Market Transformation of Energy Efficient Bricks and Rural Buildings Project

The Challenge

China’s energy demand is being driven by energy intensive development, and the real estate sector is one of the most demanding. It is estimated its energy use will triple between 2000 and 2020 but Chinese buildings are much less energy-efficient (EE), using on average three times more energy than their better-developed counterparts. Moreover, 60% of China’s buildings are in rural areas, made from clay bricks which have poor insulating qualities and require more energy to produce. At present efforts to modernise rural practices are constrained by four factors: poor public awareness, policy and institutional regulation, financial access and technical capacity.

The Response

This project primarily aims to remove barriers to market transformation in rural areas.  The intervention strategy has four components, designed to each tackle one of the particular challenges faced at present. Information dissemination will raise public awareness, a policy and regulatory framework will be developed to improve institutional management, and financial support schemes will be instituted to assist the industry’s development. There will be demonstrations and technology support by developing technical guidelines for rural EE bricks and EE building applications.


The project has had successes in all four intervention components. EE bricks and EE buildings information systems have been created, footage has been shot for advocacy and training films, and various other smaller information dissemination activities have been carried out.

With regard to policy improvement, the “National Standards of Fired Perforated Bricks/Blocks (GB13544-2011)” supported by the project was formally promulgated on April 1, 2012. Studies were conducted on tax policy regarding rural EE buildings to create a favourable environment. A standard design model for EE bricks and rural EE buildings was established.  The use of EE design techniques in rural buildings was integrated into the 12th Five-Year Plan of the Xianyang construction department. The “Management Rules of New Wall Materials Application and Energy Efficiency of Buildings of Xianyang City” were issued.

Concerning financial support, an assessment on the financing capabilities of pilot brick makers and financial institutes has been completed, and a financial incentive mechanism for rural EE buildings has been created and piloted at demonstration sites.

Technical demonstrations have taken place and capacity has been improved. Nine pilot EE brick factories have started to produce EE bricks that meet the project standards. The construction of demonstration EE buildings is in full swing: planning and design has almost been completed, and construction is expected to be completed in 2013. Demonstration EE buildings in Xianyang, Shaanxi province have been completed and residents have already moved into the new houses. The techniques and best practices from the project have already begun to be replicated in other rural areas.

Who finances it?

US$ 7,000,000
MOA US$ 45,362,118                     

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