In mid September, China’s ministry of construction visited Sweden. The ministry, also called ministry of housing and urban-rural development, were presented with a weeklong study trip focused on energy efficient buildings, energy efficient retrofitting of buildings and isolation materials in buildings.
Delegation leader was Ms Zhang Xiaoling, head of Center for Science & Technology in Buildings. She came with representatives from her own organization and local ministries of construction from the provinces of Hebei, Shannxi and Inner Mongolia. Within the province of Hebei, the representation was from the city of Tangshan. The Sino-Swedish eco-city cooperation in Tangshan Bay (Caofeidain), in the city of Tangshan, has been on-going for several years. The study trip was initiated and supported by Embassy of Sweden/CENTEC and organized in cooperation with the International secretariat for environmental technology at the Swedish Governmental Offices.
Sweden has a long and deep cooperation with the ministry of construction of China and different delegations from the ministry has been studying eco-cities and eco-efficient buildings in Sweden. There is a big interest in the Swedish model and Sweden is seen as a forerunner in sustainable city planning, energy planning and energy efficient buildings. During the World Expo in Shanghai, in July 2010, the Swedish ministry of environment signed a cooperation agreement with the Chinese ministry of construction. This memorandum of understanding, MoU, was signed as to show the deepened cooperation between the parties as from the letter of intent, LoI, which was signed in 2008.
The big interest in this area is followed by the new five-year plan that was launched this year focusing on decreasing carbon dioxide emissions and energy conservation. Except for developing new areas, retrofitting and energy conservation in existing buildings are very important in increasing living conditions and at the same time decrease the pressure on the environment. The life cycle of buildings in China is only around 50 years today. The big fires caused by inflammable isolation materials have also increased interest for how to work with isolation of buildings.
The delegation, that visited Stockholm, Växjöand Malmö, got an extended exposition of the Swedish knowledge and know-how within institutions, companies and different organisations and were also presented some good examples of leading-edge projects in the area.
“The discussions with the delegation members from MOHURD showed their genuine interest in finding technology and instruments to make Chinese properties more energy efficient and safe, though they foresee a challenge in rising the quality in buildings as China is lacking skilled labour in this area, said Tina Karlberg from the International secretariat for environmental technology export at the Swedish Governmental Offices.