GUANGZHOU, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Many old apartment buildings in south China's Guangzhou City are getting a new look as the city prepares to hold the Asian Games from Nov. 12 to 27.
Buildings built decades ago often have flat roofs, which are always aggravating for those living on the top floor since the flat roof can hardly protect them from the heat during scorching summers in subtropical Guangdong Province.
"The house is unbearably hot even with an electric fan on all day," said Xu Yan, who has been living in a top-floor apartment for nearly 40 years.
Also, because the building is so old, it leaks when it rains, said Xu.
To project a better city image during the Asian Games, Guangzhou has been replacing about 1,000 old flat roofs with new red roofs made of synthetic resin since the end of 2009, according to the municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
"With the sloping roof to keep the room cool, I now use my air conditioner three months shorter than before and the monthly electricity bill has decreased from 200 yuan (29.5 U.S. dollars) to 90 yuan," said Xu.
Although the municipal government is paying for the bill, top-floor residents still have to live somewhere else for about two months before the new roof can be completely installed.
"If there was a household that opposed the project, their building's roof would not be changed," said Zhou Weidong with the commission.
"At first my family opposed the project, since moving was always troublesome, but we found the renovated building was, indeed, more comfortable," said Lu Weiming, a local resident.
There are some households who rejected the project at first, but later asked the commission to renovate their buildings after seeing the advantage of the new roof, said Zhou.