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New Construction in China Must Be More Energy Efficient

Linda Hardesty

 

Chinese builders are becoming more interested in energy efficiency, and that will have two benefits: energy savings for buildings and a boon for thermal envelope manufacturers.

Based on market demand from both new buildings and retrofit projects, the demand for building thermal envelope materials from 2012 to 2015 will be 5.6 billion, according to Lux Research’s report “Go North: The Path to Performance-Driven Profits in China’s Construction Materials Market.”

Through modeling existing building stock, new construction rates, energy efficiency targets, temperature profiles, energy costs, green building momentum, regulatory enforcement and retrofit targets, Lux Research analysts derived the opportunities for different building thermal envelope solutions.

A key driver for more energy efficient buildings is Chinese government policy. According to the 12th Five Year Plan, China will require 95 percent of new buildings to meet a mandatory energy savings target of 65 percent over the 2005 figure. The requirement is issued by the central government and provincial and municipal governments and varies depending on the specific functions of buildings. The Chinese government also plans energy saving retrofit projects for at least 60 million square meters of commercial and municipal buildings.

Manufacturers of building thermal envelope products should focus on the climate of different regions, says Lux. Low-cost, low-performance materials will dominate the temperate south, but developers of high-performance materials need to focus on China’s cooler north, where these solutions save money on high heating/cooling needs.

Developers of phase-change materials, vacuum insulation panels, and low-emissivity insulating glass are poised for growth. Lux’s research finds the largest markets aren’t the obvious one. The big cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing and Tianjin aren’t at the top of the list, as they have less floor area of buildings.



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