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German Energy Agency (dena) awards prize to top energy-efficient tower block in China

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The first certified German-Chinese efficient house in China

  • German-Chinese co-operation provides basis for national efficiency standard for new buildings

The first certified German-Chinese efficient house in China is an 18-floor residential building in the port of Qinhuangdao in the Hebei Province. The building complies with the new efficiency standard applicable in the Hebei Province that was jointly developed for this climate region by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena) – the German Energy Agency – and the Center of Science and Technology of Construction (CSTC) which reports to the Chinese Ministry of Construction. The standard exceeds the minimum requirements under the recently tightened German Energy Saving Ordinance. It is the declared aim of the Chinese Ministry of Construction to use this model as a basis to introduce a nationwide energy standard for new buildings in the medium-term.

“The house consumes around 75 percent less energy than conventional new buildings in China,” emphasised Stephan Kohler, dena’s Chief Executive, at the presentation of the dena certificate in Beijing on 23 October. “It is the first practical and consistent example of an entire building project, from planning to completion, that shows how efficient houses can be realised with the means available and under the economic circumstances prevalent in China. It represents a quantum leap for the Chinese market.”

The certified building features a total residential space of 6,670 square metres. Its heating requirement amounts to 13 kilowatt hours per square metre. The building envelope has an excellent insulation value. Included in the building services technology is a heat pump and a ventilation system with heat recovery function. Solar collectors integrated in the balcony railings serve to heat household water.

In order to guarantee the required quality levels, dena and the CSTC provided advice and support for the building work from the beginning. This included training courses for planners, contractors and tradesmen, reviews of plans and repeated inspections of the building site. The design of the certificate, which confirms compliance with required energy standards, is similar to the German Energy Performance Certificate, including information regarding the energy efficiency class and various energy performance data relating to the building envelope and system technology. The energy standard applicable in the Hebei Province was developed on the basis of the passive house standard.

“The new energy standard is an effective tool developed by the Chinese government to establish energy savings in new constructions,” says Stephan Kohler. “In two years, China builds as much new living space as the entire German housing stock. If this new construction complies with high energy efficiency standards, the impact on the energy consumption trend in China and worldwide will be enormous.”

Following the presentation of the certificate, dena and Chinese contractors have agreed on three new pilot projects relating to the construction of efficient houses in the Jiangsu, Shandong and Hebei Provinces. Further pilot projects are in the pipeline. The Chinese Ministry of Construction is providing substantial support for the projects.