More than half of China’s existing residential structures will be demolished and rebuilt in the coming 20 years, according to a senior researcher from the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, a claim that has sparked fresh questions about the short lifespan of Chinese buildings:
Chen Huai, director of the policy research center at the ministry, said recently that homes built before 1999 will be dismantled to make way for new development during the next two decades. Chen said some historical relics that deserve protection will be spared the wrecking ball.
“Given China’s fast economic development and pace of urbanization, houses built between 1979 and 1999 cannot meet the demands of modern living, either because of limited space or a lack of supporting facilities,” he said. “Only those homes built after 1999 are likely to be preserved in the longer term.”
China annually sees more construction than any other country. In recent years, the country has had up to 2 billion square meters of development annually. Since 2006 , China uses 40 percent of the world’s cement and steel, the main ingredients of the construction industry. Around 40 percent of building land is created every year by the demolition of older developments.