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China: Joint Sino-Danish Nordic Built Retrofit-demonstration project initiated

Press release   •   Mar 03, 2014 01:00 CET

Energy use in buildings: China’s ministry for Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the Danish Ministry for Climate, Energy, and Building/Danish Energy Agency have taken steps to initiate a joint Sino-Danish “Nordic Built” retrofit demonstration project in China. The demonstration project is going to showcase how state of the art energy efficiency standards and solutions applied in Denmark can be adapted to China.

March 5 2014

China’s Ministry for Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD) and the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) as the implementing government body of the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building (MCEB) have launched  discussions with the goal of establishing a Sino-Danish retrofit demonstration project in China to showcase state of the art solutions within energy efficiency. Also, the demonstration project will reflect the Nordic Built principles of sustainable building developed under the auspices of the Nordic governments in the Nordic Minister Council.

This project is a key part of the cooperation agreement between MoHURD and MCEB which was signed in June 2012 and implemented through specific annual working programs. Discussions about project organization and financing involving public and private partners from both Denmark and China are now underway and will intensify this spring. The aim is to be able to sign a project agreement in mid-2014 and initiate the first phase of the project later in 2014.The project finds inspiration in the 10 “Nordic Built” sustainability principles. These principles are a vision for how to enhance and accelerate the development of sustainable building concepts.

Buildings – a key to sustainable and energy efficient urbanization
Buildings consume approximately 20 % of the total energy in China and up to 40% of total final energy consumption in OECD countries. For this reason, buildings are a key element in low carbon urban development. Since buildings also have long lifespans, typically more than 20 years, they have the potential to lock-in a high energy use for decades to come if constructed for high energy use today. High energy use in buildings is therefore a major stumbling block for achieving low carbon urbanization. The existing building stock represents a particular challenge as it has already locked-in a potentially high energy use. This calls for new solutions, technically and financially.

Against this backdrop the starting point for the Sino-Danish retrofit demonstration project will be the 10 “Nordic Built” sustainability principles. Nordic Built is a recent pan-Nordic initiative, including countries such as Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Denmark, initiated by the Nordic Minister Council for Trade and Industry designed to accelerate the development of sustainable building concepts. Nordic Built comprises the following 10 principles to guide the achievement of sustainable and livable buildings in the best Nordic design tradition:

  1. Made for people and promotes quality of life.
  2. Pushes the limits of sustainable performance, as a result of our innovative mind-set and high level of knowledge.
  3. Merges urban living with the qualities of nature.
  4. Achieves zero emissions over its lifecycle (at least a 50 % reduction in energy use in retrofitting projects)
  5. Is functional, smart and aesthetically appealing building on the best of the Nordic design tradition.
  6. Is robust, durable, flexible and timeless - built to last (reducing environmental impact through a total lifecycle approach)
  7. Utilizes local resources and is adapted to local conditions (reusing materials when retrofitting, strives to achieve zero waste )
  8. Is produced and maintained through partnerships founded on transparent collaboration across borders and disciplines.
  9. Employs in concepts that are scalable and used globally.
  10. Profits people, business and the environment.

In sum, Nordic Built seeks to combine key Nordic strengths with the aim of implementing concrete projects that demonstrate world-class scalable solutions in the Nordic design tradition made for people and promotes quality of life. There are ongoing discussions to further develop the concept to a holistic approach to urban development under the name of Nordic Built City.

Read the charter here (In Chinese).

MoHURD Memorandum of Understanding

Nordic Built Charter in Chinese

Kamilla Kristensen Rai
Center for Global Rådgivning og Forhandling
Tlf.: 33 92 75 56