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Nation seeks energy efficient buildings
By Fu Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-02-24 02:54

China will launch a massive campaign soon to implement energy savings and promote environment friendly buildings nationwide, Vice-Minister of Construction Qiu Baoxing said yesterday.

Qiu said the campaign is crucial since the country is facing growing shortages and continuing waste of resources.

"If we do not take measures, the situation will continue to worsen," Qiu told a press conference in Beijing.

Qiu also said the so-called "green" building campaign hopes to curb flawed trends in China's process of urbanization. The trends are listed as blindly pursuing "new, unusual, and different" design schemes and always wanting to become "No 1" in the world.

Statistics indicate that making of solid clay bricks damages 8,000 hectares of arable land annually in China. Compared with the building industry in the developed countries, China's steel consumption is 10-25 per cent higher, 80 kilograms of extra water is needed for mixing 1 cubic metre of concrete and 30 per cent more water is needed to flush a toilet.

To make the buildings more energy efficient, environmental impact evaluations will be implemented during the process of construction and when choosing building and decoration materials, electric and machinery equipment, low-voltage electric equipment, landscape equipment, stadium seating, air-conditioning equipment and electronic recording equipment.

The ministry's efforts also include control over construction scale and maximizing conservation of resources to ensure resource conservation and harmony between humans and the environment.

"Those are basic principles of architecture which include function, economy and beauty," said Qiu.

Qiu even suggested ideas such as using solar cookers in kitchens, setting up smart wind power generators at the top of buildings and letting intelligent systems control heating or cooling.

"Ideas are many to make the buildings in the most populous country greener, environmentally friendly and healthy," said Qiu.

With the UN's Kyoto Protocol coming into force several days ago, Qiu said some of his ideas can be included in international cleaner development mechanism (CDM) projects. The CDM is crucial part of the protocol.

Under CDM, developed countries can carry out emission-reduction projects in developing countries through financial and technical co-operation. This counts towards their emission targets.

Qiu said his ministry will consider CDM projects soon.

James Jao, chief executive officer of the US-based J.A.O. Design International applauded the government's commitment in saving energy in the building industry.

"But the most important work is to improve the awareness of the public and strengthen enforcement of the energy-saving codes and regulations," said Jao.

He said many people in China still misunderstand the concept of the terminology of green building.

"Green building" does not mean building with a lot of green plants, trees or flowers. The term has a very clear parameter about it. Using recycled materials, recycled water and re-useable energy are essential features of green buildings.

(China Daily 02/24/2005 page2)

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