From energy efficiency to integrated sustainable urbanism in residential development in China

Abstract: China has adopted Sustainable Development as a national strategy for all industries. In civil construction sector, sustainability is regarded as the development of Green Building in China. Since 2000, China has introduced a series of policies and laws to promote Green Building. Green Building was defined as buildings that are “energy-efficient, land-efficient, water-efficient, and material-efficient” and emit “minimal pollution” in during its entire life cycle, and meets a specified standard for indoor environment at the same time. However, energy efficiency is the central issue of current Green Building development in China, while issues of resources and pollution are neglected, which is partly due to China’s energy structure. Social and economic aspects are also always ignored. The main aim of this thesis is to map pathways towards more comprehensive frameworks for how residential areas in China could be constructed in a more sustainable way in hot –summer and cold-winter area. Case study was the main method used to examine the specifications of Green Residential Building in China. This paper offers a general overview of the current green trend in China and presents a specific analysis on three cases to search for the proper approach for China’s unique situation by three specific cases representing three types of Green Building: Modern Vernacular Architecture, Eco-office and Mass-housing, according to their features in scale, location and function. This paper then presents a specific integrated sustainability analysis of the Landsea Housing Project in Nanjing, a hot-summer/cold-winter zone. Hammarby Sjöstad, a cutting edge project in Stockholm, is also discussed as a reference area from which experiences can be drawn for China. The aim was to improve the framework for construction of residential buildings in China in a more sustainable way, from energy efficiency to integrated sustainability. The paper also discusses the relationship between the economic growth and energy consumption in the fast-growing situation, presents several scenarios depicting energy and comfort and makes suggestions for China. The roles of government, developers and residents are also addressed. The paper argues that an adaptive and holistic approach, which must be expanded from both spatial scale and temporal span, should be established for the Green Residential Building development in China, as an effective way to meet the sustainability goal.