Third Parties in the Implementation of Building Energy Codes in China

Research Report I121


Shui Bin, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy


In recent years, China has been adding 1.6 to 2.0 billion square meters of new residential and commercial buildings each year, making it the largest market for new construction in the world. Though the enforcement of China’s building energy codes has been widely viewed as fraught with challenges, in recent years China has seemingly achieved  unusual progress in improving its compliance rate at both design and construction stages. According to China’s annual national inspection of building energy efficiency in urban areas, the compliance rates with building energy codes at both design and construction stages in urban areas have improved from 53% (design) and 21% (construction) in 2005 to 99.5% and 95.4%, respectively, in 2010.

What is the definition of the compliance rate in China’s enforcement of building energy codes? If the improvement data are accurate, how is it that China has been able to bring about such impressive improvements in only five years? This report will try to answer the above questions, with a focus on the role of third parties in the implementation of building energy codes. The report concludes that strong governmental support and effective employment of third parties coupled with strict quality control and supervision are the key factors for China’s impressive improvement of compliance with building energy codes.