Press briefing on China's energy-efficient building and green building initiative Thursday, February 28, 2008

At the press conference sponsored by the State Council Information Office on Feb. 26, 2008, Qiu Baoxing, Vice Minister of Construction, briefed the press on promoting building energy saving and green buildings. He also answered questions from the press. 

Speech by Qiu Baoxing, Vice Minister of Construction

Feb. 26, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Still in the festive spirit of the traditional Chinese New Year, I am glad to be here to share with you the latest development in China 's energy-efficient building and green building initiative and answer questions to your interest, thanks to the arrangement of the State Council Information Office. The energy-efficient building and green building initiative of China has increasingly become the center of interest to people at home and abroad, inside and outside the industry. China is a building giant in the sense that 2 billion square meters of floor space, nearly half of the world's total, is being built here annually. Sustainable development of the building industry is closely related to improved quality of life for the people, the realization of the national energy strategy and resource conservation strategy, global climate change and sustainable development. I would like to first say welcome and thank you to you all for your interest in following the development of energy-efficient building and green building initiative in China.

I will deliver my speech in three parts. First, I shall report to you the results of the specialized national inspection on building energy efficiency. Second, I shall introduce to you key measures to be taken. Third, I shall brief you on preparations for the "4th International Conference on Intelligent, Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo" (IGEBC).

I. Results of the specialized inspection on building energy efficiency

The specialized inspection on building energy efficiency is an appraisal and assessment mechanism set up in response to the requirements of the State Council and has been in practice for three years, with very good results. The Ministry of Construction sent 10 inspection teams to all the provinces, autonomous regions (excluding Tibet) and municipalities, 5 separate planning cities, 26 provincial capitals (capitals of autonomous regions) and 26 prefecture capitals to inspect from December 16 to 29, 2007 on overall achievements made as to building energy efficiency and key specialized programs. A total of 610 construction projects were sampled for inspection on the construction map design documents and 147 projects under construction were sampled for inspection on the construction sites. It may be concluded from the inspection result that all the working targets set by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council for building energy efficiency have been rather successfully accomplished through concentrated efforts, institutional innovations and intensified supervision at different localities, as is demonstrated by the following achievements:

--Marked percentage increase of new buildings conforming to the energy-saving standards. By October 2007 , 97 percent of all urban new-builts across the country conform to energy saving standards for the design stage and 71 percent for the construction stage, a respective increase of 1 and 17 percentage points over 2006. It may be inferred that energy-efficient building could cut down standard coal consumption by 5 million tons from January to October 2007.

-- Energy-saving regulatory system for state organ office buildings and large public buildings. Investigations have been made into basic conditions and energy consumption data of state organ office buildings and large public buildings in the 24 provinces and cities chosen by the Ministry of Construction and Ministry of Finance for demonstration projects. Some provinces and cities even launched energy audit, itemized metering device installation and energy efficiency public notification for state organ office buildings and large public buildings.

-- Heat metering and energy efficiency renovations on existing residential heating system in North China . The Ministry of Finance, together with the Ministry of Construction, put forward the fiscal policy of using central budget fund as incentives to such renovations. In 2007 a total of 900 million yuan was earmarked for subsidizing the installation of heat metering devices. Fundamental work such as investigations into the energy consumption data and formulation of the renovation plans have been initiated in some regions. Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Yinchuan, Tangshan takes the lead, with a number of pilot projects launched in heat metering and energy efficiency renovations on existing buildings.

-- Speedier and wider application of renewable energy in construction. In 2007 more than 700 million yuan has been earmarked from the central budget for subsidizing the implementation of 212 renewable energy demonstration projects in three batches. There have been positive responses to the central policy at different locality: some by developing plans, some by establishing standards and norms, some by research and development of technological products, others by putting in place economic incentive policies. These responses have become an effective drive to the application of renewable energy in construction. By the end of 2007 solar light and heat have been used in a total floor area of 700 million square meters and geothermal energy, nearly 80 million square meters.

-- New progress in the promotion of green building. At different localities promotion of green building has been taken as an important starting point for the transition into energy-efficient building. In light of the local conditions, people at different localities resort to developing green building assessment criteria, launching green building demonstration projects and organizing green building promotional conferences to give green building greater publicity.

II. Working measures to be taken next

In accordance with the unified arrangement of the CPC Central Committee and State Council, we as the Ministry of Construction will push forward with differentiated guidance, better supervision, institutional innovation and intensified efforts.

First, we will work continually on the building energy efficiency systems and mechanisms by adhering to the fundamental legal regime built on the "Energy Conservation Law", adding to the building energy efficiency standards, researching on and developing the building energy efficiency economic policies, fostering a supportive system for building energy efficiency.

Second, we will put into practice measures related to energy efficiency management for new-builts. We will intensify supervision on conformity to the energy-saving standards at the construction stage and see to the implementation of "Code for Construction Quality Acceptance for Energy-Efficient Building Projects". We will run a system of "logo identification for building energy efficiency assessment", which is newly designed in response to the requirement of the State Council to set up a market access system for new-builts and which will be circulated and enforced soon after we finish with the supportive management and technological policy measures. It will certainly have a great impact on building energy efficiency for new-builts.

Third, we will push forward reform of the heating system in North China and turn "implicit" into "explicit" heating subsidization. We will research on and develop supportive pricing and charging policies for the heating system reform and press for accomplishment of the target of "heating metering and energy efficiency renovation on 150 million square meters of existing residential buildings in North China ".

Fourth, we will reinforce building and operation energy efficiency management of the state organ office buildings and large public building and urge the 24 demonstration provinces and cities to accomplish the tasks of energy consumption data collection, energy audit and energy efficiency public notification. We will research on and develop energy consumption limits for large public buildings and launch the initiatives of energy-efficient higher education institutions and hotels.

Fifth, we will push for large-scale application of renewable energy in building. We will take good care of the existing 212 demonstration projects and expand demonstration to a larger scope. We will improve the technical specifications for application of renewable energy in construction and tap into solar energy, methane, straw, other renewable and alternative energy sources for solution to energy consumption in rural areas.

Sixth, we will consolidate supervision and management of building energy conservation in accordance with the laws by improving and strictly implementing the existing energy-saving laws, regulations, standards and norms, the energy saving target accountability system and strengthening appraisal and evaluation.

III. Building the IGEBC into a well-recognized international cooperation and exchange platform

The Ministry of Construction, Ministry of Science and Technology, the State Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance, State Administration of Environmental Protection will jointly host the "4th International Conference on Intelligent, Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technologies and Products Expo" in Beijing from March 31 to April 2, 2008. Britain , France , Germany and the United States have entrusted participating governmental officials, experts and enterprise representatives to the care of specialized agencies and their respective embassy, indicating a rising international influence for the event.

Each of the previous three conferences has been very successful: Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan sent congratulatory messages to IGEBC 2005 and 2007 and made an important speech at IGEBC 2006. IGEBC has grown into a grand event addressing to pressing energy resources and environmental problems, a platform with an irreplaceable role in fostering an independent innovation capacity for energy-efficient, intelligent and green building in China and promoting sustainable development of the building industry.

Now, I (and my colleagues) would like to take your questions.

Editor: Nie Peng