At least 50 per­cent of new ur­ban prop­erty will have to be of­fi­cially cer­ti­fied as ‘green’ by 2020

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By JING SHUIYU Jing­shuiyu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Song Yingqian is on a roll. She was des­per­ate to live in an apart­ment in a new en­ergy-sav­ing build­ing along with thou­sands of other prop­erty hope­fuls.

The devel­op­ment was so pop­u­lar that the “new tenants” were se­lected through a lot­tery process.

Luck­ily, Song’s name popped out of the com­puter. Now, she can even­tu­ally buy the flat if she lives there for more than five years.

“I was so for­tu­nate,” the 32-year-old ac­coun­tant, who works in Beijing, said.

In­deed, she is be­cause her two-bed­room apart­ment, like all the oth­ers in the bloc, has the lat­est green tech­nolo­gies.

“So­lar wa­ter heaters are in ev­ery apart­ment,” Song said. “It will save me 450 yuan ($66.2) on my elec­tric­ity bills an­nu­ally.

“The build­ing also has en­ergy-ef­fi­cient el­e­va­tors and hall­way lights in pub­lic ar­eas,” she added.

Gar­dens also sur­round the devel­op­ment in the north­west Haid­ian dis­trict of Beijing, with the tower blocks de­signed to max­i­mize “sun­light and rain­wa­ter for ir­ri­ga­tion”.

Build­ings such as the one Song will move into are the fu­ture in a city that suf­fers from con­ges­tion and pol­lu­tion. Min­istry rolls out star sys­tem for city devel­op­ment

Data is sparse on the con­struc­tion of green res­i­den­tal prop­erty. But over­all the con­struc­tion in­dus­try in China is ex­pected to ex­ceed $1 tril­lion by 2020, with an an­nual growth rate of 4.7 per­cent.

“The pro­por­tion of green res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments will also con­tinue to in­crease dur­ing the same pe­riod,” BMI Re­search stated, although again fig­ures are scarce.

China has the largest con­struc­tion sec­tor in the world and is re­dou­bling its ef­forts to cre­ate cleaner, smarter and safer build­ings.

Green prop­erty tends to be en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly and en­ergy ef­fi­cient. This also in­cludes the build­ing ma­te­ri­als and de­sign.

In the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), China set out goals for green build­ing con­struc­tion and ren­o­va­tion. By 2020, at least 50 per­cent of new ur­ban build­ings have to be cer­ti­fied as “green”.

To help jump-start this trans­for­ma­tion, lead­ing engi­neers and sci­en­tists in China, to­gether with over­seas ex­perts, have been work­ing closely on build­ing tech­nolo­gies and so­lu­tions.

Among the list of pri­or­i­ties is en­ergy and wa­ter re­duc­tion as well as car­bon emis­sions from build­ing sites.

In March, China’s Cen­ter of Science and Tech­nol­ogy and In­dus­tri­al­iza­tion Devel­op­ment, un­der the Min­istry of Hous­ing and Ur­ban-Ru­ral Devel­op­ment, im­proved the la­bel­ing sys­tem for green build­ings in the coun­try.

The Green Build­ing Eval­u­a­tion La­bel, or Three-Star Rat- ing Sys­tem, eval­u­ates projects based on six cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing land, en­ergy, wa­ter and ma­te­rial ef­fi­ciency.

The rat­ing sys­tem was built around soft­ware de­vel­oped by In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Corp, a mem­ber of the World Bank Group. It also en­cour­aged the use of geo­ther­mal, hy­dropower, wind, and biomass en­ergy over tra­di­tional fos­sil fuel op­tions such as coal.

“The ini­tia­tive will cre­ate an in­ter­na­tional plat­form to en­able con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ments of China’s green build­ing la­bel­ing sys­tem,” said Song Ling, vice-di­rec­tor of the Green Build­ing Devel­op­ment De­part­ment at CSTID.

Con­struc­tion com­pa­nies are also putting to­gether part­ner­ships to pro­mote sus­tain­able and green build­ing prac­tices.

In June, Volvo Con­struc­tion Equip­ment, an in­ter­na­tional heavy equip­ment man­u­fac­turer, and the China In­ter­na­tional Con­trac­tor As­so­ci­a­tion signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing to in­crease co­op­er­a­tion in sus­tain­able in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion.

“China is the big­gest sin­gle mar­ket in the world,” said Fran­cis Sum, pres­i­dent of China with Volvo Con­struc­tion Equip­ment.

“It is also one of Volvo CE’s four key mar­ket ar­eas, and we have taken a sys­tem­atic ap­proach to investment here,” Sum added.

China is in­creas­ing ef­forts to de­velop its “green” build­ing pro­gram in the next three years.

A re­port by the Min­istry of Hous­ing and Ur­ban-Ru­ral Devel­op­ment, or MHURD, set goals that all build­ings should be en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly by 2020.

It also spec­i­fies pi­lot pro­grams for ren­o­vat­ing en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient, com­mu­nity hos­pi­tals, pub­lic build­ings and sec­ondary schools. “Build­ing in a green way means you need to con­serve re­sources such as land, en­ergy, wa­ter and con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als,” said Zeng Yu, the di­rec­tor of the Green Build­ing Cen­ter at China Acad­emy of Build­ing Re­search.

In 2014, the State Coun­cil called for pub­lic build­ings, such as schools and hos­pi­tals, to meet the coun­try’s green build- Re­port of BMI Re­search ex­pected value of China’s con­struc­tion in­dus­try by 2020 ing stan­dards, known as the Three-Star Rat­ing Sys­tem or the Green Build­ing Eval­u­a­tion La­bel.

By Septem­ber 2016, 4,515 projects in China were cer­ti­fied by the rat­ing sys­tem, ac­cord­ing to MHURD.

Among them, 18.8 per­cent were clas­si­fied as three-star, the top level, while 39.9 per­cent were two-star and 41.3 per­cent one-star.

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