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Green Buildings Pushed

Starting this year, all new residential and public buildings in Shanghai will have to meet local energy-saving standards, which cover the size of windows, type of elevators and insulation materials used, city officials announced yesterday.

Buildings that meet the standards use 65 percent less energy on average than standard buildings, officials said.

"Reducing the energy consumption of local buildings is an important strategy for the city's sustainable development," Vice Mayor Yang Xiong told a government meeting yesterday.

According to the city's Office for Application and Development of Building Materials, the government will also support a project to renovate around 30 percent of the city's existing buildings to make them more energy efficient.

Simply by adding proper insulation materials to a building can reduce the amount of electricity used to keep rooms cool in the summer or warm in the winter by around 25 percent.

That standards restrict the use of French windows, which are too big and poor at keeping in hot or cold air, and call for all buildings to install intelligent elevators.

While it tends to cost about 10 percent more to build an energy-efficient building than a normal one, industry experts say the added investment will pay off in the long run as power consumption and costs are greatly reduced.

"The energy consumed by buildings accounts for some 25 percent of the city's overall power consumption, and that number increases 1 percent a year," said Zhang Deming, an official with the building materials office.

The city expects to renovate more than 10 million square meters of residential buildings, to make them more energy efficient, this year, officials said.

(Shanghai Daily April 27, 2005)


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