对此，工信部原材料工业司副司长潘爱华、住建部标准定额司副司长宋友春已经联合组成调研组就加快绿色建材发展、推进建材工业和建筑业节能减排等开展了调研工作。潘爱华表示，要把推动绿色建材发展作为建材工业贯彻落实“十八大”精神和推动建材工业转型升级的具体举措。“下一步，工信部与住建部将联合发布《绿色建材推广应用行动计划》，这个计划我们已经在起草中。”随着传统建筑绿色转型的进一步展开，中国生态建材的发展有望进入“快车道”。 From ancient times till now, dwelling has always been an important part of human life. With the constant improvement of living standard, people’s requirements for residential conditions are also experiencing corresponding rise. “Man, poetically dwells on the earth”, which was originally the dream of German philosopher Martin Heidegger for the supreme living state. Nowadays, it has become the expectations of more and more people. However, the reality of environmental destruction and ecological deterioration is gradually widening the distance between human beings and their ideals. At present, industrial contamination is not the only cause for ecological crisis any more, as traditional building materials are joining the pollutants of ecological safety. How to build safer habitable space and preserve ecological safety under the backdrop of population expansion, environmental pressure growth and resources limitation have become the common focus of countries around the world.
Doubts on safety of traditional building materials
When mentioning building materials, people do not feel unfamiliar with them. All basic activities of human life including food, clothing, sheltering and traveling are all closely connected in a direct or indirect way with common building materials, such as stone, wood, cement, concrete, ceramic tile, glass, various oil paints, coatings and so on.
As an important medium between human beings and natural environment, building materials play a great positive role in people’s living. However, when enjoying modern material civilization, we have to face a tough reality, i.e., the production and application of traditional building materials improves dwelling conditions for mankind, but also bring more and more negative influence that cannot be ignored as well. They bear unshirkable responsibility for environmental destruction and ecological imbalance. According to the calculation by experts concerned, every ton of cement clinker needs 110 kilograms of standard coal and emits 856 kilograms carbon dioxide. Currently, China’s building material industry consumes 5 billion tons of raw materials and more than 230 million tons of coal every year, accounting for 15.8% of total national energy consumption. Construction energy consumption accounts for over 40% of the total number; the industry exhausts 109.6 million cubic meters of waste gas and discharges 33.5 billion tons of effluents per year; cement, lime and traditional wall materials produce 660 million tons of carbon monoxide emission which makes up 40% of that from all industries. For building materials production in China, most frequently used raw materials are clay, limestone and gravel. The average annual exploitation of these materials is more than 5 billion tons, which destroys plenty of land and resources. What’s more, building materials themselves have serious pollution problems. For example, wooden decorations mostly use density board and plywood as base materials, while the two both need adhesive during producing process, which contains formaldehyde which is very harmful to human bodies. Besides, many traditional paintings and coatings have excessive lead contents, which may cause lead poisoning in contact. Nowadays, how to relieve the environmental burden on building materials and make them environmental friendly is an important task for the sustainable development of building materials industry.
Flourishing ecological building materials
With more and more attention paid by international community to ecological safety problems, countries in the world are becoming more concerned about the health and environmental features of buildings, and raise higher requirements for building materials. It is in this context that comes out the concept of ecological building materials. In 1980s, the idea of “green building materials” was put forward overseas. Germany is the first country practicing environmental label system. In 1987, Germany launched its first environmental label-“Blue Angel”. Now there are over 7500 products with the label, accounting for 30% of all products. For example, a colorless, odorless and harmless water-based coating occupies the market after obtaining the “Blue Angel” label. According to data, the environmental label of “Blue Angel” has become a very familiar one among German people, and there are stores specialized in selling “Green Building Materials” in all large cities in Germany.
In order to boost the development of green building materials, Denmark proposed “Health Building Materials”(HMB) standard, asking for marked health indicators. Sweden is also a Northern Europe country which actively promotes green building materials development. It has an advanced ground material industry with abundant exports every year, and export manufacturers voluntarily mark the guideline values of organic compounds indoor air concentration of their products in 4 weeks and 26 weeks on product manuals. The biggest housing bank in Sweden announced in 1995 that it only provides loans to ecological building developers. The Japanese government pays much attention to green building materials development as well. It carried out environmental label project in 1988, and there are over 2500 green products now. The Japanese Science and Technology Department formulated and implemented the “Environmental Reconciling and Material Researching Plan” in the year of 1993. Although the industry does not have the final scientific and authoritative definition of ecological building materials, many authorities think that they are materials which can coordinate with ecological environment during production, usage, discard and recycle and meet the requirements of least resources and energy consumption, least or no environmental pollution, best usability and highest recycling rate. So that the targets of saving resources and energy, reducing environmental pollution, avoiding global warming and ozone-layer destruction and easy recycling and reusing will be achieved. That is to say, the green transformation of building materials will not only offer a comfortable and healthy living environment for dwellers, but also play a huge role in easing resources shortage, conserving energy and protecting environment. In recent years, various ecological building materials have sprung out like mushrooms after rain. They include non-toxic decorative materials, green paintings, building materials produced from living and industrial wastes, healthy and antibacterial building materials, low temperature cement, unburned cement, soil ceramic, fireproofing insulating cement and so on.
China’s building material industry needs green transformation urgently
By contrast, China’s building material industry has a late start. Qin Shengyi, CPPCC member and chairman of Rechsand Science and Technology Group, said in a press interview that many countries have made clear terms mandating that there should be limitations on quantities and prices of imported products without “Green Label”, which is an emerging “Green Barrier” in international trade. “Green building materials meet the requirements of sustainable development, and it is an inevitable way to realize the unity of development and environment by developing green building materials under the backdrop of scarce resources and serious environmental pollution. However, the industry in China is still at the initial stage on a relatively lower development level, so there are a lot of problems in its progress,” said Qin Yisheng. For example, green building materials account for a very small part of the building material markets. China plans to raise the proportion of green buildings in new buildings to 30% in 2020. While more than 90% of building materials in developed countries in Europe and America have achieved the “Green” standard.
In January 2013, State Council of China raised green buildings to the “National Strategy” level. No1 Document 2013-Green Building Action Plan issued by State Development and Reform Commission clearly pointed out that during the 12th Five-Year-Plan period, 1 billion square meters of new green buildings should be completed and about 600 million square meters of existing buildings should be rebuilt. At the end of the period, 20% of urban buildings should achieve the standard of green buildings. Qiu Baoxing, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Housing and City and Countryside Construction, made public prediction that before 2020, China will invest at least 1.5 trillion RMB in energy-saving building project. Then compilation of Green Building Materials Catalog will also be initiated in an all-round way. As to this, Pan Aihua, Deputy Director of Raw Material Department of Ministry of Industry and Informationization, and Song Youchun, Deputy Director of Standard Quota Department of Ministry of Housing and City and Countryside Construction, have formed a research group to carry out research work for speeding up green building material development and promoting energy conservation and emission reduction in building material industry and building industry. Pan Aihua said that boosting the development of green building materials should be regarded as a specific move for building industry to implement the spirit of the “Eighteenth Congress of Chinese Communist Party” and to transform and upgrade the industry. “In the next stage, Ministry of Industry and Informationization and Ministry of Housing and City and Countryside Construction will jointly issue Green Building Material Popularization and Application Action Plan, which is in draft now.” With the expansion of green transformation of traditional buildings, the development of China’s ecological building materials is expected to enter an “express way”.