China accounts for almost 42% of all building worldwide: two billion square meters of new buildings are being constructed annually with more than 40% of China’s total energy consumption directly or indirectly connected to construction. Almost 1/3 of all water consumption is allotted to the building area while each m2 of building space consumes about four times more energy as compared to foreign averages. With the current pace and scale of urbanization, China needs to improve building efficiency in order to meet energy-saving, resource-efficient and sustainable building standards. Therefore, builders are increasingly willing to choose foreign services and products over local competitors, especially in innovative and research-intensive sub-sectors connected to sustainable urbanisation and green building. The green building market is developing and growing rapidly year after year, and the Chinese government has now selected 40 cities to undergo energy efficiency retrofits. The government has already decided to achieve a 65% energy consumption reduction on new constructions as compared to existing buildings. China’s five-year plan also calls for carbon emissions and energy consumption to be reduced by 17% and 16% meaning renovate existing buildings to make them more energy efficient.
The City Building Challenge:
The development of an eco-district is based on the application principles of bioclimatic architecture and eco-construction. It is to design buildings that offer the best comfortable life for consumers by limiting their energy costs and their environmental impact. The building is designed as a whole from the construction process, materials used, life cycle and maintenance to operating costs.
- Construction site optimization: The ground plan is the result of the geophysical and hydrological diagnostic of the site. It takes into account the analysis of climatic factors: orientation, prevailing winds, sunshine and rainfall.It ensures the best use of land by proposing a compact urban planning and optimizing the number of housing per hectare.
- Combining comfort and performance: Implementing a bioclimatic architectural style suggests that the orientation and insulation of buildings can simultaneously maximize user comfort and reduce the energy bill. The bioclimatic approach anticipates the need to take advantage of sun heat in winter and sun protection in summer. It directs efforts towards the optimization of construction envelopes, natural ventilation and presence of green terraces or support of solar energy production. This approach seeks to generate views and openings on the landscape, to focus on natural light and balconies and to limit the vis-a-vis. It helps develop a wealth of ambiences contrasting which benefits to the comfort of inhabitants. The energy performance of buildings is a key issue. All the buildings should be labeled BBC, HQE, LEED or Stars. This label is also needed for rehabilitated buildings. The materials are selected to ensure the health and improve the life quality of consumers. The problem of environmental protection is incorporated in the life cycle analysis (embodied energy). Natural, recycled, recovered materials from local production chains with positive health assessments are preferred.
- Educating and training cityzens: The implementation effectiveness requires educating residents of an eco-district about green behaviors. Communication action plans like briefings, pamphlets, brochures, intranet must be available for future residents and operation managers to raise awareness on the specific environmental features of the eco-district as well as behavioral practices (lighting, use of electrical appliances and household appliances, heating, green parks, water use, waste disposal, noise, …).
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