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Energy-saving Buildings Needed
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The government should strictly supervise energy consumption in the construction industry, says a signed article in the Shanghai-based Youth Daily. An excerpt follows:

Vice-Minister of Construction Qiu Baoxing pointed recently that about 95 percent of the country's construction industry consumes excessive amounts of energy.

This sector accounts for 75 percent of the nation's total energy consumption.

Two or three times as much energy is used to generate the same amount of heating in China as in developed countries with the same climatic conditions.

Why is so much energy being consumed? Is it due to a lack of regulations or energy conservation standards? Obviously not. The Ministry of Construction issued a Management Regulation of Civil Construction Energy Conservation in 2000 and revised it in 2005. That year also saw the publication of the Design Standard of Public Construction Energy Conservation.

According to the Management Regulation of Civil Construction Energy Conservation, enterprises that fail to implement energy conservation standards in terms of development, design and construction should be punished. But no such punishment has been meted out to real estate developers in recent years. Why? Governments at all levels have failed to adequately supervise construction energy conservation for quite some time. Energy-saving standards remain on paper in the construction industry.

When such supervision is absent, construction developers will not take the initiative to pursue energy-saving construction. They will only consider how to reduce the immediate one-off basic construction investments but not the energy to be consumed later in the use of the construction. Architectural designers are unwilling to devote the extra time to energy-saving designs, as they will get no extra pay.

(China Daily July 24, 2006)

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