Development Trends of Zero Carbon Buildings

The construction industry is not only a major carbon emitter, but also a major energy consumer. In recent years, my country's total building energy consumption has also increased significantly. Taking public buildings as an example, the national public building area in 2019 is about 15.2 billion m2, and the total energy consumption of public buildings is 342 million tons of standard coal equivalent. The increase in the total area of public buildings and the increase in energy demand have led to the energy consumption per unit area of public buildings, which has increased from 17kgce/m2 in 2001 to more than 26kgce/m2.

        In order to promote carbon emission reduction in the construction industry, countries are actively exploring ideas and directions for carbon emission reduction. Compared with other carbon emissions in the whole life cycle of buildings, effectively reducing the carbon emissions of building operations is generally considered to be an urgent problem to be solved in the construction industry. During building operation, HVAC systems and lighting systems account for nearly 50%-70% of energy consumption. Energy efficiency for HVAC and lighting systems is at the forefront of achieving carbon neutrality in buildings.

        In October 2021, the State Council issued the latest "Carbon Peak Action Plan by 2030", which pointed out the direction for how to achieve green and low carbon in the construction industry:
        The first is to accelerate the optimization of building energy structure. Deepen the application of renewable energy in buildings, and promote the integrated application of photovoltaic power generation and buildings. Improve the electrification level of building terminals, and build "photovoltaic storage direct flexible" buildings that integrate photovoltaic power generation, energy storage, DC power distribution, and flexible power consumption. By 2025, the renewable energy replacement rate of urban buildings will reach 8%, and the photovoltaic coverage rate of new public institution buildings and new factory buildings will reach 50%.
        The second is to accelerate the improvement of building energy efficiency. Accelerate the updating of standards for building energy conservation and municipal infrastructure, increase energy conservation and carbon reduction requirements, and promote energy conservation and efficiency enhancement of key energy-consuming equipment. By 2025, new buildings in cities and towns will fully implement green building standards.
        The third is to comprehensively improve energy conservation management capabilities. Comprehensively evaluate the energy consumption and carbon emissions of the project, promote energy conservation and carbon reduction from the source, and improve the information level of energy conservation management. The above three ways to achieve zero carbon emissions in buildings are inseparable from technological innovation and product iteration, and will also bring new challenges and development opportunities to the construction industry.

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