can provide the range of inspection and quality management services including certified inspections of power equipment during manufacture. We provide inspection services for most power equipment including boilers, steam turbines, hydro turbines, wind turbines, generators, mills, conveyors, tanks, pumps, fans, solar PV panels, transformers, HV/LV switch boards, cables, protection relays, UPS, batteries, transmission lines, energy storage, ocean wave turbines and control equipment.

Building services engineering

Our specialists help clients add value from the outset. With design input at the earliest stages, we work with clients, architects and design institutes to develop efficient MEP systems that are economic and reliable and that function at a world-class standard.

In commercial development, net GFAs viability and return on investment. By applying innovative engineering solutions we can make a real and lasting difference.

Our services

Our MEP engineers provide services as designers at feasibility, concept, schematic design and preliminary design and tender for any type of project. We work as construction design stage reviewers and advisors, supporting the client in managing and gaining maximum value and quality from design institute teams. We provide design drawings, tender specifications and performance criteria and procurement.

We inform our clients of the best possible solutions so that performance, comfort, efficiency and energy use is achieved along with the best cost-benefit. We help our clients embrace the opportunities offered by apply LEED and GBES to MEP and work closely with architects to incorporate high performance building envelopes and passive energy saving measures into the design.

Poor vertical transport design is common in many buildings in China. By using advanced traffic simulation software we can predict vertical traffic flow and assess the performance that different options can deliver so that our clients can make a fully informed investment decision. An efficient elevator configuration is essential in optimising the building core and maximising net to gross floor area ratios.

We have local knowledge and international experience in designing any MEP system.

Hotels, sports and leisure

Our consultants have extensive experience designs for the hospitality and leisure sector having worked on many hotel projects as well as worldclass sports facilities. We have worked for many major brand hotel operators including Inter-continental, Starwoods, Hilton and Marriott. Poor MEP design can spoil the user experience, even if the hotel is of the highest standard. We know how to meet specific market requirement while adding value wherever possible.

Green building and energy planning

We use our skills in building energy and performance simulation (building physics) to help our clients understand the realistic energy saving strategies that they can adopt. We work with architects to maximise the impact of passive measures and with MEP and other designers to develop active solutions. Cost-benefit and being realistic are always key considerations in the green building design what we do. Key services are:

Building physics

By testing and proving our ideas at the early stages of design we can achieve the best cost-benefit and select the most ideal solution. We use building physics software to model and improve building performance and total energy consumption analysis.

Commercial buildings can benefit greatly from non-electro-mechanical (passive) systems. These are often simple in principal but their application needs thoughtful and accurate simulation. The practical construction issues must be considered. A good example is the use of buried ‘earth tubes’ to help heat outside air before it is introduced. This can save preheat energy significantly, quality installation is important and so is computer simulation because the annual climate conditions and their impact on below ground temperature must be understood. Similar considerations are important for ice storage and many other energy saving systems for buildings.

For large spaces, or where natural or displacement ventilation is a good option, we use advanced simulation using computational fluid dynamic (CFD) software to simulate air distribution. We also use CFD to assess external building impact, such as wind impact in planning layouts, pollution risk and natural ventilation effectiveness.

LEED and GBES

Developed by the US Green Building Council, LEED is the most recognised international green building system adopted in China. We have a wealth of LEED consulting work experience and we understand that capital investment by our clients in green building design must be supported by technical reasoning and thorough understanding of costs.

We can advise on the application of the China Green Building (GBES) codes (National Evaluation Criteria). The code has a different set of requirements from LEED and has a different emphasise metering into any project is greatly encouraged in GBES. We help our clients respond to the specific requirements while adding value.

Application of GBES is increasing because government-invested projects must get GBES certification. It is likely that GBES will become mandatory for all new buildings. Possibly grants and tax breaks are linked to GBES certification in some areas. We have extensive experience in GBES certification consulting.

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