China has been adding close to 20 billion square feet of new 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, China has seemingly achieved unusual progress in improving its compliance rate at both the 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 tries to answer these 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 progress in compliance with building energy codes.