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Green and Eco Friendly Materials Are the Latest Spotlight in China’s Construction Market

June 5, 2012

The 6th China International New Wall-Building Materials, Equipment and Technology exhibition opened at the Beijing China International Exhibition Center on May 10th. The show was attended by a total of more than 200 exhibitors from both China and abroad, showcasing fly ash and coal ballast brick-making technology and equipment which utilizes construction waste and other materials sources, as well as other mixers, hauling and packaging equipment. At the show, products that met new regulations regarding energy and land, environmental protection, waste, thermal insulation industrial policy, fire resistance, lightweight requirements etc were popular, but especially “hot” were the new wall building materials.

Green and eco-friendly building materials allow for reduced usage of natural raw materials, greater utilization of industrial waste, conservation of energy, protection of the environment, a significant reduction in emissions and less harmful wastage. In addition to these, eco-friendly building materials are now being made with increasingly high-quality; being multi purpose in function and designed with longer product lives. These material types are gaining more and more attention in China.

While the general public’s awareness for the need of environmental protection is growing rapidly, the government is also strongly supporting and investing in this movement. A good example would be the recent joint move by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Housing and Rural-Urban Development to issue an over Trillion RMB green building materials market plan mandate that full implementation of green building energy efficiency standards, will be applied to all government invested public buildings and affordable housing projects.

Green construction projects and environmentally friendly materials go hand in hand, new construction will cause increased demand for high-performance, lightweight, high strength eco-friendly concrete. At the same time, some of the walls of older buildings may also be replaced with environmentally friendly materials. City zoning for planned construction in China currently totals more than 20 billion square meters, this market will greatly stimulate the eco-friendly green building materials market, especially the market for new wall materials.

China’s green building definition is different from the global standards, such as LEED. It follow the standards of GB/T 50378-2006 and the main point is to save the energy, land, water and materials in the buildings full life cycle. According to recent statistics, China grants 2 billion square meters of construction zoning each year. The 12th Five-Year Plan states that by 2015, at least one billion of these should be built with eco-friendly building materials, and by 2020, green buildings must account for more than 30% of new construction.

The figure below shows the forecast for total planned new construction areas and planned green construction areas over the next few years in China. From 2015 to 2020, China's annual green construction zoned area will increase on average by a rate of 40% per annum. GCiS perceives the target more as an guidance and pushing government buildings and public buildings to adopt the standards. As construction cost is higher and subsidies are announced but not strictly enforced, green buildings in residential and commercial areas may still have a long way to go and the realization of targets in 2020 may still be of question.

Figure: Expected Growth of China Green Buildings

 Expected Growth of China Green Buildings
Source: MOHURD, GCiS

GCiS, through observation and interviews with the exhibitors at the show have ascertained that the new eco-friendly building materials, especially lightweight waterproofing and thermal insulation, such as those that comprise eco-friendly wall building materials, will become the focus of future building applications. Aside from in the case of fly ash and hollow autoclaved sand brick production, foreign suppliers have technical advantages producing insulation materials such as glass wool and rock wool. These insulation boards are likely to be the most popular of these products on the domestic market. Also, the Chinese government is to encourage the uptake of advanced foreign technology and equipment for producing new wall building materials, which will bring new development opportunities as well as upstream equipment suppliers for eco-friendly building materials manufacturers.






About GCiS China Strategic Research

GCiS ( is a China-based market research and advisory firm focused on business to business markets. Since 1997, GCiS has been working with leading multinationals in sectors ranging from technology to industrial markets, medical, chemicals, resources, building and constructions and a few others.


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