China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development on October 13 issued national standards for energy conservation and renewable energy use in buildings, with the aim of improving energy efficiency, promoting renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions of buildings. These are the only set of national standards in this area that entirely consists of mandatory clauses, and the country’s first compulsory national standards covering carbon emissions from buildings.
The standards, which will come into effect on April 1, 2022, set rules for the energy efficiency, energy consumption, carbon emissions, renewable energy use, etc. of buildings. Here is an over view.
The standards apply to the design, construction, receipt and inspection, operation, and management of systems for energy conservation and renewable energy use in buildings that are newly constructed, extended or remodeled, or modified for improved energy efficiency.
Requirements for the calculation of carbon emissions from buildings
A feasibility report, construction plan and initial design plan must include an analysis report of energy consumption, renewable energy use and carbon emissions of the building.
Requirements for renewable energy use
Clear standards and requirements for renewable energy systems, including solar energy systems, air source heat pumps and ground source pumps, are defined.
- Energy efficiency of buildings — The design energy consumption of regular new houses and public buildings will be lowered by 30 and 20 percent respectively, from the current standards implemented since 2016.
- Energy consumption of new houses — The energy consumption limits will be lowered by 20 to 30 percent from the current standards depending on the climate of the region.
- Carbon emissions — The carbon emissions limits for new houses and public buildings will be lowered by 40 percent and on average by more than 7 kgCO2/(m2・a) from the current standards implemented since 2016.
According to the Standard for Building Carbon Emission Calculation (GB/T 51366-2019), the calculation of carbon emissions in the operational phase factors in air conditioning equipment, water heaters, lighting equipment, elevators, renewable energy and carbon absorption by carbon sink systems.
Relevant mandatory clauses in existing construction-related national standards will be replaced when the new standards take effect.
The full text of the standards (in simplified Chinese) is available at