Up-scaling and mainstreaming sustainable building practices in western China
Up-scaling and mainstreaming sustainable building practices in western China 

SusBuild roadshow for sharing lessons learned

20 June 2019

The huge building market and its continuous growth in China has resulted in various resource and climate impacts. Thus, in the last decade the Chinese government has increased its efforts to mainstream sustainable buildings. Against this background, “SusBuild - Up-scaling and mainstreaming sustainable building practices in western China”, financed by EU Switch-Asia II program, aims at promoting sustainable building practices among MSMEs in Chongqing City and Yunnan province in western China. During the last three years, the project has achieved various positive outcomes. The project offered training and technical support for MSMEs throughout the value chain, policy recommendations for both national and local governments, green financing facilitating for sustainable buildings, and network build-up among key organisations in western China. The time for disseminating its valuable lessons to other Chinese provinces has come.

On the 31st of May, SusBuild held a session at the Annual Assembling of Building Energy Efficiency Association in Chengdu. Representatives from associations, research and design institutes, and think-tanks from more than 30 provinces and cities participated in the session. Dr. Chun Xia-Bauer, the project manager of SusBuild, introduced the project and its key outcomes, various training handbooks and reports. Mr. Yong Cao, the director of Chongqing Building Energy Efficiency and SusBuild local partner, presented the achievements and the detailed activities in Chongqing. Mr. Jiayun Gao, the director of …., described how SusBuild and the exchange between EU and Chinese experts have supported sustainable building development in Yunnan Province, for example, in the field of renewables application in buildings. In addition, SusBuild team also prepared postcards with QR codes to ease the access of the participants to all publications. The presentations and publications drew a strong interest from the participants. Representatives from various organisations approached the SusBuild team to obtain more detailed information.

In the next days, SusBuild team continued their roadshow to Xinjiang. Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region plays a key role in the “One Belt ,One Road” initiative and has received financial and technical assistance from other provinces as its socio-economic development still lags behind. Thus, mainstreaming sustainable building in this region can help to enhance the environmental sustainability of the Initiative and of various assisting projects.

The project team visited Xinjiang Building Research Institute (XJBRI) and Xiangjiang Building Energy Efficiency Association in Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang. During the meeting, the team introduced the SusBuild project and its outcomes. The participants were especially interested in the following topics of SusBuild: standard and labelling, green financing, innovative and systemic approach of sustainable building design, and the role of intermediary organisations. After the meeting, XJBRI also showed their new pilot of a prefabricated passive building. SusBuild experts shared their knowledge about European and national experiences in passive house design and construction.

The meeting was followed by a series of project visits and information exchange with developers and construction companies in Xinjiang. With the support of the XJBRI, SusBuild team visited different ongoing projects, including hotel buildings, a stadium, a school, residential buildings and a museum. During the visits, the team introduced SusBuild and shared the insights learned from it, especially concerning green construction and green building design . The project postcards containing access to all publications were disseminated as well. During the field trips, the team realized that among stakeholders outside the capital city there is generally a low level of awareness concerning sustainable buildings. The roadshow had reached numerous representatives from various organisations along the value chain from more than 30 provinces and cities. It had as well in-depth information exchange in Xinjiang. Considering the interest and development strategies of different organisations identified during the roadshow, the team believes that the outcomes of SusBuild is of high relevance to them.