All new buildings in the country were designed for energy
efficiency by property developers - but only half have been found
to meet national energy conservation standards.
The sidestepping of energy conservation requirements by property
developers poses a threat to meeting the overall green goal, in
which the construction sector is expected to contribute to 30
percent of total energy savings.
"The findings are alarming. More comprehensive measures are
needed to achieve the national goal," Song Chunhua, president of
the China Real Estate Association, said at an energy-saving forum
held in Beijing yesterday.
The Ministry of Construction discovered in recent nationwide
inspections that only 53 percent of projects under construction are
turning energy-saving promises into action, said Song.
Nearly all of them had pledged at design stage that they would
meet national standards on energy saving.
"They changed their minds because of increasing costs," said
Song. "They are still building new energy guzzlers."
Considering more than 99 percent of the country's 40 billion sq
m of old buildings are not energy-efficient, Song said: "This will
worsen the situation."
On average, about 2 billion sq m of new buildings are built each
Song said the implementation of energy-saving standards increase
property costs by 5-10 percent; and not the average of 17 percent
widely quoted by developers.
Energy consumption will be reduced 40 percent nationwide on
average if the standards are fully implemented. In addition, this
will help ease energy shortages and contribute to combating climate
The government last year announced compulsory energy saving
standards for public and office buildings, which will soon be
extended to housing.
Song yesterday also urged developers to build more small- and
medium-sized apartments to meet the challenges of a rising
population and rapid urbanization.
He said there is plenty of room to explore to make small
apartments more comfortable. "A 90-square-meter apartment is enough
for a nuclear family."
He urged the government to implement energy saving schemes and
put caps on apartment space.
(China Daily January 14, 2008)