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Design Construction

Industry Overview

China has the world’s largest construction market. According to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD), from 2011 to 2015, China will completed 1billion square meters of new green building construction, and by 2015, 20% of the new buildings in the new cities and towns will reach to the green building standards

On China’s 12th Five-Year (2011-2015) Plan for Economic and Social Development, China is set to reduce its energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions a “binding goal” in this 12th Five-Year Plan. Many provinces and cities have drafted their own enforcement plans; every city is planning to be an “eco-city” by not only retrofitting old buildings but also by building new low carbon buildings.

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Market Opportunities

According to Liu Zhifeng, Director of China Real Estate Research Committee, in the next decade, China’s real estate construction market has great potential due to economic development and urbanization. In the next 10 years, China’s urbanization will reach 65-70% and the urban resident population will increase by another 300 million. Other than the development of commercial, tourism, senior housing and industrial real estate, China still needs to complete 800 million square meters of residential housing in order to accommodate the urban population. This should take another 10 years. China’s “Twelfth-Five Year Plan” indicated that 36 million apartments will be built. China also plans to invest $158.7 billion on “Nation City and Town Sewage Treatment and Renewable Construction Plan.”

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Best Prospects

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.

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Regulatory Environment

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.

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Key Sectors

  • Architecture and Planning Services, Construction and Engineering Services
  • Building Materials
  • Construction Equipment
  • HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning)

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Key Industry Contacts

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

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Industry News and Events

  • Guangzhou International Lighting exhibition 2014
    Dates: June 9–12, 2014
    Venue: China Import & Export FairComplexGuangshou, China
    Website: http://guangzhou-international-lighting-exhibition.hk.messefrankfurt.com/guangzhou
  • Hospital Build & Infrastructure China 2014
    Dates: June 21-23, 2014
    Venue: Nanjing International Expo Center 
    Website: http://hospitalbuildchina.com/
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention 2014
    Dates: June 26-28, 2014
    Venue: Chicago, IL U.S.A.
    Website: http://www.aia.org/convention
  • Shanghai International Green Building and Energy Efficiency Exhibition
    Dates: October 14-16, 2014
    Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Center
    Website: http://www.greenbuildingchina.com
  • Bauma China
    Dates: November 25-28, 2014
    Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Center
    Website: http://www.bauma-china.com
  • NAHB International Builders’ Show
    Dates: January 20-22, 2015
    Venue: Las Vegas, U.S.A.
    Website: http://www.buildersshow.com
  • Build+Decor: The 21st China International Building Decorations & Building Materials Expo
    Dates: March 13-16, 2015
    Venue: China International Exhibition Center [New Venue], Beijing (NCIEC); China (Beijing) International Exhibition Center (CIEC)
    Website: http://www.build-decor.com
  • The 16th DOMOTEX Asia/China Floor
    Dates: March 24-26, 2015
    Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Center
    Website: http://www.domotexasiachinafloor.com/
  • Expo Build China
    Dates: March 30 – April 02, 2015
    Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Center
    Website: http://www.expobuild.com/
  • The 11th International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building & New Technology Products Expo 
    Dates: TBD
    Venue: Beijing International Convention Center
    Web: www.chinagb.net
  • China Refrigeration Expo
    Dates: TBD
    Venue: New China International Exhibition Center, Beijing
    Website: http://www.cr-expo.com

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Other Useful Websites

Despite the huge opportunities in China’s market, foreign firms will find that China is not an easy market. American companies have to recognize the need for a special approach to a market with such a contrasting cultural, political and economic landscape. The most successful businesses in China are those that take the time to build strong relationships, become recognized in the industry, and develop products and services that cater to Chinese buyers.

Building good local relation is crucial to foreign firms seeking to provide their products and services in China. Forming a close relationship with a local partner can help navigate the opaque regulatory system, as well as provide a strong local presence with local contacts. Most of China’s large projects need to go through an open tender system, and all the bids will be accepted on a competitive basis. The winning bidders and new venue owners have a great deal of autonomy in deciding how to construct and operate the project and how to award this work.

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

U.S.-China Build

Energy Research Institute of NDRC

U.S.-China Business Council PRC Government Structure Report


Design Construction Resources for Clients


Beijing Investment Platform

Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning

Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of PRC

China National Association of Engineering Consultants

China Building Materials Industries Association


Shanghai Municipal Government Urban Construction Website

Shanghai Building Materials Science and Technology Institute

Shanghai World Expo

Shanghai Urban Construction Group

Shanghai City Development Law Firm (Specialized in Construction and Real Estate)

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Architectural Services Department

Hong Kong Buildings Department

Hong Kong Civil Engineering Department

Hong Kong Drainage Services Department

Hong Kong Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Department

Hong Kong Environment Protection Department

Hong Kong Planning Department

Hong Kong Territory Development Department

American Institute of Architects

Hong Kong Institute of Planners

Hong Kong Institution of Engineers

*Disclaimer: Links to non-Commercial Service organizations are provided solely as a convenience to our users. The Commercial Service makes no representations about the accuracy or suitability of the information provided on the following web sites. The FCS is not responsible for the content of the individual organization webpages found through these links, and their inclusion here should not be understood as an endorsement of these organizations.

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U.S. Commercial Service Contacts

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.

Tel: (86-10)8531-3000
Fax: (86-10)8531-3701
Merry Cao

Tel: (86-21)6279-7630
Fax: (86-21)6279-7639

Juliet Lu

Tel: (86-20)3814-5000
Fax: (86-20)3814-5310

Jericho Li

Tel: (86-28)8558-3992
Fax: (86-28)8558-9221

Shiyang Cui

Tel: (86-24) 2322-1198
Fax: (86-24)2322-2206
Dongmei Sun

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