China has replaced the U.S. as the world’s largest consumer of energy. The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD)’s latest data shows that China’s building sector accounts for around one-third of its final energy consumption (MOHURD, 2016). Particularly in northern China, the cold climate exerts pressure on its central heating system, which is responsible for a total energy consumption of about four hundred million tons of standard coal equivalent (TCE) (National Development and Reform Commission, 2017). Due to the growing population, economic development, and increasing standards of living, China expects that building energy use will escalate in the coming years. As a result of rapid urbanization, China’s building stock nearly tripled from 1995 to 2005, and it is estimated to nearly triple again by 2030 (Global Buildings Performance Network, 2013). There are a large number of existing buildings that perform poorly in terms of energy, wasting resources and polluting the environment. In order to overcome big challenges in energy conservation and the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, promoting the energy efficiency of existing buildings should be of great use.

This thesis aims to provide solutions for improving the energy efficiency of existing residential buildings in northern China. Using data from a typical residential building in Beijing, the biggest city in northern China, an energy model is built and analyzed. Models with different energy-saving strategies are then presented to investigate practical and potential solutions with regards to energy efficiency and cost.

Publication Date

Spring 2019

Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Architecture (M.Arch.)

Department, Program, or Center

Architecture (GIS)


Julius J. Chiavaroli

Advisor/Committee Member

Dennis A. Andrejko

Advisor/Committee Member

Nana-Yaw Andoh


RIT – Main Campus