China consumed roughly 30% primary energy in its building sector in 2010. While U.S. energy consumption is primarily by existing buildings, new construction is the main driver of China’s commercial building energy use. From 1996 to 2008, the total floor space of commercial buildings increased from 2.8 billion m2 to 7.1 billion m2. Currently, approximately 0.5 billion m2 of new commercial building floor space is built every year. China issued its own standards for commercial (public) buildings (GB50189) in 1993, with an initial emphasis on reducing energy consumption in hotels. After that, the standards were revised to include other commercial building types. The last update, in 2005, mandated that commercial buildings be 50% more efficient than a baseline defined by 1980s building characteristics. The new 2014 update anticipates that new commercial construction will be 65% more efficient than the previous baseline.
This paper compares the difference between the new 2014 update and the previous 2005 version. To understand the energy performance of code-compliant buildings, and to calculate savings under the new commercial standard, we modeled a few Chinese office reference buildings in representative Chinese climate regions. The Chinese reference buildings were developed using common Chinese building systems and characteristics described in the 2005 and 2014 building standards. Simulation analysis was conducted to compare the energy savings of the 2014 standard with previous versions and ASHRAE 90.1 performance. Finally, recommendations are provided for revising and improving the new standard.