China is in the midst of a historic urbanization process. Coupled with the privatization of the real estate market, higher living standards, and the presence of multinational corporations in China, home ownership is increasing markedly and demand for residential housing will continue to be strong. High housing costs, poor construction quality, ever-changing Chinese government real estate-related regulations, and limited financing options continue to drag on the housing sector. China has great opportunities for US architectural designers to enter into the high level design market.
The Real Estate construction market is a major driver of China’s economy. During the 11th Five Year period (2006-2010), the plan for total real estate construction is estimated to reach 2 billion square meters each year. According to the Industrialization Report issued by the Ministry of Construction’s Promotion Center for Housing, by 2010, China will have built 80 billion square meters of new housing. By 2020, estimates are 205 billion square meters. Construction spending in China increased 165% in the last four years, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, and is still expanding at 25% annually. In addition, the recent Chinese government’s RMB 4 trillion stimulus plan will also speed up the development of the market.
More and more domestic real estate developers are looking for high-quality architectural services. While Chinese architects have rich experience in small and medium-sized buildings, they often lack experience with large-scale projects such as integrated projects. Additionally, although they understand local market needs and government policies, they lack quality control, exposure to industrial standards, and professional management experience. Other weak points include intelligent architecture and the integration of new technology and building materials. Furthermore, current Chinese developers and clients have been drawn to a more Western idea than to traditional Chinese architectural styles, preferring international trends. As a result, foreign building products and design services are perceived as superior to local substitutes. Therefore, this niche market offers foreign design firms good opportunities in the long term.
Most of the clients of foreign engineering firms active in China are foreign invested enterprises. These projects are mainly infrastructure projects, factories, hotels, luxury housing, offices, and malls as the requirements for these projects are more sophisticated and clients usually demand premium engineering services and consulting work.
On January 5, 2007, the Ministry of Construction issued implementing regulations for foreign-invested design enterprises (FIDEs) to apply for architecture, engineering and design licenses in China under Decree 114. With the issuance of implementing rules for Decree 114, American firms can now apply for engineering and design licenses in China and pursue related opportunities. There are still considerable barriers to licensing in China and US firms should approach the market as consultants to Chinese firms first before considering licensing.
China: Windows and Doors (October, 2009)
China’s demand for windows, doors, and related products, is expected to rise 11% per year through 2011 to RMB 195 billion (approximately USD 29 billion), and then to grow at an even faster rate in the following years. Energy efficient windows and doors can help China conquer its environmental problems.
China’s Disaster Protection Market (August, 2009)
Huge losses caused by the Sichuan earthquake and blizzards in recent years have motivated the Chinese central government to improve its disaster protection capability through solid investment.
China: Energy Efficiency Market and Opportunities (July, 2009)
China’s market for energy efficient products and services has only begun to develop. In recent years, the Chinese government has stressed the importance of energy efficiency and environmental protection.
Southern China Market Snapshot (February, 2009)
Guangdong province in South China presents numerous opportunities for American architecture, construction, engineering (ACE) and design firms—particularly in southern China’s largest city Guangzhou, as well as other secondary markets such as Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Dongguan.
China: Green Building (August, 2008)
China’s green building industry consists of architectural design, construction strategy, and lifetime operation that attempt to keep accord with established sustainability principles and standards. This report briefly discusses relevant market issues pertaining to the export potential of green building products to China and with surveying the underlying materials and technologies being implemented in China green building initiatives.
China International Architectural Expo
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American Planning Association in China
China Energy Conservation Supervision
Shanghai Energy Conservation Supervision Center
U.S. DOE Energy Information Administration
China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance
Energy Research Institute of NDRC
U.S.-China Business Council PRC Government Structure Report
China Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD)
Address: 3 SanLiHe Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100835
Phone: (+86-10) 6839-4114
China Ministry of Civil Affairs
Address: 147 BeiHeYan Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100721
Phone: (+86-10) 6523-5511
The U.S. Commercial Service offers a broad array of market entry services to U.S. companies in the architecture, construction and engineering industries. Please refer to the following relevant contacts for additional information on how we can help you expand your business in China.
Elizabeth Shieh (Elizabeth.Shieh@trade.gov)
Andrew Billard (Andrew.Billard@trade.gov)
Cao Shujuan (Shujuan.Cao@trade.gov)
Gregory Harris (Gregory.Harris@trade.gov)
Scott Yao (Scott.Yao@trade.gov)
Cathy Wang (Cathy.Wang@trade.gov)
Cui Shiyang (Cui.Shiyang@trade.gov)
Tel: 86-24-2322-1198 ext. 8141
Liu Yang (Yang.Liu@trade.gov)