Gov't buildings 'bad example' for efficiency

By He Na and Li Fangchao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-03-28 07:17

A senior construction official yesterday slammed the luxurious office buildings and extravagant furnishings of some local governments as "bad examples" for their huge energy consumption.

"This is not the White House," said Qiu Baoxing, deputy minister of construction, while pointing at a slide showing a magnificent office building.

"This is the office building of a district government."

Some local governments pursue new, unique and special office buildings, but totally neglect their energy efficiency, he said.

Qiu's comments were made during a speech at the ongoing International Conference on Intelligent Green and Energy Efficient Buildings & New Technologies and Products Expo, which ends today.

Qiu said statistics show that most office buildings in China's major metropolises are far less energy efficient than those in other international cities on the same latitude.

To solve the problem, Qiu said all new large-scale public buildings should be forced to comply with energy conservation standards both before and after their construction.

Qiu said that almost 95 percent of the new designs proposed last year met energy conservation standards, but more than half of the finished buildings did not.

"Therefore, more attention should be paid during construction and also once the building has been completed," he said.

Qiu also said that the country was wasting about 30 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) on "second-time indoor decoration and furnishing" each year.

"A lot of owners abandon the original decor and refurnish their homes, which is a huge waste of money and not energy efficient," he said.

"We should promote new houses that are already exquisitely furnished with environmentally friendly and energy-efficient materials to lower costs," Qiu said.

Meanwhile, the government has launched a multi-billion project to make its current housing stock energy efficient, leading with the renovation of government office buildings.

"All government office buildings should be energy efficient and carry energy- efficiency labels," he said.

Such a labeling system should gradually be applied to all buildings, he said.

A regulation on energy conservation standards for private houses is to be drawn up later this year, Qiu said. It would provide clear guidelines on allowable construction materials for residential properties and promote green buildings, he said.

The number of buildings in China is expected to almost double by 2020, and the area they occupy will increase from 43 billion to 73 billion square meters, Qiu said.

(China Daily 03/28/2007 page4)

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