Insulation Regulation

By Bryan • china • 26 Feb 2006

In a nation where energy shortages are the norm and energy security is one of the, if not the most pressing concerns of the central government, I have always been surprised by the apparent absence of any concerted effort at increasing efficiency through simple construction and insulation methods. Insulation is the best way at decreasing electrical usage in terms of heating and cooling expenditures.

My apartment provides a good example. It is quite cold in the winter and inversely hot in the summer. This state is not the result of the absence of a good heating/cooling system, but rather the position of that system and the materials used to construct the apartment. The air conditioner outflow is positioned adjacent to the window/covered balcony and is connected to the motor (which is hanging off the side of my apartment) by a 3inch hose apparatus. A hole was punched through the window in order to facilitate the system. A significant amount of heat is lost via this ‘opening’ to the outside world. In addition to this, windows are single pained and lack edge caulking. If the a/c system had been installed correctly and a second layer of glass added, my electrical bill would be substantially lower. Internal walls are largely constructed of brick, mortar and concrete which offer little insulating value.

I’ve been in several newer buildings where I’ve noticed a definite increase in insulating materials and it now appears (finally) that energy efficiency standards are now policy. However, as one of the most profitable industries in China, the construction industry is also one of the most corrupt, and paying off inspectors is far easier than shelling out extra for the materials and labor required to install proper systems and insulation.

China’s new building construction statute enforced this year sets clauses for the first time on mandatory energy efficiency standard for buildings.

From the People’s Daily:

If it works well, by 2020, the country’s resources saving in the construction sector will approach the level in a moderately developed nation, said a senior expert with the China Association of Construction.

The Designing Standard for Energy Conservation in Civil Building went into effect on Jan. 1, requiring construction contractors to use energy efficient building materials and adopt energy saving technology in heating, air conditioning, ventilation and lighting systems in civil buildings.

“Given the statute is resolutely enforced, from now on to 2020, the building construction industry will save energy equivalent to 335 million standard units of coal. Meanwhile, the saving of electricity will reach 80 million kilowatts,” said Tu Fengxiang, head of the Energy Efficiency Committee with the organization affiliated to the Ministry of Construction.

Approximately 2 billion square meters of floor space is being built annually, or half of the world’s total, said Qiu Baoxing, vice-minister of Construction at a recent press conference in Beijing.

Surprisingly, the best insulated rooms I’ve been in are KTV studios, where the layers of soundproofing create either a sauna in the winter or a fridge in the summer.

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4 Responses

  1. Fraser

    Bry – you gotta check out this link:

    http://www.weeklyworldnews.com/features/religion/61531

    #16 is classic…

  2. [quote]They shattered and, according to holy texts, were subsequently ‘restored’ and put into the ark of the covenant, later to be discovered by Indiana Jones. We now know that this is not the entire story.[/quote]

    The best part. heh heh heh, I swear that is something that I would have read on the Onion.

  3. Fraser

    Heh heh – also funny how the “language expert” is named Ling Wul.

    I’m still seeing white, but maybe its cause i havent downloaded web browser updates in forever – if no one else is its probably my comp….

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