Check out this article in Metropolis about sustainable building in China. The country’s Ministry of Construction has announced breathtakingly ambitious plans to reduce all buildings’ energy use by 50% by 2010 and to use PV and other renewable energy technologies to power 80 million square meters of building space.

The article notes that, if implemented, the building program would be the most ambitious in world history.Considering that China is in the middle of a construction frenzy (the word “boom” doesn’t do the situation justice), it’s encouraging to hear that sustainable design is even on the table. Given the potential size of the Chinese market for sustainable building materials and energy generation/conservation products, a genuine focus on sustainability in this country could have far-reaching, market-transforming effects. (Just imagine the consequences of China exporting recycled-content carpet tiles at cheap prices, right alongside their existing exports of cheap TVs that fall apart in a year.)

Of course, announcing plans and carrying them out are two very different things. We’ll have to stay tuned…

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