The China Buildings Program encourages the construction of energy-efficient buildings as well as the development of efficient appliances and equipment. Our program supports the development and enforcement of residential and commercial building codes, the promotion of green buildings in China, and appliance efficiency standards and labeling programs.
China adds 2 billion square meters of new buildings every year and is on track to build the equivalent of a second China in the next 20 years—a boom that accounts for about half of the annual new construction worldwide. The buildings sector is now responsible for about one-quarter of China’s total energy use, and is expected to grow as hundreds of millions of rural Chinese move to cities in the next two decades.
Urbanization and rapid economic growth are also driving a growing market for consumer appliances. As average incomes increase, consumers are buying an ever-increasing number of energy-consuming appliances.
Mandatory energy efficiency standards and labels can significantly reduce the energy consumption of appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators, among others. Building energy codes capture efficiency opportunities during new construction and avoid the long-term lock-in of inefficient, high-energy-consuming structures.
Green buildings—those that use recycled or recyclable materials, incorporate renewable-energy generation systems, minimize energy use, improve indoor air quality, and reduce waste output advance the efficiency of, and reduce the environmental damage from, China’s buildings sector.
The Buildings Program is particularly interested in efforts to:
- Develop stringent standards and labeling programs for appliances and drive consumers toward more efficient products;
- Promote the adoption of increasingly stringent building codes and improve codes enforcement in pilot provinces and cities; and
- Develop a policy instrument and labeling program at the national level in order to drive local development and implementation of green buildings.