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energiesReviewA Review of Green Building Development in Chinafrom the Perspective of Energy SavingYing Zhang 1,3 ID , Jian Kang 1,2,* and Hong Jin 11 School of Architecture, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China;[email protected] (Y.Z.); [email protected] (H.J.)2 Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, The Bartlett, University College London,London WC1H 0NN, UK3 Urban Construction Research Institute of Heilongjiang Province, Harbin 150001, China* Correspondence: [email protected] or [email protected]Received: 8 December 2017; Accepted: 29 January 2018; Published: 2 February 2018Abstract: This paper reviews the history of green building development and assessment standardsin China, particularly from the perspective of energy saving. It is divided into four parts: (1) thedevelopment of policies of green building in China that have been proposed for meetingenergy-conservation and emission-reduction targets; (2) the scientific research on green building bythe Chinese government, including the promotion of maximum resource sustainability, environmentalprotection, and the reduction of pollution; (3) the development of assessment standards for greenbuilding in China; and (4) the development of green building technologies in China.Keywords: energy-saving; history of green building; assessment standard1. IntroductionIn the 1970s, there was an energy crisis in which Earth’s resource supply and environmentalhealth became an increasingly serious problem. At that time, people began to rethink the values ofthe industrial era and re-adopted the green thinking of ancient agricultural civilizations. China’sbuilding consumption accounts for approximately one-third of all social energy consumption [1],and the environment has a substantial impact on the natural environment, human health, and thesocial economy [2], leading to discussions of energy conservation, green building and environmentalsustainability issues, and their practical significance.Reviews of research on the development of China’s green building practices, usually with timetrends as the main presentation style, summarize typical events and their influence on the developmentof green building. This paper provides a summary analysis of the development process and theeffectiveness of the factors associated with green building.The development of green building in China is based on the constant stimulation of governmentpolicy, the constant innovation of scientific research, continuous improvement in the standard system,and continuous technological innovation. Therefore, from the perspective of energy savings, this paperreviews the history of green building in China from the four perspectives of policy development,scientific research, the assessment standard system, and technological innovation, and analyses theeffects of implementation and effects on energy savings.2. The Development of Green Building Policies in China2.1. The Initiation of Green Building in ChinaThe initiation of sustainable development can be traced back to the 1960s, when the conceptof ecological architecture was proposed. From the perspective of contemporary green architecture,Energies 2018, 11, 334; doi:10.3390/en11020334 www.mdpi.com/journal/energiesEnergies 2018, 11, 334 2 of 18most ancient Chinese buildings are quasi-green. Ancient people adopted the basic principles of the“sustainable utilization of resources” and “take what you need and spare the rest” [3], the essenceof which is to oppose the destructive exploitation of resources, and to advocate for the limiteddevelopment and utilization of resources to achieve their sustainable use. This is the earliest traceablegreen thinking in Chinese culture.Reform and opening accelerated the industrialization of China and caused a surge in energydemand, increasing China’s dependence on external “energy imports”. In the primary energy structureof China, the consumption of coal accounted for 68.8% of energy produced, and petroleum gasaccounted for 3.1%, demonstrating that in general, China remained in the coal age [4]. Early Chineseconstruction was generally practical, but it was difficult to adapt to industrial changes. Constructiondid not consider basic insulation problems or account for outdoor environments in the hot summer andcold winter, making buildings difficult to update [5]. In China’s northwest region, people used localnatural resources, such as natural soil and natural building materials, facilitating both research andpractical breakthroughs through the use of simple processes and indigenous materials. These methodsafforded convenient sampling, low costs, and simple construction processes. The construction itselfsaved both cultivated land and energy in conformity with the current “energy saving, land saving”national policy. Adobe buildings, rammed earth buildings, cave buildings, and other architecturalforms [6] were the typical types of China’s construction technology, based on local conditions, and werethe first form of green building in China.The idea of green building came later in China than in developed Western countries, and energyproblems associated with ongoing urbanization are gradually emerging. With the first “internationalgreen building conference” held in Beijing in 2005, China’s green development model graduallymatured. At the end of 2016, China had selected more than 4500 green building assessmentidentification projects, accounting for more than 500 million m2 of green buildings. By 2020, 50% ofnew residential buildings will comply with the green building standard, and the Chinese market willgradually enter a period of large-scale development [7].2.2. Policy Support for Green Building in ChinaThe earliest work related to building energy conservation in China began in the 1980s. In 1979,the environmental protection law of the People’s Republic of China was enacted (trial implementation),and the Provisional Regulations on energy conservation management were enacted in 1986, outliningclear requirements for building design measures to reduce energy consumption. Because Chinahad promulgated policies and regulations to reward individuals or enterprises that had contributedto the comprehensive utilization of resources, a convention on building energy efficiency, policiesand regulations was proposed [8]. In 1987, the United Nations Environment Programme issueda statement on sustainable development that greatly encouraged the development of an energyconservation movement. Architects, green movement groups, and the public quickly accepted the ideaof sustainable development to develop and improve their theories, methods, and practices.In 1992, the United Nations Conference on the environment and development was held inRio De Janeiro, Brazil, during which 183 countries co-signed the Twenty-first Century Agenda,which brought environmental, economic, and social concerns into a single policy framework.This agenda was of epic significance, and was recognized as an “action plan for worldwide sustainabledevelopment”. Attention has gradually shifted to building energy consumption, land occupation,resource consumption, indoor and outdoor environmental concerns, and so on. Foreign greenbuilding technologies and research results gradually affect China. The sustainable developmentof architecture has become a matter of consensus between the government and industry. Exploratorydevelopment through government investments and international research projects provided thetheoretical basis of China’s green building policy. A comprehensive design that includes architectureand the environment should be made from the ecological standpoint to achieve orderly results,promote recycling, and coordinate symbiosis with the environment [9]. In 1993, China became animporter of oil and a “freshman” in the club of the world’s oil-consuming countries, late by nearlya century. The Chinese government proposes the comprehensive utilization of “industrial wastes”.Energies 2018, 11, 334 3 of 18By encouraging the policy and scope of green building, China has promoted green building from asporadic and spontaneous experimental state to the administrative level. In the face of the energycrisis, the Chinese government recognizes the importance of solving the energy crisis, changing theenergy structure, and most importantly, advocating favorable measures for energy conservation [10].From the initial concept of basic energy savings to enhance the renovation and development ofwall materials, the promotion of household savings of energy, land, water, and materials generatedthe concept of “four savings and one environmental protection”, which gradually appeared in thedevelopment of green building in China. In 2002, the United Nations passed two important documentsat the World Summit regarding sustainable development to improve both the global economy andthe status of social sustainable development. Soon after, China first mentioned “strengthening greenbuilding technology”, and the term “green building” began to appear in government documents,opening the way to encourage green development [11].The first international green building conference was held in Beijing in 2005. Thus, a developmentstrategy that was oriented towards saving energy, advocated the development of green building,and established a sustainable development mode as the core of a low-carbon economy which madethese elements the prerequisites for Chinese architecture and environmental development [12].With the deepening of its commitment to green development, China will increase its energysavings and reduce its emissions as a national strategic policy [13]. The Ministry of Finance has issuedrelevant documents and other policies, urging both the government and other departments (such asthe reform, technology, planning, and government affairs departments) to strengthen coordination(mainly with policy incentives), mobilize enthusiasm to accelerate the development of green building,and guide the healthy development of green building [14]. China also issued a series of green buildingstandards and additional regulations. The national economic and social development planning outlinefor 2011–2015 formally proposed that the construction industry promote green building and greenconstruction, and green building was first written into China’s national plan. In 2012, the Ministry ofFinance, the Ministry of Housing and urban rural construction companies jointly published opinionsabout accelerating the development of green building in China [15]. Local governments of first-tiercities in China developed economic green building incentives, and the growth rate of green buildingin China is accelerating. Green building has become a key factor in the construction industry. As theChinese change their methods, this period has been described as “the rapid advance of urbanizationand the development of strategic opportunities” [16]. In 2013, Chinese government departments jointlyissued a “green building action plan”, after which the national Chinese green building action officiallykicked off [8].3. Scientific Research on Green Building in ChinaBecause of the energy crisis, China promotes sustainable development and develops circular goalsfor its population, resources, the environment, and development, which are necessary to consider theneeds of both current and future development. The academic view has become a politician’s action.The Chinese government has adopted energy conservation and the reduction of emissions in China’sbasic national policy, and included an outline of that policy in the national technical developmentplan [17]. In the key areas of “urbanization and city development”, a priority theme of “energy-efficientbuilding and green building” is listed. This priority theme focuses on the development of greenbuilding design technology, energy saving technology and equipment construction, the integration ofrenewable energy devices and application technology, exquisite construction and green buildingconstruction technology and equipment, energy-saving building materials and green buildingmaterials, and building energy-saving technical standards, etc., to establish national science andtechnology research programs [18].The “National medium and long-term Science and Technology Development Program (2006–2020)”in the “Urbanization and urban development” key areas listed “Building energy efficiency and greenbuilding” as priority issues. The foci of research and development are green building design technology,building energy-saving technology and equipment, renewable energy devices and building integrationtechnology, exquisite construction and green building construction technology and equipment,Energies 2018, 11, 334 4 of 18energy-saving building materials and green building materials, and building energy-saving technicalstandards [18]. Using the development plan for national science and key technology research as anexample, theme projects and topics related to green building include the following: “Research on thekey technologies of green building”, “Research on the key technologies of modern architectural designand construction”, “Research and development of assessment systems and standard specificationtechnology on green building”, “Research and integration demonstration of key technology systemsfor green building planning and design”, “Research and demonstration of key technologies oftransformation of existing green buildings”, “Research and demonstration of key technologies for greenenergy-saving of public institutions”, “Research and engineering demonstration on the integration ofwestern eco-towns and green building technology”, “Research and application of the post-assessmentmethod of green building performance based on actual operation effect”, “New methods and tools foreffect-oriented green building design”, and so on [8].The Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Science and Technology jointly undertakethe “Tenth Five-Year” project. They perform key technology research in green building, primarilyin the areas of green building planning design guidelines, the structural systems of green building,green building materials technology research and assessment systems. In addition, to reduce thewater consumption of buildings, they perform research to reduce building energy consumption andperform other comprehensive key technology research, along with research on indoor environmentalpollution, green building, green matching, and improving technology research and other relatedissues [19]. The Chinese government has included the goal of saving energy and energy utilization inthe national “11th Five-Year” and “12th Five-Year” projects, considering modern architectural design,the construction of green technology, and related issues of green building design throughout the lifecycle of key technologies [20]. In the “13th Five-Year” plan for building energy conservation and greenbuilding, Chinese developments included improving building energy efficiency standards, increasingthe proportion of new buildings in towns to promote green building, constructing energy-efficienttransformations, and gradually expanding the application of renewable energy to a constructionscale. The policies are intended to make building projects greener and theme subjects to propose newresearch directions [21].In addition, in 2017, work plans will include topics such as “New methods and demonstration ofregional climate adaptability for green public building design”, “Green building technology modeland technology systems based on multiculturalism in the western region”, “Green building systeminheriting the Chinese architectural context in developed areas”, and “The implementation of datamanagement technology based on the entire process”, which are key special projects of green buildingand building industrialization to be implemented [8].Therefore, the research and development of green building technology in China not only hasattracted increasing support, but also has been studied by professional researchers. “Four savingsand one environmental protection” that existed in the early years is studied comprehensively fordifferent stages of the building life cycle, including evaluation, planning, design, construction,and reconstruction in recent years, strongly supporting China’s green building technology integrationand innovation. In the future, research and development will be based on geographical andarchitectural characteristics that are to be further refined, and will be more concerned about the actualeffect of green building and operation performance, better promoting and implementing the greenconcept. In 2016, joint departments issued guidance in the “National Science and Technology Plan toStrengthen the Technical Standards in the Implementation of Special Research Work”, strengtheninginteractive support for the standardization and innovation of science and technology, enhancing thelevel of technical standards in science and technology innovation, promoting the level of standardsthrough scientific and technological innovation, and promoting the transformation and application ofscientific and technological achievements with standards [8].Table 1 lists the roles or relationships of assessment standards or codes of green buildings fordifferent periods in China.Energies 2018, 11, 334 5 of 18Table 1. The roles and relations of standards or codes.No. Types Standard or Code The Role of Standard or Code1GuidanceChinese Ecological Residential Technology AssessmentHandbook (2001)2 The Technical Essentials for Construction of Healthy Housing (2001) To supplement, improve, and guide the standards or codes issued during each period.3 Green Building Evaluation Technology Conditions (2007)4 Green Building Evaluation Identity ManagementMethod (2007)5For Beijing OlympicsAssessment System for Green Building of BeijingOlympic (GOBAS)To guide the construction of the Beijing Olympic Games.6 Implementation Manual of Green Building forBeijing Olympics7For every link inthe buildingCode for Green Building of Civil Building (2010)Design is a key link in the whole life cycle of architecture. It dominates the influence of each stageof building on resources and environment. It is of great significance to promote the developmentof energy-saving and land-saving residential buildings and public buildings.8 Evaluation Standard for Green Construction ofBuilding (2010)Promote green construction, standardize the evaluation method of green construction for buildingengineering, and develop the standard.9 Code for Green Construction of Building (2014) Improve the utilization rate of building materials, promote the improvement of constructionengineering management level, and promote the benign development of construction enterprises.10 Technical Code for Operation and Maintenance of GreenBuilding (2016)Operation and maintenance, as the longest stage of construction, is an important link in the life ofthe building. The code is effective and profitable.11For different typesof buildingsEvaluation Standard for Green Industrial Building (2013)The development of green industrial buildings and assessment of green industrial buildings cancollect important basic information of building energy consumption and water consumption, andprovide important data support for formulating more comprehensive energy saving indicators.12 Evaluation Standard for Green Office Building (2013) Improve the assessment system of green building in China, and guide and promote thedevelopment of green office building.13 Assessment Standard for Green Store Building (2015) Improve the assessment system of green building in China, and guide and promote thedevelopment of green store building.14 Evaluation Standard for Green Hospital Building (2016)Compared with other types of buildings, hospital buildings have high performance requirements,strict environmental requirements, and different functional requirements. It is necessary tocompile green building evaluation standard specifically for hospital buildings.15 Assessment Standard for Green Hotel Building (2016) Improve the assessment system of green building in China, and guide and promote thedevelopment of green hotel building.16 Assessment Standard for Green Museum and ExhibitionBuilding (2016)It is of great significance and promotion for the whole society to pay attention to energy savingand environmental protection by promoting the development of green expo building.Energies 2018, 11, 334 6 of 18Table 1. Cont.No. Types Standard or Code The Role of Standard or Code17 For existing building Assessment Standard for Green Retrofitting of ExistingBuilding (2015)Improve the technology of green transformation and the system of products, and promote thedevelopment of green reconstruction of existing buildings.18For green building andhealthy buildingAssessment Standard for Green Building (2006)The first national standard on green building. With the green building work step by step, theconnotation and extension of green building have been continuously enriched. Various industries,various places, and various types of construction demand for green ideas to be put forward.However, this standard cannot fully meet the needs of green building practice and assessmentwork at the present stage.19 Assessment Standard for Green Building (2014)On the basis of old standards, the scope of evaluation objects is extended, the evaluation stage isclear, the evaluation method is more scientific and reasonable, and it is synchronized with theinternational community. The evaluation index is more systematic and perfect, taking full accountof China’s national conditions.20 Assessment Standard for Healthy Building (2016) China’s healthy building is based on green building. With the green building as the starting point,balance the performance, outstanding health is the optimal choice.Energies 2018, 11, 334 7 of 184. Development of Assessment Standards for Green Building in China4.1. Emergence of Assessment Standards for Green Building in ChinaIn China, the standardization of green residential building was developed as recently as 15 yearsago. The “Chinese Ecological Residential Technology Assessment Handbook” was written andpublished, providing technical guidance for ecological residential assessment. In 2001, “The TechnicalEssentials for the Construction of Healthy Housing” was published, and “Healthy HousingConstruction Technology Points” was issued. With China’s successful Olympic bid, the idea of a green,high-technology Olympics was proposed. The Chinese government and industry jointly designed the“Assessment System for Green Building of the Beijing Olympics” and the “Implementation Manualof Green Building for the Beijing Olympics”, which were published one after the other. They are theresearch results of national projects including the “Green Olympic Building Assessment System”, whichoutline the construction of the Olympic park, venue, and other various buildings [22]. The Chineseconstruction ministry issued a series of energy saving design standards for new residential buildings,green building guidelines, and other notices [8,23].The promotion of green building in China is not limited to government and research institutions,but also to prospective developers, owners, and design organizations. The 2006 “Assessment Standardfor Green Building” is a comprehensive assessment standard for green building that summarizespractices and research results. It is the first international attempt to develop a multi-objective,multi-level, and comprehensive assessment standard of green building established according to the“four savings and one environmental protection” core content [24,25]. Next, the Centre of Science andTechnological Development of the Ministry of Housing and Urban/Rural Development establishedthe green building evaluation and identification management office, which is primarily responsible formanaging green building evaluation marks, accepting green building evaluation marks, and guidingone- and two-star green building evaluation and identification activities. From the beginning of thisperiod, the work of evaluating green building has been performed [26].In 2007, “Green Building Evaluation Technology Conditions” was released. That same year,the “Green Building Evaluation Identity Management Method”, which outlines China’s energy strategyand green building development, was officially promulgated [8]. A number of relevant Chinesedepartments jointly stated that their focus is an emphasis on “a combination of energy conservationand technology innovation”, which improves the technical standards system, improves building energyefficiency standards, promotes the existing building energy efficiency transformation, promotes greenbuilding and green building materials, and deepens the application of renewable energy building [27].Based on the assessment standard for green building, the Chinese government and experts summarizedthe practice and research results. In the next 10 years, more direct services for green building nationaland industry standards have been released, and the implementation of a green building standardssystem has gradually improved. These standards include the “Code for green building of civilbuildings”, ”Evaluation standards for green construction of buildings”, “Evaluation standards forgreen industrial buildings”, “Evaluation standards for green office buildings”, the “Code for greenconstruction of buildings”, “Assessment standards for green store buildings”, “Assessment standardsfor green retrofitting of existing buildings”, “Evaluation standards for green hospital buildings”,“Assessment standards for green hotel buildings”, “Assessment standards for green museums andexhibition buildings”, “Technical codes for operation and maintenance of green buildings”, etc. [28].In addition, with the gradual progress of promoting green building work, the connotation of “greenbuilding” is constantly enriched, and the demand for green ideas is continually updated in variousindustries, places, and for various types of buildings. Based on the revision of “Assessment standardsfor green building” in 2006, the 2015 version “Assessment standards for green buildings” was formallyimplemented [8].Energies 2018, 11, 334 8 of 18Based on people’s need to pursue a healthy life, in the gradual maturation process of greenbuilding, healthy building has become the strategic demand for a healthy China. The “AssessmentStandard for Healthy Building” that introduced this standard drives and powers the development ofChina’s green building industry [8].4.2. Effectiveness of the Assessment Standards System for Green Building in ChinaIn the period of economic development, China’s green, energy-saving buildings were builtfrom scratch, and the construction industry accounts for many of the changes in total energyconsumption. As shown in Figure 1, which is based on data and statistics from the nationaldatabase [29], the government vigorously developed energy-saving, emissions-reduction policiesto promote the rate of green building construction at the beginning of the 20th century. The energysaving effect of the construction industry is significant, and the changes in the construction industryaccounted for the yearly decrease in total energy consumption (aside from a slight increase in 2006 and2007). For the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China promoted green development to cater to the ideaof a “Green Olympics”. During this period, the energy consumed by construction was significantlyreduced, after the period in which the development of green energy-saving building was accelerating.With the use of new, highly efficient energy sources, such as hydropower, renewable resources, naturalgas, and other energy sources, energy efficiency increased, and the energy consumption ratio continuedto rise in the construction industry.hospital buildings een hotel buildingsgreen museums and exhibition buildings”, “Technical codes for operation and maintenance of greenbuildings”, etc. [28]. In addition, with the gradual progress of promoting green building work, theconnotation of “green building” is constantly enriched, and the demand for green ideas is continuallyupdated in various industries, places, and for various types of buildings. Based on the revision of“Assessment standards for green building” in 2006, the 2015 version “Assessment standards forgreen buildings” was formally implemented [8].Based on people’s need to pursue a healthy life, in the gradual maturation process of greenbuilding, healthy building has become the strategic demand for a healthy China. The “AssessmentStandard for Healthy Building” that introduced this standard drives and powers the development ofChina’s green building industry [8].4.2. Effectiveness of the Assessment Standards System for Green Building in ChinaIn the period of economic development, China’s green, energy-saving buildings were built fromscratch, and the construction industry accounts for many of the changes in total energy consumption.As shown in Figure 1, which is based on data and statistics from the national database [29], thegovernment vigorously developed energy-saving, emissions-reduction policies to promote the rateof green building construction at the beginning of the 20th century. The energy saving effect of theconstruction industry is significant, and the changes in the construction industry accounted for theyearly decrease in total energy consumption (aside from a slight increase in 2006 and 2007). For the2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China promoted green development to cater to the idea of a “GreenOlympics”. During this period, the energy consumed by construction was significantly reduced, afterthe period in which the development of green energy-saving building was accelerating. With the useof new, highly efficient energy sources, such as hydropower, renewable resources, natural gas, andother energy sources, energy efficiency increased, and the energy consumption ratio continued to risein the construction industry.Figure 1. Consumption of energy and the proportion of energy consumption by the construction sectorin China from 2000 to 2015.With the rapid development of China’s economy, the growth rate of the gross domestic product(GDP) surpassed 7%, and the “building era” had already begun. The number of new constructionFigure 1. Consumption of energy and the proportion of energy consumption by the construction sectorin China from 2000 to 2015.With the rapid development of China’s economy, the growth rate of the gross domestic product(GDP) surpassed 7%, and the “building era” had already begun. The number of new constructionprojects in China has increased rapidly, and the scale has become increasingly large. As shown inFigure 2, which is based on data and statistics from the national database [30], for housing constructionfrom 1996 to 2000, the completion of small-amplitude projects has increased steadily since the 20thcentury. The rate increased year by year, reached a maximum in 2014 and 2015, and then decreasedslightly. After that, the construction completion period steadily moved towards sustained growth.Alternatively, it can be seen in Figure 3 that from 2008 to 2016, the number of China’s green buildingstar-labelling projects changed. It increased rapidly starting in 2008, reached a maximum in 2013and 2014, and decreased in 2015. “Technical Guidelines and Key Points in Construction for GreenEcological Housing Estate” was promulgated in 2002. The Chinese government and industry sectorEnergies 2018, 11, 334 9 of 18promulgates technical standards for green building each year to provide a technical basis for greenbuilding, which advanced quickly, except in 2008 and 2009. The construction of green buildings isincreasing. The number of green-building projects in the provinces of China are shown in Figure 4;this information was obtained from the digital green building map network [30]. The first projectlocation is Jiangsu Province, followed by Guangdong Province. The number of projects in the otherprovinces is also in an incremental state.from 1996 to 2000, the completion of small-amplitude projects has increased steadily since the 20thcentury. The rate increased year by year, reached a maximum in 2014 and 2015, and then decreasedslightly. After that, the construction completion period steadily moved towards sustained growth.Alternatively, it can be seen in Figure 3 that from 2008 to 2016, the number of China’s green buildingstar-labelling projects changed. It increased rapidly starting in 2008, reached a maximum in 2013 and2014, and decreased in 2015. “Technical Guidelines and Key Points in Construction for GreenEcological Housing Estate” was promulgated in 2002. The Chinese government and industry sectorpromulgates technical standards for green building each year to provide a technical basis for greenbuilding, which advanced quickly, except in 2008 and 2009. The construction of green buildings isincreasing. The number of green-building projects in the provinces of China are shown in Figure 4;this information was obtained from the digital green building map network [30]. The first projectlocation is Jiangsu Province, followed by Guangdong Province. The number of projects in the otherprovinces is also in an incremental state.Figure 2. Construction area of the construction industry and completed housing in China from 1996to 2015.Figure 3. The number of star labelling projects in green building and technical evaluation standardsin China from 2002 to 2016.Figure 2. Construction area of the construction industry and completed housing in China from 1996to 2015.Figure 2, which is based on data and statistics from the national database [30], for housing constructionfrom 1996 to 2000, the completion of small-amplitude projects has increased steadily since the 20thcentury. The rate increased year by year, reached a maximum in 2014 and 2015, and then decreasedslightly. After that, the construction completion period steadily moved towards sustained growth.Alternatively, it can be seen in Figure 3 that from 2008 to 2016, the number of China’s green buildingstar-labelling projects changed. It increased rapidly starting in 2008, reached a maximum in 2013 and2014, and decreased in 2015. “Technical Guidelines and Key Points in Construction for GreenEcological Housing Estate” was promulgated in 2002. The Chinese government and industry sectorpromulgates technical standards for green building each year to provide a technical basis for greenbuilding, which advanced quickly, except in 2008 and 2009. The construction of green buildings isincreasing. The number of green-building projects in the provinces of China are shown in Figure 4;this information was obtained from the digital green building map network [30]. The first projectlocation is Jiangsu Province, followed by Guangdong Province. The number of projects in the otherprovinces is also in an incremental state.Figure 2. Construction area of the construction industry and completed housing in China from 1996to 2015.Figure 3. The number of star labelling projects in green building and technical evaluation standardsin China from 2002 to 2016.Figure 3. The number of star labelling projects in green building and technical evaluation standards inChina from 2002 to 2016.Energies 2018, 11, 334 10 of 18Energies 2018, 11, x 10 of 18Figure 4. Provinces and cities at the forefront of green building projects in China.5. Development of Green Building Technologies in China5.1. Research Progress of the Basic TheoryIn 1972, the United Nations held the first International Conference on Human EnvironmentalIssues in Stockholm, and published the declaration of the UN Conference on the HumanEnvironment, which marked the awakening of global environmental awareness. Domestic lowcarbon cities boomed with the developmental trends in global green energy saving. Experts andscholars began to reflect from different perspectives, inquiring into a new type of building industry,taking into account the thermal performance of building materials, the energy efficiency of HVACequipment, renewable energy and other technical issues as the starting point. They laid a foundationfor the suitability of key technologies, using material innovation as the starting point, for buildingenergy and green building development [31-47].People’s living standard has been improved and their quality of life has been improved. Greenbuilding began to enter into life, as it advocates healthy and comfortable living environments, andsustainable use of resources [48]. Construction environments integrated with the surroundingenvironment could contribute to the pollution reduction of building life cycle emissions, thus, toreduce the negative effect on the natural environment [49]. Based on the whole life cycle theory,building energy consumption can be divided into building process energy consumption and buildingenergy consumption. In order to reduce the energy consumption of the whole life cycle of buildings,one can start from two aspects: one is to reduce the energy consumption related to the buildingontology, and the other is to reduce the energy consumption in the process of building construction[50]. Figure 5 shows the proportion of energy consumption in the life of the building [34].In terms of energy saving and reducing emissions, solutions were proposed, such as meteringreform in China, new building energy-efficiency standards, large-scale public building energysaving, full decoration of housing, promoting prefabricated construction, applying renewable energyin buildings, demonstrating green building, and extending existing problems [51]. In the face ofenvironmental pollution and energy consumption, by analyzing building data, experts and scholarsbecame aware of the nature of the materials that were used in the construction process, which shouldbe used without prejudice to their environmental impact, with sustainable development as the goalof human settlement in China. Therefore, they promoted research on green building systems,establishing a basic idea for China’s green building system [52–54].Figure 4. Provinces and cities at the forefront of green building projects in China.5. Development of Green Building Technologies in China5.1. Research Progress of the Basic TheoryIn 1972, the United Nations held the first International Conference on Human EnvironmentalIssues in Stockholm, and published the declaration of the UN Conference on the Human Environment,which marked the awakening of global environmental awareness. Domestic low-carbon cities boomedwith the developmental trends in global green energy saving. Experts and scholars began to reflectfrom different perspectives, inquiring into a new type of building industry, taking into account thethermal performance of building materials, the energy efficiency of HVAC equipment, renewableenergy and other technical issues as the starting point. They laid a foundation for the suitability of keytechnologies, using material innovation as the starting point, for building energy and green buildingdevelopment [31–47].People’s living standard has been improved and their quality of life has been improved. Greenbuilding began to enter into life, as it advocates healthy and comfortable living environments,and sustainable use of resources [48]. Construction environments integrated with the surroundingenvironment could contribute to the pollution reduction of building life cycle emissions, thus, to reducethe negative effect on the natural environment [49]. Based on the whole life cycle theory, buildingenergy consumption can be divided into building process energy consumption and building energyconsumption. In order to reduce the energy consumption of the whole life cycle of buildings, one canstart from two aspects: one is to reduce the energy consumption related to the building ontology,and the other is to reduce the energy consumption in the process of building construction [50]. Figure 5 shows the proportion of energy consumption in the life of the building [34]. In terms of energy saving and reducing emissions, solutions were proposed, such as meteringreform in China, new building energy-efficiency standards, large-scale public building energy saving,full decoration of housing, promoting prefabricated construction, applying renewable energy inbuildings, demonstrating green building, and extending existing problems [51]. In the face ofenvironmental pollution and energy consumption, by analyzing building data, experts and scholarsbecame aware of the nature of the materials that were used in the construction process, which shouldbe used without prejudice to their environmental impact, with sustainable development as the goal ofhuman settlement in China. Therefore, they promoted research on green building systems, establishinga basic idea for China’s green building system [52–54].Energies Energies2018 2018, 11 , 11, x, 334 11 of 18 11 of 18Figure 5. The proportion of energy consumption in the life of the building.As noted above, this paper summarizes the development process of green building theory.Accordingly, it discusses the importance of exploring technological innovation in practice. From the“four savings and one environmental protection” perspective, green building development in Chinahas experienced a period of exploration. Following a series of innovations, building technologyactivities increased the speed of construction, while considering the conservation of buildingmaterials. At first, the activity remained within a reasonable range of building technology. However,innovation activity is tested by construction quality, and has forced people to reconsider theconstruction of security in the construction field. Once political influence faded, the economic impactbecame dominant [55]. The original China was completely cut off from the West, which ushered inforeign exchange after the reform. China is attempting to gradually adopt the techniques and formsof Western architecture, and to understand and follow cutting-edge trends in the architecture of moreadvanced countries. The government began to pay attention to the architects’ overseas exchangesand study tours, and through the study of methods and channels of China’s building contacts withthe outside world, Chinese building technologies ushered in fresh thoughts and mature experiences[56].5.2. Technological Innovations in Energy Conservation and Energy Utilization in Green Building in ChinaThe energy-saving technology of building in China is primarily focused on two aspects of abuilding, including the enclosure structure and equipment system, which includes doors, windows,roofs, floors, and walls. The traditional buildings of China have wooden window forms, which havea high requirement for heat preservation, heat insulation and sound insulation around the building.The form of the window gradually evolved into the steel window, the aluminum window, thealuminum wooden window, and so on, in which thermal insulation performance greatly increased.Window glass includes single glass, double insulation glass, hollow glass, Low-E glass, etc. [57]. Tomeet the requirements of the new standard, roofing insulation must have an energy-saving designthat emphasizes lightness and efficiency, has low to no water absorption, and facilitates the longterm use of stable performance insulation materials as an insulation layer. Improving the roofstructure is conducive to of moisture [58]. Regarding the use of energy-saving technology in theground, insulation is enhanced by making contact with the floor, where the surrounding groundinsulates, and does not heat the upper floor of the basement [58].Most of the buildings that were built in China before 2000 are non-energy efficient; their externalwalls merely maintain the structure and their chosen material rarely conforms to the energy-savingfactor. Table 2 shows examples of the traditional wall and the modern wall, where the changes of thethickness, thermal resistance, and heat transmission coefficient of the envelope structure can be seen.Figure 5. The proportion of energy consumption in the life of the building.As noted above, this paper summarizes the development process of green building theory.Accordingly, it discusses the importance of exploring technological innovation in practice. From the“four savings and one environmental protection” perspective, green building development in Chinahas experienced a period of exploration. Following a series of innovations, building technologyactivities increased the speed of construction, while considering the conservation of building materials.At first, the activity remained within a reasonable range of building technology. However, innovationactivity is tested by construction quality, and has forced people to reconsider the construction ofsecurity in the construction field. Once political influence faded, the economic impact becamedominant [55]. The original China was completely cut off from the West, which ushered in foreignexchange after the reform. China is attempting to gradually adopt the techniques and forms of Westernarchitecture, and to understand and follow cutting-edge trends in the architecture of more advancedcountries. The government began to pay attention to the architects’ overseas exchanges and studytours, and through the study of methods and channels of China’s building contacts with the outsideworld, Chinese building technologies ushered in fresh thoughts and mature experiences [56].5.2. Technological Innovations in Energy Conservation and Energy Utilization in Green Building in ChinaThe energy-saving technology of building in China is primarily focused on two aspects of abuilding, including the enclosure structure and equipment system, which includes doors, windows,roofs, floors, and walls. The traditional buildings of China have wooden window forms, whichhave a high requirement for heat preservation, heat insulation and sound insulation around thebuilding. The form of the window gradually evolved into the steel window, the aluminum window,the aluminum wooden window, and so on, in which thermal insulation performance greatly increased.Window glass includes single glass, double insulation glass, hollow glass, Low-E glass, etc. [57].To meet the requirements of the new standard, roofing insulation must have an energy-saving designthat emphasizes lightness and efficiency, has low to no water absorption, and facilitates the long-termuse of stable performance insulation materials as an insulation layer. Improving the roof structure isconducive to of moisture [58]. Regarding the use of energy-saving technology in the ground, insulationis enhanced by making contact with the floor, where the surrounding ground insulates, and does notheat the upper floor of the basement [58].Most of the buildings that were built in China before 2000 are non-energy efficient; their externalwalls merely maintain the structure and their chosen material rarely conforms to the energy-savingfactor. Table 2 shows examples of the traditional wall and the modern wall, where the changes ofthe thickness, thermal resistance, and heat transmission coefficient of the envelope structure can beseen. Compared with the current situation in China, before 2000, the wall thickness is greater, but thethermal resistance is less, and the wall heat storage capacity was generally not satisfactory. With theEnergies 2018, 11, 334 12 of 18development of the technology of external wall insulation and application of thermal insulationmaterials gradually, the thickness of wall has been reduced, saving materials, and the thermal resistancehas been increased, leading towards considerable energy savings. With the energy-saving concept andthe promotion of green building, China implemented higher energy and new construction requirementsfor existing buildings, which generally correspond to the emergence of mature wall insulation andenergy-saving materials and energy-efficient new buildings.Table 2. The traditional wall and the modern wall.Material Example Diagram Thickness(mm)Thermal Resistance(m2·K/W) Heat TransmissionCoefficient (W/m2·K) Harbin old building:ordinary brick wall490 mmEnergies 2018, 11, x 12 of 18Compared with the current situation in China, before 2000, the wall thickness is greater, but thethermal resistance is less, and the wall heat storage capacity was generally not satisfactory. With thedevelopment of the technology of external wall insulation and application of thermal insulationmaterials gradually, the thickness of wall has been reduced, saving materials, and the thermalresistance has been increased, leading towards considerable energy savings. With the energy-savingconcept and the promotion of green building, China implemented higher energy and newconstruction requirements for existing buildings, which generally correspond to the emergence ofmature wall insulation and energy-saving materials and energy-efficient new buildings.Table 2. The traditional wall and the modern wall.Material Example Diagram Thickness(mm)ThermalResistance(m2·K/W)Heat TransmissionCoefficient(W/m2·K)Harbin old building:ordinary brick wall 490mm510 0.797 1.056Harbin old building:ordinary brick wall 370mm (no heatpreservation)400 0.641 1.264Modern method of heatpreservation:thermal insulating wall360 3.134 0.304The goal of increasing energy efficiency is to reduce energy consumption by the building itselfand to improve the efficiency of heating (air conditioning) systems. China’s heating technologydeveloped rapidly under the guidance of “energy conservation and development”. Three categoriesof this technology can be identified, according to their energy consumption situations: northerntowns, towns in the Yangtze River Basin, and rural buildings. The main measures of energy savingin a heating system are as follows: improving boiler thermal efficiency, adjusting the hydraulicbalance and pipe insulation, and so on. In the past ten years, through the efforts of Chinese scientificresearch, design, operation and management personnel, remarkable economic and social benefitshave been attained [58]. In addition, the energy-saving technologies associated with air-conditioningsystems include ice storage technology, heat pump technology, and solar adsorption air conditioning,demonstrating that these technologies can achieve good economic benefits under suitable conditions[59].The application technology of building energy saving in China also involves building equipmentenergy saving, building green lighting, and operation management optimization. From the initialcoordination of regional features and local climate conditions, there is a gradual optimization of theuse of low-energy consumption technology, including passive energy saving technology and the510 0.797 1.056Harbin old building:ordinary brick wall370 mm (no heatpreservation)Energies 2018, 11, x 12 of 18Compared with the current situation in China, before 2000, the wall thickness is greater, but thethermal resistance is less, and the wall heat storage capacity was generally not satisfactory. With thedevelopment of the technology of external wall insulation and application of thermal insulationmaterials gradually, the thickness of wall has been reduced, saving materials, and the thermalresistance has been increased, leading towards considerable energy savings. With the energy-savingconcept and the promotion of green building, China implemented higher energy and newconstruction requirements for existing buildings, which generally correspond to the emergence ofmature wall insulation and energy-saving materials and energy-efficient new buildings.Table 2. The traditional wall and the modern wall.Material Example Diagram Thickness(mm)ThermalResistance(m2·K/W)Heat TransmissionCoefficient(W/m2·K)Harbin old building:ordinary brick wall 490mm510 0.797 1.056Harbin old building:ordinary brick wall 370mm (no heatpreservation)400 0.641 1.264Modern method of heatpreservation:thermal insulating wall360 3.134 0.304The goal of increasing energy efficiency is to reduce energy consumption by the building itselfand to improve the efficiency of heating (air conditioning) systems. China’s heating technologydeveloped rapidly under the guidance of “energy conservation and development”. Three categoriesof this technology can be identified, according to their energy consumption situations: northerntowns, towns in the Yangtze River Basin, and rural buildings. The main measures of energy savingin a heating system are as follows: improving boiler thermal efficiency, adjusting the hydraulicbalance and pipe insulation, and so on. In the past ten years, through the efforts of Chinese scientificresearch, design, operation and management personnel, remarkable economic and social benefitshave been attained [58]. In addition, the energy-saving technologies associated with air-conditioningsystems include ice storage technology, heat pump technology, and solar adsorption air conditioning,demonstrating that these technologies can achieve good economic benefits under suitable conditions[59].The application technology of building energy saving in China also involves building equipmentenergy saving, building green lighting, and operation management optimization. From the initialcoordination of regional features and local climate conditions, there is a gradual optimization of theuse of low-energy consumption technology, including passive energy saving technology and the400 0.641 1.264Modern method ofheat preservation:thermalinsulating wallEnergies 2018, 11, x 12 of 18Compared with the current situation in China, before 2000, the wall thickness is greater, but thethermal resistance is less, and the wall heat storage capacity was generally not satisfactory. With thedevelopment of the technology of external wall insulation and application of thermal insulationmaterials gradually, the thickness of wall has been reduced, saving materials, and the thermalresistance has been increased, leading towards considerable energy savings. With the energy-savingconcept and the promotion of green building, China implemented higher energy and newconstruction requirements for existing buildings, which generally correspond to the emergence ofmature wall insulation and energy-saving materials and energy-efficient new buildings.Table 2. The traditional wall and the modern wall.Material Example Diagram Thickness(mm)ThermalResistance(m2·K/W)Heat TransmissionCoefficient(W/m2·K)Harbin old building:ordinary brick wall 490mm510 0.797 1.056Harbin old building:ordinary brick wall 370mm (no heatpreservation)400 0.641 1.264Modern method of heatpreservation:thermal insulating wall360 3.134 0.304The goal of increasing energy efficiency is to reduce energy consumption by the building itselfand to improve the efficiency of heating (air conditioning) systems. China’s heating technologydeveloped rapidly under the guidance of “energy conservation and development”. Three categoriesof this technology can be identified, according to their energy consumption situations: northerntowns, towns in the Yangtze River Basin, and rural buildings. The main measures of energy savingin a heating system are as follows: improving boiler thermal efficiency, adjusting the hydraulicbalance and pipe insulation, and so on. In the past ten years, through the efforts of Chinese scientificresearch, design, operation and management personnel, remarkable economic and social benefitshave been attained [58]. In addition, the energy-saving technologies associated with air-conditioningsystems include ice storage technology, heat pump technology, and solar adsorption air conditioning,demonstrating that these technologies can achieve good economic benefits under suitable conditions[59].The application technology of building energy saving in China also involves building equipmentenergy saving, building green lighting, and operation management optimization. From the initialcoordination of regional features and local climate conditions, there is a gradual optimization of theuse of low-energy consumption technology, including passive energy saving technology and the360 3.134 0.304The goal of increasing energy efficiency is to reduce energy consumption by the building itself andto improve the efficiency of heating (air conditioning) systems. China’s heating technology developedrapidly under the guidance of “energy conservation and development”. Three categories of thistechnology can be identified, according to their energy consumption situations: northern towns, townsin the Yangtze River Basin, and rural buildings. The main measures of energy saving in a heating systemare as follows: improving boiler thermal efficiency, adjusting the hydraulic balance and pipe insulation,and so on. In the past ten years, through the efforts of Chinese scientific research, design, operation andmanagement personnel, remarkable economic and social benefits have been attained [58]. In addition,the energy-saving technologies associated with air-conditioning systems include ice storage technology,heat pump technology, and solar adsorption air conditioning, demonstrating that these technologiescan achieve good economic benefits under suitable conditions [59].The application technology of building energy saving in China also involves building equipmentenergy saving, building green lighting, and operation management optimization. From the initialcoordination of regional features and local climate conditions, there is a gradual optimization of theuse of low-energy consumption technology, including passive energy saving technology and themechanical ventilation of natural ventilation, natural lighting, shading, etc., based on the full use ofrenewable energy, including solar, wind, biomass, and other sources of heat [60].Energies 2018, 11, 334 13 of 185.3. Other Technical Innovations of Green Building in ChinaIn the past 20 years, China has gradually shifted its focus from building energy efficiency togreen building, and green building is a higher-level goal of the sustainable development of buildings.In addition to energy saving, green building requires water saving, land saving, and material saving.Its essence is to improve the utilization efficiency of energy resources [61].In past urban planning and construction, China did not pay attention to ecological constructionand did not consider the principles of biodiversity; as a result, some practices violated the laws ofnature. With the rise of the concept of land saving, construction began to prioritize the use of urban andrural waste land, turning waste into a benefit, and improving the urban environment while avoidingdemolition and resettlement issues [62]. At the same time, environmental noise control, outdoor windenvironment optimization, outdoor thermal environment optimization, and rainwater storage, garbagecollection and treatment, and soil treatment, had higher requirements [63].China is a country with severe droughts and water shortages. In past city planning andconstruction, China did not pay attention to water pollution. This not only generated abundantimpermeable ground, but also caused higher losses of city wetlands. This is because the groundwaterwas inadequate, and land lost water to evaporation, adjusting the climate and aggravating the degreeof water pollution [62].The design principles and concepts of water-saving and water resource utilization in China’sgreen building are self-sufficiency, striving for zero emissions, making full use of natural rainwater,and reusing reclaimed water to achieve the purpose of saving resources, using water resources,and protecting the environment [64]. In the process of promoting green building, from the artificialconstruction of roads, parking lots, square grounds, and so on, China is considering adopting apermeable pavement design, combined with increased permeability associated with landscape storageinfiltration pools, seepage wells, and green space. This facilitates buildings and communities havingthe ability to maintain and retain rainwater, to absorb part of the flood volume, and to augment the lowquantity of water. Technical research is also focused on the promotion of rainwater recharge, collectionand utilization systems, and the study of reusing low-cost, high-safety technology systems for regionaland large-scale water resources while ensuring water quality, and water health and safety [62].The building material is the material base of architecture, and a brick, a tile, an iron, and astone on the building are solid forms of energy and resources. A large amount of CO2 is emittedin the production and manufacturing processes. In China, every 1 m2 of building can be used toproduce 50–60 kg of steel and 0.2–0.23 tons of concrete, or 0.15–0.17 tons of brick [62], which willproduce a substantial amount of waste. In the process of promoting green building, saving materialsis an important control index that is primarily reflected in the stage of architectural design andconstruction [65]. There are several important perspectives on the development of wood-savingtechnology in China: reusing existing structures and materials, thereby reducing the production ofthese materials, energy consumption, and the amount of transportation of building materials; reducingthe generation of construction waste, using materials for regeneration, such as wood, etc., and recyclingwaste generated during construction, operation, and demolition; and preferentially using local buildingmaterials [65].5.4. Practical Projects of Green Building Technology in ChinaAs China’s green building theory has become clear, green energy-saving technology has beenapplied, and China’s green building market has matured. Economically developed areas in Chinahave begun to mature, using the results of the study on green building theory, combined with theirown urban characteristics associated with the key technology of green building system integrationand application. A series of model buildings, energy-efficient models of the community and ecologybecame the basis of China’s earlier green building technology, education, and the promotion of itsresearch and development platform.Energies 2018, 11, 334 14 of 18In 2002, the Tsinghua University ultra-low energy consumption test building was constructed;the project was finished in 2005. The project’s 1000 m2 of office building can be integrated withmost types of building energy-saving technology, becoming China’s first example of energy-savingtechnology and its most comprehensive, extensive, and innovative demonstration. It is well knownin building energy-saving industries, and it is the model for promoting and popularizing theknowledge and technology of building energy conservation [66]. In 2004, the Shanghai Academyof Building’s eco-built office building was constructed; it used a variety of new technologies andnew products, and an architecture integration design. It had natural ventilation, natural lighting,ultra-low power consumption, healthy air conditioning, renewable energy, green building materialsand intelligent control, resource recycling, an eco-green and comfortable environment, and othertechnical characteristics. The comprehensive energy consumption of the building is only 1/4 of thatof comparable buildings. Whereas other buildings’ renewable-energy use accounts for 20% of theirtotal energy use, the Shanghai Academy of Building’s renewable resource utilization reaches 60%,and it has a healthy and comfortable indoor environment. The scale of the building is small, basedon English and American green building standards, but it is still under study, and the subject ofexperimentation. From the functional point of view, it is already a more complete green building [67].In 2005, the Shenzhen Merchants Real Estate Tiger used state-of-the-art technology and products toobtain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification, becoming China’sfirst commercial green building project [68]. In addition, the 2005 Operational Research Centre atthe Ministry of Science and Technology of the 21st century is China’s first LEED gold certificationprogram. In 2008 and 2009, a Chinese three-star green building project named the SANYO plantrenovation project received investment. The Shenzhen Vanke Centre and Shenzhen branch building inShenzhen were built at approximately the same time, but they have their own characteristics. They arenearly 20,000 m2 in size, built in the style of a market, and have completely surpassed experimentalarchitecture [69].Green buildings have greatly contributed to technological advances, and the construction marketis more energy saving, efficient, and recyclable. Considering the actual resources and environment ofChina during the initial period of green technology, the Chinese government can only open buildingsto energy-saving with Chinese characteristics in accordance with the concept of scientific development,changing policies of advanced technology obtained from developed countries to establish Chinesecharacteristics and mechanisms to achieve the efficient use of energy.Compared with the international “green” thought, the understanding of green building in Chinais still in the primary stage. Before the realization of the modern green value, people can learn fromtechnology. In the long run, whether the green building will be able to play its due value in its survivaland use will face many challenges [70].However, in developing a positive situation, the fields of energy saving, emissions reduction,and the development of green building in China have also exposed some problems. The number anddistribution of projects in China, the development of green buildings compared to pilot demonstrations,and increased initial investment costs are characteristic of the “light green” development stage.However, because of the difference in cognitive support-related groups, awaiting mature technologyand influenced by the lack of a system, Chinese green building has not fulfilled higher-levelrequirements in establishing different groups of integration mechanisms, advocating appropriatetechnology concepts, formulating grass-roots consumer demands, and so on. Emphasis on localconditions and problem orientations should be the core starting point of green building technologyorganizations [70].6. ConclusionsEnergy conservation, the development of green building, and the promotion of sustainability aremutually developed processes. Chinese green building has experienced ten years of development fromthe understanding of the importance of sustainable energy, the foreign energy crisis, and domesticEnergies 2018, 11, 334 15 of 18environmental problems, learning from advanced foreign exploration of the technology of greenbuilding. The Chinese government and scholars jointly promote this difficult stage of development,boosting both the generation and the maturity of the theory, but in practice, they continue to encounterproblems, such as technology, philosophy, benefits, and other contradictory conditions. Energy-savingtechnology with Chinese characteristics and green building development remain in a critical periodof maturity.The maturity of Chinese green building is the common result of the transformation of people’sideas and technological progress, including policy, existing theory, technology, and other aspects.The Chinese government has established rules and regulations, technical specifications, and incentivepolicies to ensure the quality of green buildings, promoting enthusiasm for green buildings in society.A Chinese green building standards system forms the project stage and the main functional typesof the system itself, but the standards for assessing green building in China have no “foundation”,and lack interdependence. In terms of technology and theory, China’s government and industryhave been studied by relevant technical organizations. Key technology breakthroughs have beenachieved in the areas of energy saving, water saving, land saving, material saving, and buildingenvironment improvement, and some research results have been achieved, gradually popularized,and applied widely.The essence of green building is the conservation of resources, based on the concept of sustainabledevelopment and the type of design and construction used. The theory and technology of greenbuilding in China have certain limitations. From the perspective of energy conservation, green buildingin China pays attention to local conditions, is people-oriented, and maximizes the benefits of Chinesecharacteristics. Green building in China is maturing.Acknowledgments: This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(Grant Number: 51438005).Author Contributions: Ying Zhang, Jian Kang and Hong Jin conceived the paper and design the review study;Ying Zhang collected and consulted the relevant references and data, and analysed the data; Ying Zhang draftedthe paper; Jian Kang, Hong Jin and Ying Zhang revised the paper.Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.References1. Wei, J.Y.; Yan, W.G.; Yao, Z.M. Present situation of energy consumption and potentiality saving on energy ofbuilding in China. J. Shenyang Archit. Civ. Eng. Inst. 1994, 4, 185.2. Ji, Y.Y. Green Building and Energy Saving Technology; Qingdao Technological University: Qingdao, China, 2014;p. 2.3. Zhao, A.Q.; Liu, N. A review of the simple green ideas of Chinese ancient architecture. J. Xi’an Univ. Archit.Technol. (Soc. Sci. Ed.) 2010, 3, 36–40.4. 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