A fascinating snippet in the China Daily today:
Qiu Baoxing, the vice minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, has been talking about construction. Specifically, the amount of waste produced by construction in China.
In fact, he estimates that around 30% to 40% of all the waste in China’s cities comes from construction.
Other things to note:
"Every year, new buildings in China total up to two billion square meters and use up 40% of the world’s cement and steel, but our buildings can only stand 25 to 30 years on average," he said.
So, there’s an official acknowledgement that China is still sucking up a huge proportion of the world’s building resources. Also that Chinese buildings are not lasting the 50-year lifespan that is usually allotted at the planning stage.
The newspaper blames poor construction quality, but I reckon the short life span of Chinese buildings i because they keep being torn down and replaced, rather than because of any inherent fault.
In the UK, apparently, the average life span for a building is 134 years, while it is 74 years in the US. I have no idea where these statistics came from.
Finally, the per unit energy consumption in Chinese residential buildings is twice or three times as high as it is in buildings in developed nations, according to the newspaper. Again, I don’t know who the "industry sources" are they refer to, but you only need to live through a Shanghai winter to know that Chinese buildings leak a lot of heat.