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Shanghai to reduce house sizes
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Shanghai residential properties are to be made smaller and more energy efficient, the municipal government said yesterday.

From 2010, all new apartments will have to be an average of 15 percent smaller than at present, and be 65 percent energy efficient, according to a directive approved recently by the Shanghai municipal government and released yesterday.

They will also be required to recycle rain and river water and be constructed mostly from reclaimed materials.

The move is aimed at achieving a more sustainable development for a city that is home to more than 18 million.

"Shanghai is a city lacking in land, and the gap between supply and demand is growing," Pang Yuan, deputy director of the Shanghai municipal housing, land and resources administration bureau, said at a press conference yesterday.

Residential buildings take up 37 percent of all the land used in Shanghai.

"Not only are most units large, at 120 sq m on average, but they are poorly composed," Pang said.

"Housing is rapidly consuming limited land and resources. The directive will work as a guideline for residential land planning."

All new houses will also have to be an average of 15 percent smaller, he said.

"To reach the goal, we will increase the proportion of small- and medium-sized apartments in new residential projects and improve the supervision of land supply and planning," Pang said.

"At the same time, we will apply higher standards in energy conservation."

All new houses must be able to save 65 percent of energy, compared with the current standard of 50 percent, he said.

Energy-saving light bulbs and air conditioners will be promoted, while solar-energy and rainwater recycling facilities will also be used.

(China Daily January 23, 2008)

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