Building Standards in China
News
December 15, 2011

Building Standards in China

In China, there was an increase in energy consumption of 46% in 2009 due to the further urbanization of cities and improved living conditions, accompanied by a high growth of GDP, around 6% each year. China offers large market developments, supported by the fact that the expected increase in building floor area will be 1.5-2 billion square metres by 2020.

On October 28th 2011, the Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Brussels between the China Committee of Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning (CCHVAC) and the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning (REHVA). This MoU will promote cooperation between China and the European Union based on the exchange of information and business opportunities. CCHVAC, founded in 1978, consists of members from research institutes, industrial enterprises and universities as well as trade professionals. Their target groups are the more than 50,000 engineers and technicians in the HVAC field in China. CCHVAC uses various activities to support and promote effective ventilation strategies such as workshops, training, exhibitions and cooperation for example with REHVA in Europe and ASHRAE in the States.

In China, building sectors are classified as Industrial and Civil buildings, where the latter is compromised of Residential and Public housing. Building standards and energy efficiency codes asses the buildings according to the type of building and a region described by climate data and climate change. Standards for Design & Constructions dealing with new and old housing are mandatory; codes for Operation & Evaluation of buildings focusing on energy survey and testing documentation are voluntarily implemented. Design paths target either the performance level or the intended goal. The standard for design of HVAC in China includes the main code available in English and seven other sub codes in the Chinese language.

Energy Standards are focused on the 65% reduction in energy consumption using baseline from 1980, mainly focused on improving the thermal insulation, airtightness, efficiency of HVAC and lighting (the latter mainly in public housing), the optimisation of operation and renewable energy applications. Since 2009, retrofitting of public housing aims to measure and verify energy savings, although the technical standards and methods of documenting savings has proven to be difficult. China implemented a standard for Green Buildings in 2006 using ´5 stars´ labelling, which will be changed to ´3 star´ labelling to match today’s Green Buildings format. Currently, buildings are rated in China using qualitative and quantitative labelling (mandatory for buildings with floor areas greater than 2,700 m^2) using labelling consisting of calculated and measured results from simulation and field performance evaluations.

In future, the building sector will aim at energy reduction by 4.4% across the whole economy, for example, the building standards will be 30% more stringent than now and doubled the renewable energy use in buildings. Although the development of building energy efficiency standards and codes has been completed in China, the opportunity to upgrade of advanced technology, hrough the cooperation with the EU, must not be missed.

Image: Michael Schmidt and Xu Wei by REHVA