Business / Industries

Technology in new buildings touted as way to lower pollution

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-10-14 10:20

Advanced building technologies will get a big boost in China, thanks to the nation's ongoing economic upgrade, its renewed efforts to cut emissions and strong support from the government, experts and companies said on Monday ahead of a major industrial conference in Shanghai.

Liu Qianwei, chief engineer of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Construction, said that with higher standards for energy conservation and emission reduction in China, advanced building technologies have drawn attention due to their shorter construction periods, lower impacts on environment and longer life cycles of buildings.

Advanced building technologies are expected to be showcased in a big way at the 2014 Shanghai International Building Industrialization Exhibition, being held from Tuesday through Thursday at Shanghai New International Exposition Center. The event also will highlight how Europe's industrialization experience can be best combined with Chinese practices.

"We hope to establish a platform to exchange knowledge and experience, and enhance the level of sustainable building technologies in China," said Christoph Angerbauer, general manager of the Shanghai office of the German Industry & Commerce Greater China.

Tan Wei, China sales manager of Finnish company Elematic, an exhibitor at the exhibition that supplies precast concrete machinery, said many issues still need to be addressed in China's building industrialization market, such as lack of standards and high prices.

"Precast buildings can cost up to 500 yuan ($81) more per square meter compared with traditional buildings," Tan said. But he said the support of the Chinese government and rising labor costs in the country have given him confidence about China's precast building market.

In 2009, China promised to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 40 to 45 percent per GDP unit by 2020 compared with the levels in 2005. Since 2013, the Shanghai Municipal Government has published numerous policies and guidelines to promote building industrialization in the region, which has helped support the industry.

"Building industrialization" refers to an integrated and standardized operation, from architectural design to construction, in which building components are manufactured in factories and fabricated on site.

Most of China's current building technologies are based on designs from the erstwhile Soviet Union in the 1970s. Zhang Hua, president of Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Design Co Ltd, said these buildings have performed poorly in terms of earthquake resistance, waterproofing and heat preservation, and also look dated.

Buildings are responsible for nearly half of the energy consumption and gas emissions in China, and the construction phase accounts for nearly a quarter of the total energy consumption by buildings.

Building industrialization, on the other hand, not only will alleviate such problems by applying higher standards to making the building components but will reduce water and energy consumption and lower the level of PM 2.5 air pollution, which has become a major challenge for Chinese cities in recent years, Zhang said.

Experts estimate that building industrialization could contribute to 20 percent savings in energy, 60 percent in water and 90 percent in garbage costs.

Technology in new buildings touted as way to lower pollution

Technology in new buildings touted as way to lower pollution

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