Energy efficiency in public buildings

Project description

Title: Energy efficiency in public buildings (schools and hospitals)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: China
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MoHURD)
Overall term: 2011 to 2015


Thanks to its strong economic growth and rapidly increasing energy consumption, the People’s Republic of China is now the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. One way to improve energy efficiency is to modernise public buildings.

Hospitals and schools are among the most important public facilities in China. Hospitals use twice as much energy as other public institutions and commercial buildings. According to the project’s baseline study, 54 per cent of hospitals and 70 per cent of schools in China were built or upgraded prior to 2005 – before the introduction of China’s energy efficiency standard for public buildings – and are therefore now in need of energy-efficient retrofitting.


Key Chinese ministries and local authorities introduce innovative solutions to increase energy efficiency in public buildings (schools and hospitals) with the involvement of the private sector.


The project is based on a previous project entitled “Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings (EEEB)”. It complements existing Sino-German technical cooperation in this area by focusing on energy-efficient retrofitting, the energy-efficient management of public buildings and the transfer of German experience in this field. German consulting companies support the project in developing plans for energy-efficient renovation in pilot schools and hospitals.

In the main, the project comprises the following three activity packages:

  1. Baseline studies to compile key energy data: including evaluating energy consumption for selected schools and hospitals in three different climate zones.
  2. Implementation of pilot measures in selected facilities: including developing plans for energy-efficient retrofitting in pilot buildings and supporting the management and supervision of construction work.
  3. Provision of advisory services to sectoral ministries and local authorities: advising on producing technical guidelines; organising symposiums, workshops and study trips on issues relating to energy efficiency; carrying out training measures for planners, managers and experts.


  • Baseline studies. Energy benchmarking completed for 100 hospitals and 180 schools in four climate zones.
  • Schools. The project has carried out energy analyses and developed retrofitting strategies for eight schools in four cities. An energy plan has been created for the construction of a new primary school in Qingdao. Pilot schools in Tianjin, Taiyuan and Urumqi have undergone successful energy-efficient retrofitting. Measurements taken in the first pilot school in Tianjin showed energy savings of 64 per cent and a room temperature increase from 16 degrees Celsius to 20 degrees Celsius in the teaching building. The concentration of CO2 in classrooms during the heating period was reduced from 2,200 parts per million (ppm) to 1,350 ppm. In the second pilot school in Taiyuan, the retrofitted building required around 10 kilowatt hours less heating energy per square metre than two other recently constructed comparable buildings. Lessons learned from these pilot buildings are also being applied to other schools. By late September 2014, the first pilot school in Tianjin had already received 1,670 visitors.
  • Hospitals. The project has conducted energy analyses and developed improvement strategies for 12 Chinese hospitals in five cities. Four hospitals have already implemented the measures recommended by the project. Improvements carried out at a pilot hospital in Ningbo reduced water consumption by around 53 per cent, natural gas consumption by 25 per cent and specific power consumption by 2 per cent. In this same period, the number of beds rose from 820 to 840. At a further pilot hospital in Ningbo, improvements to the steam system lowered the surface temperature of valves and fittings in steam pipes from 145 degrees Celsius to 50 degrees Celsius. As a result, annual fuel consumption has been cut by around 177 megawatt hours.
  • Capacity development and advisory services. 230 hospital directors and technical managers took part in four training seminars dealing with energy efficiency in hospitals. Training sessions conducted by German and European experts on energy efficiency in hospitals have been integrated into the advanced training plan for hospital management at the Shanghai Shengkang Hospital Development Center. In the school sector, a symposium on energy efficiency was organised for 180 participants. Various information-gathering tours and visits were also arranged, including a dialogue with German and Austrian experts on green hospitals and visits as part of the German research project on energy-efficient schools (EnEff Schule), which is organised by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.