DOE Announces Joint U.S.-China Building Efficiency Agreement

July 16, 2009

DOE and the Chinese Ministry of Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) announced a joint agreement on July 16 to foster collaboration in the development of more efficient building designs. The pact will also promote their cooperation on sustainable communities that rely on greater use of renewable energy. Under this program, the United States and China will exchange experts who will share their understanding of efficient building technologies, including high-performance HVAC, insulation, lighting, cold storage, geothermal heat pumps, building-integrated photovoltaics, and solar thermal systems.

Together, the U.S. and China will conduct analysis of lessons learned from their combined experience with energy-efficient buildings and communities. They will examine options for policy incentives or regulatory reform to encourage energy-efficient development in China. The two nations will explore the feasibility of a shared project in China to demonstrate green buildings, building energy savings and renewable energy technologies. The partners will collaborate on developing standards and guidelines for eco-cities. The U.S. will also provide support for MOHURD's 'eco-cities' initiative, which aims to build integrated green cities that are sustainably designed, use renewable power and have efficient transportation systems. With this announcement, the U.S. and China recognize that improving energy efficiency in buildings will benefit both nations, and that by working in tandem, they can accelerate the adoption of new clean energy technologies.

The statement followed Energy Secretary Steven Chu's tour of the zero energy "America House", a 3,200 square foot structure based on Florida International University 's project in the 2005 Solar Decathlon, sponsored by DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). See the DOE press release.