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Energy-efficiency has staying power as China business trend

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

08-10-2015 17:21 BJT

By Tom McGregor, freelancer based in Beijing

Buildings, buildings and more buildings have been the most prevalent image of China’s development. Over 50 billion (bn) sqm (square meters) of building space have been erected in the country; and on average another 2bn sqm gets built each year.

Both residential and commercial buildings account for more than 40 percent of total energy usage in China, according to Cleantech.com.

Hence, a new trend is emerging for developers to construct eco-friendly and energy-efficient skyscrapers and condominiums. Such efforts can cut costs on utility bills, while reducing pollution nationwide.

As of April 2015, 320 million sqm of green building space in China is certified by the domestic Green Building Evaluation Standards (GBES) or the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Standards (LEEDS) from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Retrofitting for savings and more

Eco-buildings’ construction is a major growth industry. According to the U.S. Green Buildings Council, nearly 90 percent of all buildings in China are considered ‘energy intensive,’ meaning non energy-efficient.

The GreenBiz news Website reports that, the Chinese government has launched a program, beginning in 2013, to retrofit 4 million sqm of non-residential building spaces in China to reduce each building’s energy consumption by 20-30 percent.

By 2020, China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban/Rural Development has set a target for 30 percent of all new construction to meet green building standards. Eco-Contractors and experts say that building owners on average can get a return-on-investment within five to six years with lower utility costs in the long-run.

Johnson Controls goes to the Bund

Milwaukee, U.S.A.-based Johnson Controls, a global leader in eco-building and management solutions, has played a pivotal role over the years to retrofit Chinese buildings for energy-efficiency.

Last week, the firm announced a partnership deal with Shanghai-based Jianke Building Energy Services Co., Ltd., a company that focuses on energy savings and sustainable development. The companies will work together to upgrade energy-efficiency by more than 20 percent for Shanghai’s buildings.

The city has numerous buildings that are old and ‘energy intensive.’ The alliance would utilize each other’s strengths to help customers achieve their energy-efficiency goals.

“Whether it’s about resources, environmental pressure, or the need for a comfortable atmosphere; improving a building’s energy-efficiency is critical,” the Jakarta Post quotes Jianke Chairman Ye Qian as saying. “(Johnson Controls is) recognized for its service and technical expertise by the local market.”

Honeywell constructs eco-plastics plant in Ningxia

Contractors need the right materials to retrofit buildings for energy-efficiency. Honeywell, one of the leading petrochemical manufacturers, is engaged in UOP technology, which converts high-polluting naphtha chemicals, used for the oil refining process, into high-purity para-xylene, an eco-absorbent for windows.

“Nowhere in the world is para-xylene demand growing as fast as it is in Asia,” Mike Millard, vice president and general manager of Honeywell’s UOP process technology and equipment division, told Business Journal news.

He added, “UOP’s next-generation aromatics technology combines the latest catalysts and absorbents with an energy-efficient design to reduce energy consumption by as much as 20 percent.”

China’s Ningxia Baota Chemical Fibers Co., Ltd. plans to use Honeywell’s UOP technology and equipment to build an energy-efficient petrochemical complex in Yichuan, Ningxia, northwest China. The plant is scheduled to go online in 2018 and is expected to manufacture over 1 million tons of para-xylene each year.

Spotting a big trend in energy-efficiency

Retrofitting China’s buildings for energy-efficiency makes good business sense. Hiring eco-conscious contractors, who abide by either GBES or LEEDS, can help building operators find the right solutions for lowering utility costs in the long-term.

Here’s where a green-friendly strategy can actually bring financial benefits for companies, and that’s why retrofitting offers a wide appeal to Chinese businesses, which means that it will be more than just a passing fad.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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